Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Baseball discussed on Pat Thurston
You know, for the most part in large part, I mean, they said we had a good relationship, and Dusty Baker told me was like Ali Frazier because they They fed off each other. They woke up in the morning and check the other guy's box score. You hit a home run. I gotta head home run. Um, and that parallel, I mean, they were three years apart, but Most played 22 years in the big leagues. Both appeared in 24 All Star games, both played and Negro leagues, both from Alabama. Um uh and And that mutual respect from afar, I guess was epitomized in these conversations I had with them. Erin telling me that The time at all Star games was Some of the best times Hank ever spent because he hung out with Willie and these other guys and Willie would tell stories. Well, he was the older guy three years older, but you know, in baseball that zbig difference On days would would talk about stuff that Hank appreciated and live by and hey told me, he said, I couldn't be willing. I mean, my captain by all I could make a basket catch. I couldn't run around and dance and and do those things will he did. I had to put my head down, run around the bases and be business like and that's exactly who he was. And fans love Maze because amaze fans loved Erin because of Aaron. Why was he called the hammer? Does he hit the ball, man? His risk? His wrists were four. Yeah, I mean, nobody had Hank Aaron rests every every kid who ever grew up watching that guy. Said, Man I want wrist like Hank Aaron and neither of these guys with 6 ft. You know, Willie and egg face, either of them look like some of today's players, these body building gods. But but they just used their body to the best that you could get them. So, um, you know, you don't work out with weights and work out in the off season. They were just I asked, will answer. Do you keep in shape? And you said I never got out of shape, and I'm sure that was a true with Hank. Um they were. They were gifted, but they worked hard and They thought, you know, they have that six tools out. Think the opponent outsmart the opponent? Think ahead. Anticipate? Envision. And that's what got him ahead. It wasn't just skills and talent and and and all that stuff. I mean, they mindset was just so far above. Competition and take who never hit more than 44 home runs ended up with the all time home run record. Never had 1545. But consistency year after year, which you don't see in today's play you that might have one good year, But these guys had 789 years in a row and then Maybe hit 2 82 nights and then seven or eight good years in a row after that, so they never took a break. A Reggie Jackson takes credit for Nick giving M C. Hammer his nickname his stage name, and, and The reason, he said, was because he looked like Hank Aaron. Did you hear that story, too? Yeah. Stanley Burrell was his name and he was a kid growing up up in Oakland, and he always showed up to the player parking lot and hung out with these guys, Uh, befriended Charlie Finley, who Named him the honorary general manager of the team, candle spy or whatever you want to call it, but But you went to work for the A's, and then you know, he danced in the parking lot with these guys because he grew up dancing. That's what he was even as a kid and And Stanley Burrell. Um, you know, got to be close. He's got it. He's got this cool picture of him as a kid with Hank and yeah, they had that resemblance. But that's how we got his name Hammer after Hamburg make Well, you know, M C Hammer is still with us. The other hammer the real hammer. Hank Aaron has now died and you know, he's just one of the greats. One of the absolute great I've said it before, John. I'll say it again. I have been fascinated by the old Negro leagues, and I wish it some point. They were really done. Justice. I want to see some kind of a massive blockbuster movie because it seems like that's the only way that we can really have a glimpse. That history and how great these players were, because it's true. You know, in the earlier ages in the time of Babe Ruth, he never had to take any of these guys on he never had to play against black players. And that's not to say he would have still been a great ball player. Of course he would have been, But oh, my God, how different baseball would have been in that era? Had it been integrated? I thank you. Yeah, Yeah, I scored Charleston played in Pedro's done, but he was black. So Who is Oscar Charleston? Well, maybe not, as many people know him, but they say he was Willie Mays before Willie Mays. That's how good he was with the five tools, but he played in Babe's era was about the same age. Nobody knew about him outside. You know, white media, um And you know that you know that. That's unfortunate, but but you're right. That would be a wonderful movie, and we saw 42 the Jackie Robinson movie, but that was really over. You know, one or two years of his life. Going back from 19 twenties 1948. The history of the Negro leagues, which now by the way, are being counted among major league statistics. According to this announcement last month by Major league baseball, and that's wonderful that you know. Hank doesn't follow into those years because it goes through 1948. And he didn't play with the Indianapolis clowns and until a couple of years later, But Willie as a 17 year old play with the Birmingham Black Bear, and so he had a home run that year, So instead of 6 60 we might see is Home run total soon as 6 61 0 That will be good to see John Shea is always good to talk with you. Thank you so much for joining us today. My pleasure, Pat. Thanks. Thanks for talking that sun Shade. John. She writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. He's their national baseball writer and his book 24 Life stories and lessons from the Say. Hey, kid. It's a fantastic book about Willie Mays..