Harry Wade

Home Run Harry Wade

Harry’s Name

For those of you who knew Harry, you know he like to be called “Home Run Harry Wade”.  What many of you probably don’t know is that is the shortened version of his title.  Over the years we worked on and embellished it.  He had me trained as his official announcer, which I gladly did, to introduce him to people we would meet at the many trips and tournaments we did together.  I would do it something like this:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor and pleasure to introduce you to The Honorable Handsome Hero, Mr. Inside, Outside, 2 Coastal, Bi-Continent, Pinch Hit, Grand Slam Home Run Harry Wade”  After all the fanfare and laughs, it gave him a chance to begin telling stories and  being the center of attention, which he relished.

The Inside came from back when he could actually run and he did hit an inside the park home run.

The Outside came from him hitting them over the fence, which I witnessed several times.

The 2 Coastal came from hitting them on both the East and West coast of the US.

Bi-Continent was because he hit home runs in both the North American and Australian Continents.

The Pinch Hit came from a time when he hit a pinch hit home run.

The Grand Slam came from a game we played at Cooperstown.  Thanks for laying it in there for him Howard, we never heard the end of it for years.

Musical Harry

For those of you who did not know, Harry was also very talented in music.  Seems like wherever we would go, somehow he would get in a situation where he would sing or play guitar with whatever local musical group was around.  He would often make up short verses to sing and liked to teach songs to others.  I recall him teaching some American songs to the Russian baseball team when we traveled to Russia.  I do remember the night he, his cousin and I closed down 3 bars in Queenstown, New Zealand before we went to the mayors house to drink all his beer and left at 4 am.  Each place, he and his cousin would sing some raunchy song with the local band or on their own.  Often they would sing it several times because they just couldn’t get enough.   In our trips to Cuba, we made friends with the local minstrel group at the hotel where we always stay in Havana.  None of them spoke English but over the years, he taught them a Beatles song.  Now, after 5 years, they sing it very well in English and sing it whenever we are around.

When he was younger, besides his cousin, he had several musical friends.  Harry wrote several songs and even recorded some.  I am sure he will never win a grammy award for them but at least he tries.  How many songs have you recorded?  

Harry Photos

Harry and I traveled the world together many times.  I’ve collected a number of recent photos from our trips to Cuba. 

Some of my Favorite Recent Photos

Harry & the boys at El Rapido, our favorite hangout in
Cienfuegos, Cuba

Myself, Harry and Neil in Phoenix

Myself, Angel and Harry at our home away from
home in Cienfuegos, Cuba.  Part of our adopted family.

They shall return.


Harry Stories

Below are some comments and stories by people who knew Harry.  If you have any you want to add, email them to me and I will add them.  dennis@dennismc.com

Harry was my friend  for 20 years.  We played together both on and off the field.  We played in 8 different states and traveld the world to 10 different countries.   He was my roommate a countless number of times.  Harry was the kind of guy that many people did not like at first.  As you got to know him, you realized what great wit he had and what a generous person he was.  As Harry used to say “Either love me or hate me, just make up your mind”. 

Harry was unique and unlike anyone else you would meet.  He was always the life of the party, kept the bench loose and never seemed to run out of stories, and he could tell them with the best of them.  Nothing was sacred with Harry, he could make a joke about anything.  I learned a lot from Harry on many levels and I will surely miss a good friend….Dennis McCroskey


The first day I lockered next to Harry, at a baseball clinic in Arizona several years ago, I wanted to beat him with a baseball bat.  By the end of the 2nd day, he’d won me over with his wit, generosity and personal warmth.  Our trip to Cuba will stand out as a highlight for me, in great part due to Harry’s antics….Mike Marks


Harry was like a brother to me.  I am still in shock and denial about his death.  I met Harry in Dodgertown in the mid 1980s and after the initial BS, we hit it off very well.  I played ball with Harry more times than I can remember and he was always a great hitter.  He had a knack for being able to tick off the other team before the game even began and it frequently took them out of their normal game.  I never roomed with Harry because I had already heard about his snoring.  My favorite memory of Harry happened on my first trip to Cuba.  After losing the game to the Cubans, we were in line shaking hands with the Cuban players.  At that time, I didn’t speak much Spanish so I asked Harry to tell the opposing pitcher as I shook his hand that he had pitched a great game.  Harry said something to him and the Cuban pitcher gave me a look as if he was offended.  Later I found out that Harry had told him that I like young naked boys.  There was never a dull or quiet moment when Harry was around.  We will all miss him….Gene Sinclair


I am stunned !! Somewhat speechless………………I have to give thanks to Harry for he is responsible for getting me connected with these trips. One phone call and 45 minutes of stories later I was sold. I can’t thank him enough.  He always seemed to be the life of the Party.  He will be missed… Mark Foerster


I tell you, Harry is a real blow!  Just takes the wind right out of my sails!  A good friend!  Neil’s little “piece” that went out to the membership was spot on!  Read between the lines and BS and you have a fantastic guy, a wonderful friend, and a good teammate!…Randy Hazelton


