Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck O'neil discussed on Dave Sinclair Lincoln and Ford Sports Open Line
Is inside cardinals nation on camera wax. My guest is Bob Kendrick who runs the negro leagues. Baseball museum NTN to city. Hey, Kramer nation. Meet cardinals nation at your nearest white castle. We continue my conversation with Bob Kendrick. Can I put you on the spot? Okay. So you're you got buck O'Neil. You got satchel. You've got Josh Gibson. You got all these great names. Cool Papa bell. When you hear all these stories. Let's talk best hitter. People say, Josh Gibson. I I'd have to go. Okay. I have to go Josh. Because when you look at what Josh did. And he was doing it as a catcher this incredible combination of power and average see sometimes you get lost in the power. Right. We forget that Gibson was a great hitter. Lifetime. Batting average of three fifty four Seattle to mess that up. I always think the power and in head to head competition against major leaguers and countless exhibition games. Over four twenty while to go with that big bat. So he wasn't just a big bet and he didn't strike out a lot. No Josh was that kind of hit who might strike out twenty twenty five times in a season. Buck O'Neil would describe him in this way. And if you can envision this. Josh Gibson had the eyes of Ted Williams and the power of Babe Ruth road into one dynamic packet his house where loud loud out. Yeah. As buck would say to third baseman and shortstop were damn near left. You could get killed. It basically said if you wanna to go round. The best pitcher satchel. There were a lot of great pitchers in the negro leagues. There's only one satchel Paige, right? And for me. Yeah. They're guys who stuff may have been just as good. Nobody was better though. But when you talk about the complete package when you talk about longevity, great, stuff charisma as only one satchel pay. Absolutely our just sharing here recently this week marks the anniversary of him playing in Saint Louis for the St Louis Browns, and he pitches a twelve inning one to nothing shutout over the Detroit. Tigers Dan, he was supposed to be forty six years old at that. Right. If you believe that he was born in nineteen zero six, which I absolutely do not believe, right? He was more closer to fifty to fifty six. He was forty six at that time twelve any one to nothing shutout. He struck out nine gave up seven hits. And the most remarkable surprising on this that like he walked to people sat rarely ever walked his likely were intentional walk right in that game at eight. Forty six. Just incredible. Well, he makes it to Austar games as a member of Saint Louis Brown. Right. Yeah. He he's named the two all star teams well into his forties with Saint Louis Browns. How old do you think he really was modest believe he was at least ten years old any claim? Yeah. At least here, and you can rest assured they released no less than five years older than what he claimed. But most believe us at least ten and of course, being the savvy businessman that he was he played that a up to the hill. He milked it for everything he could get out of it. And and it it added to the lore and legend of this great ball player, but I can tell you now. Nobody pissed that baseball any better than Saturn. That may have been some that. Whereas good nobody was better than south paid cool Papa bell. We, you know, so many of our fans and Saint Louis can be listening. So give me an idea of what this guy was like how good he was never wanted to tell me. They gotta street there in Saint Louis as name for him. And I believe the speed limit on that street. Probably thirty to thirty five miles per hour. That's too slow. Slow basically had a section of the freeway name. Beyond having the greatest nickname. I believe. Yeah. In baseball history coup Papa was outstanding. He's one of the stars of the negro leagues. And he's also one of those transcending stars that name went mainstream. You know, you knew that name cool and subtle and Josh. He was everything that they said he was and then some he came to Saint Louis as a pitcher. And as fate would have it. He hurt his off. And when he hurt his arm. They moved them to the outfield and the rest is history. He used that blazing speed to run down everything in the outfield. Didn't have a great throwing on because he had hurt his arm, but he had a very quick release. And because of the great speed he could play so shallow that you couldn't bloop it in front of him. And unless you hit it over on a rope. You couldn't get it over his head. Switch primarily about it off the left side. So he's running out of the box. Yeah. And so this the stories of his speed are just leading dairy. And this is the honest to God truth. Cool Papa bell twice scored from first base on a bunt in exhibition games against major league Allstars. Yeah. And one time