In 1926 Fred Logan, the Yankees' clubhouse man, spotted a 16-year-old kid trying to sneak into the stadium and asked him to help carry some equipment trunks in exchange for free admission. That was one of the best trades the Yankees ever made, because the kid, Michael Joseph Sheehy, stayed on the job for the next 59 years.
Pete Sheehy touched the lives, and pressed the pinstripes, of Yankees from Babe Ruth to Dan Pasqua. He died last week at age 75, and at his funeral in Harrington Park, N.J. on Friday, Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry eulogized, "Some of my most treasured moments in baseball are days when I came to the ball park early and sat around all afternoon talking to Pete, listening to his stories." If Yankee Stadium is The House That Ruth Built, it might also be called The House That Pete Kept.
Logan called him Silent Pete, because he was so quiet, and eventually the name became simply Pete. He loved working for the Yankees, and while he took care of everybody, he never asked for much. "He had something special with every player," recalled former first baseman Moose Skowron. "With me, he knew I loved hot dogs. Between games of doubleheaders, he'd hide an extra hot dog for me in the laundry room—in the dryer to keep it warm."
Billy Martin was visibly upset when he learned of Sheehy's death. He closed his office door, and when somebody finally opened it, Martin was sitting at his desk, head in hands, weeping. "He treated us all the way he treated Ruth and Gehrig," Martin said later. "I hope the Yankees put a plaque in centerfield for him. He belongs out there, more than anybody. He was a Yankee."