At Dodgertown in 1991, Harry Wade wanted to be photographed while batting against Brooklyn Dodgers pitching legend Preacher Roe.  The picture of Preacher pitching to Harry would of course be entitled, Roe vs. Wade.Yesterday was Harry’s funeral. Life is indeed short, but Harry lived it large and he lived it full in his 55 years.  Home Run Harry will always be remembered fondly for the good times and for his overwhelming generosity to others. …Gordie Woo


Robin and I are both shocked and saddened. All I can remember of Harry was that he was really a Sweet, Sensitive Guy..A Real Pussy Cat. My best memory of Harry..was sitting with Ralph Branca at Cooperstown when Harry hits a Grand Slam Home Run…Ralph says ‘Oh My G_D…We’re Never Going To Hear The End of This One! And true to form..Harry kept reminding us of the hit all weekend long! Seeing Harry and Helen at each tournament was always a Given…Not seeing Harry will be hard to get used to…Skip Liebline


Another precious memory of Harry.  A bunch of us were sitting around the hot tub at the Dobson Ranch in Mesa a few years ago.  Harry sashayed up in his very confident gait, sporting brand new flip-flops.  They were promotional items from a Mexican beer named “Sol” beer.  Some of you beer aficionados may know the brand.  Anyway, I immediately showed interest for obvious reasons.  Harry immediately took off the flip-flops, and flipped them to me.  I wear them all the time, and now they’re even more special. …Sol Yas

I originally met Harry Wade with my sons, Robert and Billy, while playing ball in Cuba.. Harry is fondly remembered by us for his love and respect for the game, his genuine good intentions, kindness and sincerity, his ability to take some major ribbing and be able to dish it out right back at you, his great jokes as well as his bad jokes, and his story telling. After our first year we eagerly looked forward to seeing him again the following year. Playing ball and road trips won’t be the same without him.  He was a great person and we will always remember him. He made a positive overall contribution with my sons and went out of his way to make us all feel welcome and part of the club. We express our deepest condolences to his family.. We will toast his memory and pray for him and his family today Easter Sunday April 8, 2007. I only wish he were around one more time to share some of my new Mexican jokes with him and hear his new stuff!!  VIVA HARRY WADE!!!…Andy Badolato   

I think we all have the same thoughts about Harry.  I remember once at a DTW game someone took a hard swing and missed a high pitch…….Harry said “If that ball was a piñata, there would be candy all over the infield.”  That was Harry.  I’m so sorry to see him leave all of us too soon….Doc Sid


Harry & I were roomies on Dennis’ 2003 Cuba Expedition. I’m very proud to say I withstood Harry’s snoring, which was certainly monumental – the curtains moved!!!
Harry could find common ground with anyone – in my case we shared Welsh heritage, him Welsh-Mexican, me Welsh-Sicilian. Harry was a guy you hated for the first 5 minutes until he measured you, then won you over. Afterwards, everyone was his brother for life, each with a separate deal cut. Let’s honor his memory by drinking a “Harry Wade” in his honor – a drink he thought would seal his fame in Cuba. I defer to Dennis re the exact mixture, but I believe it involved copious amounts of Havana Club rum & mango juice….Tracy Masters


I am saddened by the death of a person, a friend, who lived life large.  I met Harry on my first trip to Cuba in 2003 and I’ll always remember him as one of the more interesting characters that has crossed my path.  He had a large heart, a quick wit, and a mischievous sense of humor that made his company a pleasure.  He would gladly act as your interpreter in Cuba,…but you never really knew if he translated your words,…or what he felt was appropriate for the moment.  My best memories will be of times spent with Harry sitting around a table at the Comodoro pool bar in Havana, with cigars, Havana Club,  local music and talking about baseball and life.  I will miss him and always remember him as  Harry “El Jefe y El Assasino” Wade…Blair Bessette


I remember the time we all went out to dinner in Santa Cruz at some Mexican place that started with a P…. you were there… also my favorite Harry line was I learned Spanish from a Mexican woman…..long pause..who was that? Harry answered.. my mother…..Randy Wallace


Before I ever even met Harry, I had this “larger than life” image of him because I had read in the Dodgertown news about this guy who had just played 170 or so games in one year. I thought, wow I’ve got to meet this guy. I did and I wasn’t disappointed. Harry always had a story and a joke. I spent a week in Cuba with him and really got to know him at that time. He could really dish out the zingers but he could also take them in return. I believe he played his last 2 baseball games for my (and Tommy’s) team and in spite of his hard times, health issues, etc., he was vintage Harry, joking and story telling to the end. I’ll miss him….Marc Drucker


At my second camp, Harry was “on” nightly w/Tim Hauser from the Manhattan transfer.  By the end of the week, I wasn’t sure who the better performer was.  Maryann and I had an opportunity to visit with Harry and helen a few years back in Vegas.  He could not have been more gracious in every way possible.  Show and dinner-all on Harry, refusing to allow me to pay for anything.  My only regret is not spending more time with “Home Run Harry Wade”…Phil Simon


Harry Wade was the first person I met at my first Dodger Camp – his locker was next to mine and he was the captain of my team.  He wanted baseball to be played correctly.  I can hear him saying “We need baserunners, not heroes” and “Every team has one, if you don’t know who it is by Wednesday, it’s you.” 

