Arthur Richman, a longtime baseball writer, fan and friend of the St. Louis Browns who went on to spend four decades as an executive with the New York Mets and Yankees, died this past week (March 25) . He was 83.
A St. Louis Browns fan in his youth, Richman went to work for the New York Daily Mirror as a copy boy in 1942 and worked there until it folded in 1963. He wrote one of New York's most popular baseball columns, "The Armchair Manager."
Art once said, “The Brownies were my religion – then and now. They were always the most important part of my life.” He tried to follow the team after it moved to Baltimore, but he said, “It really just wasn’t the same.” Still he’s maintained the friendships he had established with the old Browns players and always looked forward to the annual reunion. “The Browns are the greatest thing in my life. Induction into the Brownie Hall of Fame is a wonderful honor for me – what more could I ask for?”
“In my will it says that I am to be buried with my 1944 Brownie cap laying on my chest,” said Art with dead seriousness. After a pause, he then chuckled, “But I have told my wife to make sure that no damn collector snatches it before they close the casket.”
(Comment from Emmett McAuliffe, 3/26/09)
As you may know, #1 Brownie fan Art Richman had frequently stated that he was requesting that he be buried with his beloved St. Louis Browns baseball cap. These sorts of requests, which are not legally binding, are frequently shunted aside by next-of-kin or inattentive funeral directors.
I have just confirmed from Seth at Riverside Chapel on W. 70th St., NYC, that he saw the Browns cap on top of the casket and, although he himself was not present for burial, that placing the cap into the casket was what was to be done.
That's good enough for me.
"Arthur Richman made baseball and the New York Yankees an enormous part of his life, and I am grateful for his contributions both personally and professionally," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. "He was a trusted friend and adviser to me, and someone the world of baseball will find impossible to replace."
Richman's biggest contribution to the Yankees came in 1995, when he recommended that the team hire Joe Torre as manager. Richman had worked together with Torre in the 1970s with the Mets.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon called him a "trusted and valued front office executive."
Richman's brother, Milton Richman, was United Press International's sports editor from 1972-85 and a columnist at UPI from 1964 until his death in 1986. He was inducted into the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame in 1981.
He joined the Mets as director of promotions, then became publicity director and was named traveling secretary in 1980. He was replaced as traveling secretary in December 1988. Richman was hired as the Yankees vice president of media relations the following May.
Richman became a senior adviser in 1995 and stopped working following a heart attack in 2006. His family asked that any memorial gifts be sent in Richman's name to the "Catch 25 Foundation," established by Yankees manager Joe Girardi for Alzheimer's Disease research and support.