Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, John Shea discussed on Pat Thurston
Hi. Welcome to KGO. You're on with John Shea. Go ahead. Mhm. John so real quick. There was a great book called Whitey about Whitey Ford isn't there, So when you first brought him up? I remember that it's difficult. You can't say that word anymore because it's you know, like people in Colorado with KKK mask on, but so what? We used to go to Candlestick. I was four or 56 years old or something. It was 50 cents to sit in the outfield and they had a lot of doubleheaders back then there's no such thing as double hitters back now and so, but we will walk around and they let us leave the outfield. Bleachers and go to the front and he would come out and sign. I have signed baseball card from him and all his teammates. He was the nicest guy. This was before they started making a stand in line in paying $50 for an autograph. I imagine exactly, And I couldn't imagine Willie would ever do that. No, I can't. I couldn't imagine either, John. You know him? What do you think? Would he charged for an autograph? Oh, yeah. Who wouldn't? I mean, that's what the thing is with. Really amazing. Top salary was $165,000 right? He missed out. He didn't have an agent. There is no free agency. There is no union. And after retirement, the eighties blew up and all of a sudden their autographs were worth something he wished he would have kept his cap in his uniform and his glove. Uh, because he didn't know they were going to be worth anything. And so that's when in the eighties, all these players who some of them didn't have much money Suddenly they became popular on the autograph circuit and the card shows and which was great for them to the pensions weren't what they are now. So that was their way to make a buck and profit off their baseball career because they certainly didn't do it as players. Let's go to Damon. Damon is calling from San Leandro Damon. Hi. Welcome to kgo your I'm with John Shea. The book is 24 life stories and lessons from the say Hey, kid, go ahead. Oh, hi, Pat. Uh, I just want to say about Willie Mays. He's about all time Favorite ballplayer and, um He was actually almost signed by the Boston Red Sox. Also Hank Aaron, imagine if those two guys have been batting back to back, it probably would have had 1000 home runs in that ballpark. Well, what happened? Why didn't the Red Sox pick them up? Well, they they had raced at that particular pass at that particular time. They didn't want no black ballplayers. They would've blast They were the last team to integrate. They were the last team to integrate fund. Black ballplayers are concerned, that's all I want to say. I love Willie Mays. Yeah, well, they shot themselves in the foot, didn't they, John? Damon is absolutely right. The Red Sox were the last team to integrate with the Bay Area zone pump See Green in 1959 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Ownership with the Red Sox, Uh, scouted Willie Mays. And guess what. The Red Sox is double a team played at Rick Woodfield in Birmingham. And shared the facility with Willie's Birmingham Black barons So no major league team knew Willie Mays like the Boston Red Sox. I was talking to Willie the other day about this And he said the Red Sox could've had be easy and Imagine that the Red Sox were awful for a long time because they refused to have any minorities on their team. And every you know the American League was slow. The Yankees were slow. The Dodgers were first. The Giants had the most diverse clubhouse in baseball in the early by the early sixties. But even in those early years, it was quoted as the Giants didn't have one or three or five. They had two or four So the black players could room together because even then they couldn't go to the restaurants with the white players that can go the hotels with the white player. This is Willie Mays being denied, and he's absolutely right that the Yankees scouted them out of Birmingham, the Dodgers, the White Sox, the Red Sox, the Boston Braves. Who blew it. All these teams blew it. The Giants won the lottery. They gave him the money and Think of, if not just Boston, Damon. But what if Hank and Willie were on the same team with the Braves and the Yankees were in on him as well. What if Mantle and Mays We're on the same team who play center field, But all these teams had reason stupid reason he couldn't hit the curb. He's not our kind of guy, and obviously a lot of racist owners just didn't want a black man at that time. And it just they all look silly it all you know they You know, they spent the rest of their time regretting it, obviously because the great maze could have turned any of these teams in the dynamic wall clubs. So, um, is there any footage that you know of where people actually recorded the games that were played in the Negro leagues? It seems like there were so many fabulous players that those would have been some amazing games to watch. Yeah, You're right. And I mean, there is actually I've been in the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and I recommend everybody go there. It's just a fabulous place and Bob Kendrick, the president is remarkable. And he has quoted in this book speaking about how Willie Mays validated so many Negro League players who didn't get the chance. Right? Uh and and Willie, the teenager on the Birmingham black barons is the soup. Or starve yet his teammates Who were all very good, some of whom should have been in the majors. Um one or two were but only for a short spell. Already Wilson, the shortstop, Bill Greece and the picture they had just cups of coffee in the major's wife because of the color of their skin. The white team's wanted the superstars. If we're going to get average players to sit on the bench or You know, be a platoon player or be a relief pitcher. We'll just stick with the white guys. And that was a shame for all those teammates of Willie and all the people who came before Willie. But Willie in Hank, and all these wonderful ballplayers validated the careers of all those Negro leaks. Some you know, some people might have said Well, were they good enough? Of course they were good enough. Major league Baseball wasn't good enough. Uh, you know, as it turned out, um and Babe Ruth faced inferior competition because Babe Ruth never faced minority pitching, or, um, yeah. You know, there was never just Gibson, you know? Cool. Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige. None of these guys were able to play in white baseball so How good were those players? Really? I mean, they were fast. They were wonderful. All these white players, superstars. They were great, but maybe they wouldn't been as great if they say if everybody was allowed to play in those leaks and compete. Yeah, Exactly. John Shea is my guest. The book is 24 life stories and lessons from the say, Hey, Katie wrote the book with Willie Mays and we'll be right back with John on K G. Okay, we get it. You don't want to be hearing a progressive commercial right now. So let us tell you something You do want to hear. You.