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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2024 6:06 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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June 19, 2024 6:06 am

Remembering legendary Hall of Famer Willie Mays | NFL insider & historian Russell Baxter joins the show | Aaron Judge HBP, exits game with injury scare.


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For trusted protection, trust Pampers, the number one pediatrician recommended brand. Good morning to you. It is Wednesday, June 19th, also Juneteenth, which more and more has become a holiday recognized by businesses and corporations and individuals all across the country. And I know there are many people who are out of their regular routines today because it is a federal holiday. But it's important because it was on this date in 1865 that finally for the people of Texas who were living as slaves, they were set free.

The army arrived on scene. It had been a law in the United States for a couple of years at that point, the Emancipation Proclamation. But Texas needed some extra help, if you will. And so this date is not only one that represents so much to our history and for our history, but also was the start of something so much bigger. I think, too, in light of all the tributes for Willie Mays as he passes away and baseball honors him, remembers him and gets ready to play a game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, which was Willie's first home as a baseball player, 17 years old. He played in the Negro Leads for the Birmingham Black Barons. And because he was still in high school, he played on weekends and he traveled with the team during the summer. And coming up in, actually it's tomorrow, so I was thinking about it Tuesday night when we started talking about it, but coming up on Thursday at Rickwood Field, which is the nation's oldest professional ballpark.

I still do minor league games and other events there. The Negro Leagues will be in the spotlight, and the stars who came from those leagues, including Willie Mays, will be honored. Willie and his family, they'd already indicated he couldn't be there even before he passed away. But his son released a statement through the Giants, San Francisco Giants, indicating that his dad had passed away peacefully among loved ones. He was the 10th black player to reach the major leagues, and they'll honor him at a legendary ballpark that is known for not just his history, but its traditions and that era when the two leagues, the two colors were separated. So I think even more powerful on this Juneteenth, the different tributes that will pour in for Willie, he transcended any limitations that were placed on him. He transcended the sport of baseball. An ambassador, still one of the faces of baseball, even in 2024. People loved him, not just for what he could do on the field, but for who he was off the field.

The smile, the charisma, the joy, the connection. We've had people share their stories about shaking his hand, which I've heard was quite the experience. People talk about seeing him when they were 10 years old. Still, today's generation of baseball players considers him one of the greatest ever.

And man, the footage, mostly in black and white, can't completely do it justice. But a Hall of Famer who, no doubt, even though he wasn't Jackie Robinson, still in the 1950s, would have been subjected to discrimination and prejudice. All manner of nasty vitriol from people who didn't want him there because of the color of his skin. Didn't matter who he was or how good he was at the game. Unfortunately, it was something that I would say most, if not all, players who made it to the majors from the Negro Leads had to deal with. So in addition to everything else, being a teenager, and then a teenager playing pro baseball, but a 20-year-old who was called up by the New York Giants. We've talked about his story a little bit.

Nervous, he said. And yet went out there and continued to blaze that trail. A pioneer in many respects, one of the best home run hitters of all time, had a.302 career average, well over 3,000 hits. Top 12 in RBI in Major League history.

He was a combination of speed and power, athleticism, and then the catch. That's what it's called now. It's become an element of pop culture. It's been featured in different movies. Over the shoulder grab deep in center field in the 1954 World Series.

If you didn't see it live, well, you've seen it on video. And if somehow, as a sports fan in the U.S., you never saw it, today's the day. And again, it seems appropriate on Juneteenth, everything that today, as well as this week, means to so many people in the United States. And the fact that it's now been recognized as a federal holiday, I think is significant as we tell the story of Willie Mays and his impact. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence coming up in our next segment.

So not even 15 minutes from now. And this was preplanned. We didn't realize that it would be happening on a day when history would be featured. But Russell Baxter, who is a noted historian for the NFL. One of my favorite things about Russ and he and I are colleagues going back to our previous network. One of the things I love about Russ is not only does he share history, but he does it in such a colorful way. And every single morning, as we get closer to the NFL season, he will release a series of posts on Twix in which he uses, so I'll just read you the ones from this morning. He uses the number of days until the NFL season opener or the number of days until the football, the Pro Football Hall of Fame game. And right now it happens to be 78 days until the 2024 season opener. And he'll go through and he will pick a player who wore that number and highlight it with photos and stats and cool nuggets and nerd alerts, as we like to call them, about that particular player. And he'll do a series of them because a bunch of different guys wore the number 78. Just the wealth of knowledge and information.

