Baseball, Ted Williams, Padres discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
Raw mark. Graham has joined us here you're on sports byline the former Major League pitcher now color analyst for the padres television network. You know you were talking about Frank Robinson. And then you mentioned about Ted Williams a quick story on my part I was a young sportscaster in Washington. DC in the two years in which he was the manager of the Washington senators. And of course I knew about his reputation tation with the media up in Boston mark but I was sitting on the bench at the old. RFK Stadium. And I looked down. And it's just ted down down at the other end and I wanted to come down and talk to him and interview him and everything but I also knew he could. He could bite your head off if he wanted to but I waited I and I slipped down and gave me those. What the Hell do you want looks and I said Ted? I got a question I understand bone fishing in Florida. It just outstanding. His eyes lit up mark and for four minutes. He talked with me and then he said to me anytime you want to talk. Just let me. We know and every time I went to the stadium. He was very very kind to me but I found that fascinating about him. I found something that he had a passion for and we shared it in a conversation conversation. Yeah you know what I think about that Ted Williams being Ted Williams and whoever's in baseball for a long time and hall of Famer credentials like that. AH IT Kinda I don't WanNA say gets old. But you know people ask the same question all the time and You just get repetitive. And for somebody like Patterson even like for you rod for me you know if somebody came up to me and asked me a question other than baseball and they knew that was a a passion of mine because that would it sparked my interest and you get a different reaction but I think that's that's a great story about knowing and that's that's you doing your homework to That that to me is not just looking at a guy's career and look at it numbers talking about that. That's that's someone like yourself digging deep and finding the person and Ted Williams other than baseball. What makes him tick so I knew he was a sportsman Big Time fisherman and That's a great story. He was on the American experience experience. The one with Kurt Gowdy ABC. For a long time. And so I knew that about him. And the other thing is is that I've always found bounded interviewing athletes that the people out there listening they can't relate to hitting a ninety five mile. An hour fastball sinking. A three point shot but they relate to the human aspect back and I think that's always been important for me to show them that human side of the athlete so they get to know the total picture. Yeah that's the thing you know. I think it's human nature for you even as a kid growing up being a fan I would watch a game and and I just know these guys or ladies if they're playing Sports like tennis. I was the big fan growing up. I watched I watched women's tennis. I watched You know track and field women men. It didn't matter. I just sports but men and women like when we watch them on TV we just think you know as a youngster young. They're just athletes That's all they do but there is a human side and I think that's what's refreshing Coletta. Everybody know and Kinda dig deep down to find out what those people are like. You were traded to the padres on July fourth one thousand nine hundred eighty seven and being traded raided. When you're young can either be a godsend or shocking? How did you look upon it? I think it was a godsend round because with the giants Roger Craig was our manager Al Rosen was our general manager and I. It was a combination to where they liked veteran. Guys I was. I was on a veteran pitcher. I didn't have much success. Up to that point point. They wanted to have some Some veteran leadership in the rotation so they got Dave Vecchi they also got an MVP and Kevin Mitchell. So I went to the padres with Chris. Brown Teeth Comstock Mark Davis so the reason why it was good for me is that he got a chance to start in the rotation I got plenty of chances. Larry Bowa gave me the ball once every five days And then Jack Mckee and took over when he was fired and I then went to the bullpen. And it Kinda AH HA. NFC House bullpen. To answer your question. It was probably one of the best things that ever happened from my career. How did you get the nickname mud? tell you You know. Remember the late Danny. Ozark was on frank third base coach Nineteen eighty-four and my first big league spring training majorly camp at Scottsdale over Indian school and Hayden in Indian school. Is that where the park was right. There was yeah yeah where they had the four fields before we move over to Scottsdale Stadium. And we're doing. PFP pitched trilling practice. Danielle ARC was overseeing covered first base and I covered first base and he said way to go and I was like. Oh yeah I said I know exactly what you're talking about Jim. uh-huh tech rent and So he just always started calling me that in Being a veteran guys baseball like he is and You know being around for as long as I I I kind of took Took that to heart and Kinda you know was flattered that he would Start calling me that. And then he after calling me that other people would hear him. And then it just kind of snowballed. Aw That's how it all came about. You had it stops also in Seattle and also with the Atlanta Braves Houston in Colorado and I thought this comment from you is interesting thing I had to learn how to cope with the downfalls of being demoted while still trying to compete at a level to get back to the big time that cannot be an easy situation relation. How did you deal with the ups and downs? Yeah it's not easy at all because Alter my amateur career and even in the minor leagues I had tons of success and yeah then for the first time you know I had surgery for first of all. You don't think you're never GONNA get hurt. You think you're invincible. Especially if the young player young pitcher so you know now so you know I got hurt had surgery with the braves in ninety one That was the year they went to the world series. I didn't pitch so that was a bummer. So then the next year you know had to start out in the minor leagues and I'm like wow you know it's got its gut check time right now. What am I gonNA do? I'm GonNa just sit back and so am I gonNA try to battle back and got the best shape of my career. Got My back in shape and eventually made my way back up to Seattle in nineteen eighty two and Pitch decently and then you know went out because because Houston in Colorado where kind of went downhill in Colorado and But you know I was it was it was a good experience and Kinda made me stronger being able to experience that make it back to the big leagues. Eight Major League Big League seasons with six teams and when you were asked asked about the highlight of your career. I still laugh when I read this. I had a one two three inning back in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine that I recall. I can't remember it was July or August. Yeah I think it was a weekend series. It was a Friday night and it was like the bottom of the order. It was like seven eight nine hitters. 