Harry was my mentor at the first game and took me to Cooperstown to play at the Hall of Fame.  He also guided me through Cuba – translating and getting me back to hotel when I was sick one night.  He was fun to play with – although I saw him make three errors in one inning at first base — all on ground balls.

I also saw him hit a line drive to me in Centerfield at Field #2 Dodger Camp that I couldn’t get to and it rolled to the warning track.  I was playing him shallow and it took me a week to get to the ball.  He ended up with a homerun… unbelievable:  “Homerun Harry Wade”.  

From the first time I met him.. I loved Harry Wade.  He was the embodiment of fantasy adult baseball.  He was an inspiration.  He made it okay to act like a 12 year kid again — thank you Harry….Greg Rothman


The first time I walked up to an adult league ball field, here in Vegas, I saw two teams playing with one of the teams being led by this “older” man with salt n’ pepper hair. He just looked like a good “manager”, “coach” or “leader”, so walked over and stood closer to the dugout he led. I noticed the team name, “The MOB”. The name didn’t mean much to me, but when I peaked my head in the dugout, looking for someone to give me information about possibly playing in the league (I hadn’t played since little league). From the far, extreme side of the dugout, Harry looked my way, sat down on the bench, raised his voice and said, “come on in, sit down.” Without ever meeting me or knowing who I was, he began telling me stories like he new me his whole life! 
I went on to joining the league, managing my own team, playing on one of Harry’s tournament teams in Phoenix and several Dodgertown tournaments as a “fill-in”. Because of Harry, I met a lot of great Dodgertown players/fellows/friends.
Aside from baseball, I had no idea Harry recorded music. I’m surprised he never told me! Now I sit and listen to his songs. I can see Harry as I listen. I wish I can play the infield with him again sometime, somewhere…

Yeah, the first year I knew him, I didn’t know whether to love him or hate him. Once I figured him out, all I can do is love him. So I made up my mind. One day, I’d like to sing a couple of his songs as a tribute…maybe I’ll just sing along with him, now and again. Gentlemen, Harry will always be with us on the ball field. Damn it, Harry!!… Manny Ocampo


The story behind Harry (the Condors 50+ BB Team in Las Vegas) burning up the basepaths is weird. When we got to the Chamnpionship game the field was wet from a hard rain the night before. Most of the water settled in the low spots – basepaths and batters boxes. Rather than declare co-champions, they delayed the game two hours. We went and had breakfast. When we got back, the field crew was desperate. They had run out of sand, cat-litter, brick dust, etc. One of the High School coaches, who had been brought in, suggested gasoline on the water to dry it up by setting it on fire – so they did! And, of course, Harry went out and posed for my wife ‘burning up the basepaths’. He looks pretty fast too…John BushmanHarry as you stated was a one in a million guy. I remember meeting him on my 1st trip to Vegas and he was genuine and open and warm to all of us on that Angel team and especially to me for as you know I was somewhat of a handful. I was just so excited to play this game that I love and didn’t know how to handle it. I have somewhat clamed down and I think its because of watching guys like Harry and yourself conduct themselves on the field. Harry used to call me Dennis Martinez and said the only difference between a Martin and a Martinez was that a Martinez was EZ and there was nothing EZ about me….Dennis Martin


I met Harry at an international tournament and he made a lasting impression on me from the start.  The guy had a passion for the game and loved the sport of baseball.  Harry was the coach of the team and what a character he was. I enjoyed listening to him about his Cuba stories and he had me talked into going to one with him.  Harry mentioned that he was going to meet a good friend ( I think that was you) to go to Dodgertown to play in a Hall of Fame camp. I asked if I could meet him down there and get some autographs and Harry said sure. When I made it to Dodgertown on Tuesday he was so happy to see me he asked if I had my glove and spikes in the car and I said yes, he told me to wait right where I was that we was going to see the guy that ran the camp because his Reds team was in bad shape ( pulled muscles, hurt backs and sore arms). He came back with a guy named Bob and we worked some payment out that alllowed me to play.  The camp was the best I was ever at and I met a lot of the former players. I shared a locker with Harry and we became pretty good friends.  I think about those two weeks and how they were some of the best in my life and I think about the great guy that was a big part of it…..Dave Eckley


To me Harry Wade was the greatest person I had ever known.  He wasn’t just my role model and the person who inspired me, he was my grandfather.  Harry was like a father to me, he really was because he was the only father I knew.  He took me to my first baseball game and to the last one I saw.  He bought me my first baseball glove and was at every game I had, he took me to Cooperstown, Colorado, Los Angeles and when I turned 18 he was going to take me to Cuba.  Harry was no doubt the best person I knew and here or not here, I’m still moving toward fulfilling what he would have wanted for me, to make it to the pro’s and play for the Dodgers.  Some of you even might know me but I just wanted to let more people know about the best person I knew…..Logan Holman