It's phenomenal. So, yes, 78 days till the 2024 season opener, only 43 days until the Hall of Fame game in Canton. Willie Mays is a Hall of Famer. He's a World Series champion. He's a two-time MVP, by the way, served his country in the early 50s when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and then came back after his time away and won an MVP. A dozen gold gloves, 24 All-Star nods, a couple of All-Star MVPs, if I'm not mistaken, a Rookie of the Year, and the catch.

But more than that, the impact that he had on the people who knew him or the people who played alongside him or encountered him. It's really neat to hear the stories. And as we started the show, I was thinking about how Willie is my standard answer. Willie and Ted Williams, the two athletes I never saw play that I wish I had.

People ask me that question a bunch. We're asking you on this edition of After Hours, so you can find us on our Facebook page, some great names there and also on our show, Twix at Amy After Hours. And again, Russ will join us coming up in just a few minutes. John Miller, who's the longtime play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants, made the announcement last night when the news broke. We are very sad now to relay this information that has just been released by the Giants that the great Willie Mays has passed away, passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 93.

The Giants come to bat here in the fifth inning with Jorge Soler and Nick Ahmed and Jastrzemski. The Giants release said it is with great sadness that we announced that Giants legend and Hall of Famer Willie Mays passed away peacefully this afternoon. Michael Mays, Willie's son, quoted as saying, My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart. I was really lucky fortunate.

I've said this before. You know, this game here allows you to meet some tremendous players and people. And I get to spend a lot of time with Willie and my tenure up there and sad day, sad day. But, you know, he he was a guy I talked to a lot. And we talked baseball.

He's a little off his right by mine up there. And so I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with that man. And of course, what a legend he is.

Could be one of could be the best, greatest player of all time. That's how good he was, you know, with some of those greats, the voice of Bruce Bochy. And the reason I asked Jay to find that audio is I knew he would be asked about Willie Mays. Now, of course, the manager of the World Series champion Rangers came out of retirement, but spent a good chunk of his career in the Bay Area with the Giants. And he was there as Barry Bonds was pursuing the all time home run record. And if you don't know, Willie Mays was the godfather of Barry Bonds and their family. Willie is well, I remember Willie always being around that whole summer and really a couple of summers there when Barry was pursuing the home run records and got toward the end of his career. And all these games, these moments, these at bats, they were on TV because of his pursuit of history, whether or not you believe it's tainted. But Willie Mays was always around. Not only is he beloved by the Giants, that was his organization for most of his career, but also because of his connection to Barry, he was there all the time.

It was really neat to see their relationship. So to have that memory from Bruce Boji I thought was significant because he saw Willie in a different way, right, than a lot of fans saw him, whether it be on TV or after the fact as an ambassador for baseball. They also made the announcement at Rickwood Field where they will hold that big, well, it's a big event now going to have a different tone, but still can be a memorial for Willie Mays. And I can imagine similar to a funeral where oftentimes there's support and encouragement from other people who loved the person that you lost.

I hope it's the same here. So many people who recognize not just the impact of Willie, but were friends with him and understood who he was away from the game. It'll be an opportunity for them to get together, not only to honor him, but just to share stories of him.

Can you imagine? Man, the type of memories and stories that will be shared there behind closed doors will be amazing, but I'm sure we'll get some of those publicly as well. After hours with Amy Lawrence, Pedro Martinez, he is now an analyst on TBS and this is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. And yet still starstruck when he knew he had the opportunity to meet Willie. The first time I met him, I couldn't wait to get there just to see him in person because I heard so much. I've read so much. I've seen the documentaries.

I've seen every video out there. And that name and just like Bob said, right along with Hank Kern and some of those big names are the essence of baseball. Terrible, terrible news. And I was a big Willie Mays fan. You know what he meant to the game, what he meant to, you know, California, all the Giants fans out there, especially me growing up.

You know, he wanted to play like Willie and make those catches that he did. The numbers he put out on the field and what he did are impressive. But, you know, him as a person, him as a human being was even was even bigger. He's a bigger he was bigger than baseball.