it was satchel page who dropped the. But is that right? Well, cool just never stopped running. Yeah. So the major leaguers really hadn't seen this before. And so the pitcher didn't back up home plate intact could get there before before who got it by the time the catching the third baseman fit field converse to feel a ball third baseman. Guided threw the ball to first base cool was rounding third. He's incredible easily. It's incredible. And they're always been a lot of fast guys. Matter of fact, we have fast guys here. The other day from your ballclub Willie McGee. Yeah. Yeah. So at Vince Coleman, so the cardinals no speed absolutely history of guys who could run but buckle meals said the difference between cool Papa bell and the other fast guys was his uncanny and amazing ability to cut that bag on the inside. Where most guys gotta take that big round here. He says cool is only inside of the bag, and Dan buck said that cool would be so low to the ground that he could literally smack the bag with his hand and not fall. Incredible. It isn't it? Is physics define is what it is. Yes. But again, I think every now and then somebody comes along they born to do what they do Saturday was born to piss dot ball. Cool was given a little something that the rest of us. Just didn't have you know, what I mean? And so he was he was special. Yeah. All those guys that you just name were special. How many of the current major leaguers come by? We're getting more and more. We're giving. Delight to my absolute delight because it used to be that I would have to try to call two teams. Yes. And say God we in town. Why don't you come on? By one extent has invitation for you come back. But now more and more guys are calling me saying, hey, I got guys who wanna come by the museum. Can you be there to meet him? And the answer is. Yes, I will be there to me Mike Claiborne from your team. Of course, brought down some guys this week. And we had just a wonderful time. I don't know how much they knew about the negro leagues prior to the visit. They had heard about the negro leagues is hard to play ball there and Saint Louis and walk past that statue of cool Papa bell at least not have some recognition of the negro leagues. But I think yesterday when they delved and I said yesterday on Thursday of this week when they delve into this story at a much deeper meaningful fashion, they were blown away. Yeah. Yeah. They were blown away. They were blown away by the circumstances in which these men had to play this game young kids. Don't even know they can't fathom an America that was divided by color. Right. Yeah. They may. Racism in their life, but they won't experience. Segregation. And so yes, segregation through the eyes of young people are summarized quite simply that was dumb. And they're right. It was dumb. But that was the way that our country was and we've continuously and perpetually evolved from that. Even though we still got work to do. We still have a lot of work to do in this country as it relates to race relations. And if they're going to be asked to kind of carry that mantle than they have on at least have some understanding that life had always been as good as it is today for some of the citizens. So you can imagine a look on their faces when they come in and see segregate sections at ballpark, and you could go to jail for sitting in a row section of a ballpark or drinking from the wrong water fountain or using the wrong restroom, and as we both know going to jail with some of the good things that happen. A lot of people lost their lives for breaking those simple societal standards. And so what we attempt to do here to negro leagues. Baseball museum is take segregation complex subject matter. Difficult for us as an adult to understand no less our children and try to simplify it by telling it through the eyes of these enormously talented black baseball players who just wanted to play ball. And so we had a great time on Thursday just walking around telling lies. But they were fascinated by it, and and really intelligent young people. And so they were no really delving into this in a much deeper capacity. Then sometimes some of the athletes do when they come there. So amazed by some of the artifacts, and those kinds of things particularly old equipment. Yeah. There you see the evolution. Yeah. You know, you see these old wooden shin guys and they took him aback Woodson. Yeah. They were wooden bagging right back in the day. And then you see there's oh chest protected. I really wasn't much of it and protect a whole lot. No. It was there. But and so always fascinated by that. But I think they to enjoy the stories that we share and many of these stories there's stories that the lake right buck O'Neil shared with me first hand, and I get to share them with a new generation of baseball players, and it never gets old about. No, it doesn't..