He worked for the Yankees from the Coolidge administration to the Reagan administration. He witnessed Lou Gehrig's farewell speech and Don Larsen's day of perfection. He knew both Babe Ruth and Don Mattingly. This is the story of Michael Joseph Sheehy, better known as "Pete".
It started in the summer of 1926, when Sheehy was a teenager. He had 50 cents to buy a bleacher seat when clubhouse manager Fred Logan-who went back to 1903 when the team was called the Highlanders-spotted Sheehy in the crowd and asked if he could give him a hand bringing stuff into the clubhouse. Sheehy said yes. Logan asked if he would be there the next day.
Because he didn't say very much, Logan nicknamed Sheehy "Silent Pete". No one knew that that chance meeting would be the beginning of a nearly six decade career with the Yankees for the teenager, and he was for some of the most memorable moments in Major League Baseball history. He saw Ruth hit number 60, Maris hit number 61, Mantle hit his 500th career home run, and countless others. He also was the first to know Lou Gehrig was done, when "The Iron Horse" flipped his glove to Sheehy after a game and simply said, ''I'm done Pete".
He rarely if ever talked about himself. Sheehy was married with two kids and seven grandchildren. He also served his country in WW II, where he was at Okinawa. He saw battle on a nearby island which killed the legendary war correspondent Ernie Pyle.
Over the years, Sheehy was offered money to write a book about his time with the Yankees, but always he refused. He believed in the old credo, "What happens in the clubhouse STAYS in the clubhouse".
Sheehy was around for one final memorable moment at Yankee Stadium, when Dave Righetti no hit the Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1983. In August of 1985, Pete Sheehy passed away at the age of 75. In his memory, the Yankees renamed their clubhouse the Pete Sheehy Clubhouse. There was a plaque placed in the Yankee dugout on which he was called "The Keeper of the Pinstripes".
All tolled, Pete Sheehy was there for five divisional titles, 30 American League pennants, and 21 World Series titles. When it comes to witnessing history, Pete Sheehy truly was a man who saw it all.