It was something special. And, you know, the baseball world is definitely going to be missing a great one. The voice of Aaron Judge and it's a loose comparison.

So no one at me. First of all, Aaron's charisma, his personality, his smile. All of those make him, if not the face of baseball, at least one of the most recognizable faces of the game today. He loves center field to see him roam center field is pretty incredible. He's a damn good defender. Despite his size, he can move and he tracks down fly balls. I enjoy watching him play defense as much as I do enjoy watching him smash a baseball. Has the power right now hitting for average. And I think has that larger than life. Shadow that he casts.

People show up at the ballpark to see Aaron play. And that's the case with Willie or was the case with Willie. So the combination again, I've only seen videos. I didn't have the chance to see him live, but the combination of speed and power and consistency and athleticism. But more than that, stats can tell part of the story. They can't tell the true impact.

That's what you're going to get over the course of this week, as well as the rest of this season. As more and more people want to talk about their interactions with him or their experience in meeting, knowing him, even playing with him, which is pretty incredible. Who are the athletes that you wish you'd seen live? Lots of great names on both our Facebook page as well as Twix.

So at Amy, after hours there and then also you can check out the thread on our page coming up. He's an NFL historian, but certainly understands the impact that the players have who've come before. Russell Baxter will join us next.

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This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. I couldn't imagine a more perfect morning to welcome our guest, our next guest, one of our favorite guests back to the show. I think that producer Jay had reached out to him earlier, but wow, we found out Russell Baxter actually takes vacation.

But he is a football historian that I've known for years. We were colleagues going back to a previous life and a previous network. And on this morning, as we're focusing on history, and as I'm lamenting the fact that I did not get to see Willie Mays play other than grainy black and white videos, Russell is the perfect guy to join us. Good morning, Russ. How are you meeting me? How you been?

I'm good. You know, got married. No, finally. Better late than never. Congratulations.

I had no idea. Thank you. Thank you. So I love your history and your perspective on history. And I was just describing to the listening audience this amazing service that you do on Twitter where you take the number of days until the NFL kicks off or the number of days into the Hall of Fame game.

And you highlight athletes who had incredible careers with what we call nerd alerts. You know, just nuggets of information that really they make me giddy because I'm a history buff. Willie Mays. He had such an impact on history that you could ask 100 people and they'd have 100 different perspectives or stories. So what about you? Well, I mean, for a long time, I mean, I caught him probably in the middle of his career.

Now, I was born in 1959. I know he ended with the Mets, but as I was just telling your producer, you know, he was in the topic. Always and and you'll hear it a lot today of the greatest overall baseball player in history. And obviously those discussions are subjective, but he could hit because it for power.

He could run. You know, how many of the over the shoulder catch and my favorite Willie Mays, which more strikes me toward my age and so on is. And I was just describing it to your producer, Candlestick Park, long fly ball to pretty much deep center. Bobby Bonds was the right fielder.

Barry's father. Both go up for the ball at the same time. Willie out leaps him. And if you go on my account, back football guru, shameless plug, I put the video up there.

NBC Game of the Week with Kirk Gowdy and Tony Kubek, I believe, maybe even Joe Garagiola. Just an amazing catch and in some ways routine for him. And, you know, when you hear when you hear the words Willie Mays, you just think baseball and you think greatness. And, you know, 93 years old.

God bless him and so on. And I would say between him and Roberto Clemente. That was really my baseball of my youth. I love that we actually had a call from a gentleman earlier who said that when he was 10 years old, his dad took him to Wrigley Field because he was a Chicago kid and he couldn't understand.

He had to ask his dad. They were playing the Giants. Why is everyone standing up and clapping for a guy from the other team? And I mean, that's that was really the impact is people showed up at a stadium to see him play. And I know even as we transition to football, that's generally reserved for quarterbacks or some of the great wide receivers, maybe a defender.

There are very few guys that you could say, hey, that's the reason why people show up. And we see it now with Aaron Judge. We see it with Shohei Ohtani. But that was Willie Mays.

Oh, yeah, the reverence toward him was amazing because he was he had such a joy watching him play. I mean, you always seem to be smiling. And I think people just gravitate toward that.

Somebody who I'm a person who roots for people for I want everybody in life to do what they want for a living and don't consider it work. And that's how I feel about myself. I you know, you talked about the nerd alert and the countdowns and stuff like that.