'cause pitcher was definitely the ninth theater. So but no you know what I have found something out longtime ago. I it's just my personality. You know you gotTa have a personality in life you gotTa. They're things that takes Thursday. Don't get me wrong. I mean I I had a passion when I pitched I. I was a competitor. I you know when I got mad I wanted to fight and I think maybe that was my downfall. I was my own worst standings trying too hard and But I think I know when to have a good time as well Because you know after all it is baseball it was my living living. I made the most of it. I worked my tail off to try to stay healthy and safe the big league level. But you don't want it was time to have fun. You know you have fun and That's that's assist have always been. Well you summed it up correctly by saying I learned to take my job seriously but not take myself too seriously here. The has fun. I mean. That's you know all when I was growing up in coming up in the minor. Lays you meet the big league guys and you find out that you know they're just like you They have to work just as hard. Maybe some guys are more talented than you. But the guys that I gravitated to and loved what are the guys that had the great sets of Uber And two of my dearest friends in the game are Mike. Rubio dwayne hyper and I think the world of those guys. Those guys are like big brothers to me When I got called up to the giants in eighty four as you mentioned before I was twenty years old? They were thirty two and thirty four and Dan. You know these veteran guys were taking care of me and showed me the ropes and telling me what to do and what not to do and how to be a bigger so but they had a great sense of humor. They were serious when it came to baseball. Tell you what when when it was time to have fun they were the best. I WanNa touch your broadcasting career. It seemed like to to me is I thought about it and read all the things and how you approached it when you were injured you did a season of color analyst play by play I think it was with the cubs organization nation in Iowa. And when I think about that you must have thought at some point I need to make a transition after I stopped playing baseball so you started preparing. I'm for that transition. Am I correct in that observation. Absolutely you just out the head Rod. I pretty much knew that I was towards the end of my career. I had had a couple of injuries. I got hurt in Des Moines in Nineteen ninety-five House with the Iowa cubs. My dream was to be a Chicago Cub. I grew up Joliet. I grew up big time cubs fan so I thought my last goal round. Hey sign with the cubs in a chance to pitch as a cub at Wrigley. That never happened. But when I was in Iowa I got hurt again. My shoulder and Dean Ellis was the radio play by play guy. I just sweetheart of a Guy Gentlemen are pro and he became a friend because he traveled with us and did the Games on radio so I was hurt and he said he might once you know you know you get your workout. That'd before the game and Come on up to the booth and sit with me. We'll talk the ball. I serious he goes. Yeah come on up because he worked by himself. I said I'd be more than happy. The two thank you so I went up there and you know doing a little color and stuff like that so I forgot what game it was who come back from a break and You know he says Dean L. Here Nashville Tennessee Iowa cubs game of a three-game series. And we go to the third inning and here to bring you the play by I play it would but it was a great experience and it was something that I always wanted to try and know that my career when I should say when my career comes to an end You know this would be a great gig. This would be something that would be really really really cool to do and That was pretty much the start of it you want said I think part of being a color analyst bringing a little color to the broadcast. Or we're telecast how would you describe that style of yours. I kinda pushed the envelope. I'll admit that I've not your cookie cutter. I'm I'm not your cookie cutter color analyst. It's just what it is. You add some color to the broadcast or telecast I think that's the job you know when when I do a game aim Ron. I tried to teach I try to Tell what's happening and then I wanNA have the You're maybe chuckle a little bit or have a little fun and I think if you do those three things. I think you're doing a pretty good job so my style is kind and like yeah. I'm serious about my job and I'm prepared the best I can but you know you know if you're going to be meat and potatoes baseball. One hundred percent of the time and the game has tended to. It's in the third inning. I mean I think you're gonNA drive yourself nuts and I. I think of like a player on the bench you know players on the bench. They're locked into the game. They're talking about the game but they talk about other things as well. They talk about what they had lunch that day. They talk about when they went to the mall. They talked about their off-season. They talk about their cruel for their wives. They talk about both. I mean you know it's like you know they That's what happens during a baseball game. And I think that kind of the way I go about my business. That's what I carry over into the broadcast cast booth and I think that's the best way to describe how I go about my business. We've got about ninety seconds left and I'd BE AMISS IF I didn't ask you about one of your broadcasting partners the man that I got to know respected immensely. Oh my Dick Enberg. Yeah yeah he is greatly missed the professor as I call them. I tell you what I never worked with a guy who was more prepared and wanted to put up the perfect telecast the perfect broadcast. He knew that it wouldn't happen but he was prepared repaired and he was the best craft and he was the voice of my childhood sports and I was very very lucky and very very to work with the man the hall of fame for many years when you look back on your life and your career to this particular point. Is there anything one thing. That's ingrained in Mark Grants. Mind that I'll never forget..