Bill Beck, Doby, Beck discussed on Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney


Tell you where they played in the field. He recognized the talent and the skill of these players in the negro leagues and he also recognize a negro lead owners needed to be compensated for finding scouting developing these players. Unlike ricky who kind of thought that the negro leagues was more along the lines of the racket and did not compensate owners at first for the players he signed for them and so he really sort of had a more allusive nature in terms of that. And i mean the the relationship that bill beck form with larry. Doby was extremely tight. If dobie was was at a bad spot beck would take him out to dinner. That go see they jazz bar. They listened to jazz just a show of expression of his support for jobe To know that we can get through this time and it was a bond that lasted throughout their entire life. Tell me what you learned about satchel page. We'll central page for me was kind of along the lines of beck. I knew the the sort of tall tales about him him. Sort of calling the fielders off the field so he could get batters out on his own. The sort of nicknames they had for pitches his His distinctive style. But what. I really learned about central pages. I think he is the greatest entrepreneurial athletes that this country has ever known. He came from the depths of the deep south. During a time of extreme. Jim crow and segregation laws and with insert of a decade of professional baseball. He builds himself up into basically a one man franchise he is belonging to teams like the pitch crawford's and whatnot but he's also leasing out his services to semi pro teams or other teams that that that could use a boost for their bottom line and he's pocketing gate receipts during a time. Whenever you know the new releases were in pretty dire. Financial straits satchel pages making about as much money as a superstar in the major leagues. Back he says at oftentimes when people ask him why he's not in the majors says it's because the major leagues can't pay him enough to be there. I'm on the idea of him. Building himself up into this sort of extremely forward thinking entrepreneurial businessman during that time i think is an incredible feat and one that that athletes from ranging from michael jordan. Lebron james really follow in that. That line so i always have felt like Look when we had the conversation about the greatest pitcher ever You know now would include a clayton kershaw pedro martinez roger. Clemens is sandy. Colfax walter johnson. I always thought satchel patriot being that conversation. Tell me about what you learned about him as a pitcher in doing this. Well there's no doubt about it He had a sort of the he. He had a sort of swiftness to his pitches. That that that was evident from a very early age very similar to to bob sellers swiftness which was also evident from an early age. But what people really sort of ingrained in him during his apprenticeship was command. He could put the ball wherever he wanted to over the plate and so he's not only sort of throwing fast in and hard but he was sort of a a master painting the corners and he always i mean he was very cerebral pitcher as well he would say that he could sort of look at your stance or he could look at the way that you're swinging in the batter's box inserted immediately began to identify where your weaknesses were and throw the ball. Exactly they're One of the things that he used to do while warming up was taking like chewing gum wrapper or a dime and having the catcher. Put it on various parts of the plate and then he just throw pitch overpitched after the over the chewing gum wrapper And so really. It's that sort of control that allows him not only to excel but the longevity that then defines his career yet which is why. Have you know among modern pitchers. I think of Him the closest cop might actually be jacob degrom. Who is you know you watch him pitch and he just owns this three and slid sliver right off the plate and he sort of had that same angle area that That satchel page. Did i learned more than any of the people that you wrote about in your book. Learn more about bob feller Who's you know. He was be around the indians for the rest of his life. After his career ended he would go down and do fantasy camps. But i didn't realize sort of the way that he was regarded within that You know within that organization in the way that he was. Can you just describe. That was fascinating to me. We'll bump filler. Was a sensation from the time that he comes into major league baseball he his is origin story. I think is is unlike any other that that you can imagine in baseball. He comes from a small town in rural iowa. His father senses an extraordinary ability and him from a young age so he clears off a patch of their farmland builds. In what is basically to build a dreams. Feller makes the news at age seventeen in his very first major league start ever. He ties the american league Record for strikeouts four-star slater. He ties the major league record. He is so famous that his high school graduation is broadcast live from coast to coast on radio And fellow really knows how to sort of leverage that story like page he has a very entrepreneurial bent to him He spends sort of a lot of his career. Just kind of leg self mythology In really looking for ways to sort of capitalize on his his spain his fortune through barnstorming tours through radio programs. Through everything like that. What kind of happens in nineteen forty seven and nineteen forty eight is that he stumbles a little bit as a pitcher He gets a little bit injured. His fastball of loses some speed and then once that happens spans kinda start to turn on him. A little bit They they think that he is devoting too much time to his outside interests and not enough time to pitching in so he becomes kind of almost like a villain to a lot of major league baseball at that time. And i think it's something you could see. Nowadays anytime in. Athletes seems to not be playing as well. People say oh he's he's too distracted by endorsements or relationships or whatever It's it's a manifestation of that so earlier this year we were talking with the director of forty two. And i asked him about the the coolest response that he got to that movie and he told us great story about rachel robinson in a sitting in screening for the first time. I'm curious about you as you finish his book and you unveil it. What was a cool response that you got to it. That really stuck with you. I mean i. I've been i've been very heartened by many people seem to have enjoyed it. I was most worried about the response. By bob feller's family. I go into a little bit of depth. About how feller was perhaps a little bit more along the traditionalist side when it came to integration. he Sometimes would say to the press that he didn't believe that there were any black players that were ready to be in the major leagues and his family reached out to be instead of that. They thought that it was one of the better one of the better portraits of their father that they'd seen in that they thought that you had to show all sides of for that So yeah it's it's been really heartening. Tell me about what you've heard from. Cleveland fans especially older fans. I'm sure you've got a lot of response. Oh yeah i mean. I'm i'm really. I'm really excited. Whenever anybody rights to be in says they were at a certain game of the nineteen forty eight world series of their father was up against. I've had so many people send me pictures of the ticket stubs that they've from the nineteen forty eight world series And it seems like a a lot of clevelanders that were alive during nineteen forty eight had some sort of interaction with bill that he was out and about on the town always. He loves her roam through the stadium and chat people up. It seemed that if you were in cleveland during that time you would just run into. It was almost like he was the mayor of that town. I got to tell you when you look at pictures of the nineteen forty.

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