Is that really work? I mean, let's let's be honest here. OK, we're fun to do, but it's you know, I'm talking about a kid's game. That's all. And Willie Mays just always seemed like he enjoyed what he was doing and he was so damn good at it.

Made it look easy. That's a great compliment that people give him. Russell Baxter is with us and he's got a ton of affiliations. He and I go way back to our previous network, but always writing about the NFL, promoting the NFL through its history for fan side, an NFL spin zone.

And as he says, you can find him on Twix at Backs Football. Yeah, well, I refuse to just be the shill who starts calling it something else after all these years. So I guess I'm just being a contrarian.

But thank you. So we're asking our listeners this morning, who is an athlete? Doesn't matter which sport that you wish you'd seen play live. And honestly, Willie Mays, Ted Williams are my two answers to this question whenever I'm asked. So what about you, whether it's football or another sport, who's an athlete you wish you had seen play when he or she was actually dominating? Oh, that's that's that's a really well, I think it would have to be Jim Brown. OK, I mean, Jim Brown played for nine years, ran for twelve thousand yards in nine years.

Wow. You know, I really was much too young to appreciate anything. My first I tell people, my first football game that I remember watching on television was Super Bowl four, which was, you know, two years ago.

No, not really. But, you know, the Vikings and the Chiefs and when New Orleans had Tulane Stadium and it was full of grass and the Chiefs beat up Joe Cap. And the people more know Joe Cap now from the longest yard than they do as a Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

But Jim Brown was a little a little before that. But the video is just mesmerizing to watch him power speed. We all know about his prowess as a lacrosse player as well.

But I mean, to do what he did and basically, you know, basically just one a muck through anybody and did it so effortlessly and so on. I wish I'd been able to the closest I got to somebody like that. And trust me, I got to see this guy's whole career. I actually when I was freelancing for ESPN at the very beginning of my career there, I got a chance to meet Earl Campbell and Bum Phillips. Actually, was the day they got that Earl went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame because one of our producers had done a piece on him and so on. Earl Campbell was I loved watching him play. That's my big guy who just ran over people and eventually it cost because they just ran him into the ground and so on. But to answer your question, I would say Jim Brown, who I know, of course, because of my affiliation with Syracuse. He's a legend at Syracuse and also with the Cleveland Browns when he was drafted back in 1957. So that's another great answer.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence and Russell Baxter. I know that you have well, I don't know how many times you've been for the Hall of Fame game, but I know that you make this an annual thing. And it's something that I love hearing your stories about it. Why are visits to the Hall of Fame so important, even as we're talking about history? Well, the first insight is the very first year I went and it was funny you said that, too, because I was telling somebody the other day I said I've been going so often that I usually get my credentials done within 24 hours. Because they know I'm going to the game. They know I'm going to the jacket ceremony, which is stirring. And obviously the enshrinement ceremonies, which is now on it's like Saturday afternoon. The Hall of Fame has evolved over the years in the way they do things and so on. Amy, my very first year was 1989.

Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount really would. At that time the ceremony was held on the steps at the hall in the late morning. You maybe get a bunch of wooden chairs. People sat up on the wall, maybe 400 people.

Hall of Fame game was two thirty in the afternoon. First one I went to was Bill's Redskins. And then I've been pretty much going every year since then.

This is like my 34th or 35th ceremony that I will be attending. And I've gotten to know a number of voters over the years. It is important because as the game evolves and the game changes and, you know, you have these discussions, slash arguments, slash debates with people and so on who talk about, well, the league only had this many teams and the league only had that many teams. I don't know about you.

Do you know any startup businesses that just hit the ground running with everything? Understanding how the game used to be played and understanding what the men who played in the early years sacrificed to a degree. It to me is very, very important. And I love one of my favorite things and maybe it's selfishly is when I do these countdowns and there are players who respond. Oh, my gosh. That's awesome. So I did. And I've also been around enough that I like today we did 43 days until the Hall of Fame game, which you have a 40 favorite 43.

Huh? I would I'd have to think about that, actually. I'm not sure that I do that.

I didn't do that to put you on the spot. No, it's OK. I have a favorite 33.

Can you go back to me in 10 days? In 78 days until the season opener. Now, I was fortunate enough at the network to work with both Jackie Slater and Anthony Munoz. And years ago, when I was back at the hall for the photo ceremony in the morning, I ran into Jackie. I've also run into players who I tweeted out their number and I've met them for the first time. James Lofton last year, I got a chance to meet for number 80. And a lot of these guys follow me on Twitter.

That's awesome. But enough that they appreciate it and so on. And I've got guys who are the modern era and I'll shout them out right now.

Randy Cross and Blaine Bishop, who almost retweet what I do every day. And it's so appreciated because the reason I do it is to show my appreciation for what they've done. Russell, I just saw this and I'm really excited about it because, again, history buff and I feel like I've missed so much. Not to mention, it's impossible to preserve all of the history right in a radio show, even 20 hours a week.

There's so much that we can't get to. So I love to read about history. And you've started a five part series about 50 years ago in the NFL.

Is this new? Because I don't recall seeing it for on your social before. This is something I did new and I just racking what's little left of my brain.

I said, well, let's go. Let's just do 50 because I mean, obviously I have a big passion for history. So I'm thinking about 1974. That was the year the Dolphins got knocked out by the Raiders in the Sea of Hands game. It was also the year the Steelers dynasty began. And I said, well, maybe even come up with five things per.

So this one was fun to do because it takes me back to really take me back to when I was in high school and so on. The Patriots had an amazing running back named Matt Karen, who was like five foot five, 170 pounds. And I'm not under exaggerating. And in 74, he had two thousand four hundred and forty four combined total yards. OK, which was an NFL record for all of one year before Terry McCaffrey was Eric Metcalfe's father for the St. Louis Cardinals. Nineteen seventy four. And you'll like this because you're a Broncos fan. The irony of ironies in 1974, the NFL finally began regular season overtime.

What? And in 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos played to thirty five, thirty five after four quarters. And the new system worked so well, the game wound up ending in a tie anyway.

So the very first regular season overtime game, which they were hoping to break ties, did not end it in a tie, which I think is hysterical. And then the other one in 74 was the advent of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the NFC East. I'm sure some people remember they were in the NFC East, but they were led by a guy who went to the Hall of Fame last year, Don Coryell.

Brilliant offense of mine. Great years with the Chargers as well and so on. So the next one up is 40 years. So that's 1984. And I think any Miami Dolphins fan will remember where I'm going in 1984, which was the amazing second season.

Yes, Marina, which some people will still consider the greatest season by a quarterback ever. It's a it's a really cool concept in for a guy who's done this for so long. I love that you're keeping it fresh and diving into something new so you can find it on Russell's Twitter at Bax, B-A-X football guru. It's the first of a five part series.

It's out already. People are flocking to it to read it. And it's NFL history. So 50 years ago this season, 74, 84 is coming up. You know, my nieces tell me all the time, Auntie Amy, the 80s and 90s are back. So I I tell them you're welcome and that that'll appeal to a lot of people in the sports world. Russ, it's always good to catch up with you.

Thank you so much for your perspective and your memories. Oh, and thank you. And now I'm expecting a call in 10 days for number 33.

Number 33. Let's go. Thank you, Russ. You're welcome, Amy.

Good to hear from him. And we put him on the spot there with Willie Mays, but ready with an answer. And also some of the history for the NFL that has changed so much now. And, you know, one of the reasons why I love, love, love interacting with Hall of Famers. We do it a couple of times a year during the NFL season.

And then also when we get to the side of the Super Bowl, Radio Row, courtesy of our friends at Southern Recipe Small Batch Pork Rinds who partner with the Hall of Famers for the Gridiron Grates. It's amazing because their perspective is so different. And their version of the game in many cases. Thinking back to eras where we didn't have the same rules and we didn't have the same money. And gosh, some of them had other jobs in addition to being football players and being football Hall of Famers.

It's impossible for us to understand it unless we hear it from them. And even then, you know, it's the stories that are so captivating. So I love that. And yes, we'll definitely have to have Russ on again soon.

All right, coming up, who are the athletes that you wish you'd seen live? Your answers are tremendous on both Twix at Amy After Hours and our Facebook page. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. So that you can overthink what you'll wear on that third date. Download the Instacart app to get free delivery on your first three orders while supplies last.

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Price and coverage match limited by state law. Here's the 0-2. Oh, it hit him. Hit him right on the left arm, that front arm for Aaron Judge. And he's in some pain. He wears that guard just above the elbow. I thought for a second it caught up with the way he's reacting to that pain. You'd imagine it didn't get much of it.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. On the Yankees radio network, the moment that caused great fear in all of Yankees nation, even as they're taking on their top competitors in the American League East, a series with the Baltimore Orioles. So here's Aaron Judge, who right now is working on MVP type season.

He's healthy, which is the most important thing. And he gets, I was going to say plunked, but it was not a plunk. It was more like a smash on his hand from a pitch that comes up and in. And he was removed from the game then in the fourth inning against the O's. Now the Yankees went on to beat the Orioles. I think the final score was 4-2.

And it was one of those grind out games. But of course the big concern is for Aaron Judge. Feeling better. Feeling better after we got some good news. What was that good news?

Just x-rays, CT scans, comeback negatives. We're in a good spot. Big relief. Just being hit there before a couple years ago and breaking the wrist.

You never know what's going to happen. So finding out that it's not fractured, not broken is definitely a sign of relief. Obviously I never like any of our players getting hit.

And Judge is as tough as they come. So hearing that he was grimacing a little bit and in some pain, then obviously your concern level jumps. And then obviously coming out of the game. Yeah could you imagine the heart rate of Aaron Boone. Not to mention some of the other Yankees. Again to have him healthy and have him healthy through an entire season is something they haven't had the luxury of too much in his career. But they just gave him that huge contract. Remember he missed a good portion of last season. And so here he is and he's producing and the Yankees have the best record in baseball.

And so this would be disastrous for them. But he went to the hospital, he got tests on the hand, he got back to the ballpark. And the x-rays, the CT scan were both negative. No broken bones. He's still listed right now as day to day.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence. We do have, let's see, looking at the schedule, we have another game of course between the two. A night game that begins at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx 7 o'clock Eastern time. So here's an opportunity for the Orioles right to be able to make up some ground if possible. I mean it's so early.

It's way way way too early to be scoreboard watching. But I know again the Aaron Judge piece is so significant. And his production they can't do without. Especially considering they've got other guys in their lineup that aren't producing. But for them to be setting the pace now in the American League with the 51 wins.

And even to have overtaken the Phillies for now as best record in baseball is a big deal considering what happened last year. As I read through some of your posts on both Facebook and Twix. I love the fact that your answers come from anywhere and everywhere. The fact that many of you have answered with some of the baseball greats from when it was truly America's pastime. I think that appeals to me because those are the athletes I wish I had seen.

I know I tease Jay sometimes. But other young people. My students at Syracuse.

Even some of the young women that I mentor in the broadcast business. Oh you said sap. You never got to see Michael Jordan play. You never got to see Larry Bird, Magic Johnson. That was my answer actually. Which one? Magic Johnson?

Okay we'll get back to that in a second. You never got to see Jerry Rice or Joe Montana. For me John Elway. I can imagine not seeing him play.

He's one of the reasons that I fell in love with the NFL. Wayne Gretzky for heaven's sakes. Connor McDavid is compared to Wayne Gretzky all the time. But I got a chance to see him play over the course of his legendary career. I mean even we're talking about tennis. Just the fact that there's so many people who never saw John McEnroe play at his height.

Or for me all time favorite female athlete Steffie Groff. There's just so many generations that produce their own stars. But yes I feel the way that you do. Like a sad sap who never got to see Willie Mays play.

And so I appreciate a lot of your answers. And again you can check them out on our social media. Jim is in Charlotte and tells producer Jay that he had a personal encounter with Willie Mays. Yeah I got to know Willie pretty good.

I was doing sports with KGO in San Francisco in the late 70s and early 80s. And I was always making fun of him and we always talked about golf. And I said we got about the same handicap why don't we get together. And he said well why don't you come down to Atherton. And that was his course, his play. And he said we're going to play for something.

And I said okay. And so I got there and I said how about five in the front, five in the back, five in the front for the 18. He said how about 50. He said how about 50. And we paid cash on the head right when we're over.

When we're done we pay right away. I couldn't believe he was so adamant about the money. And so we played and he beat me. And we had about the same handicap but he did beat me. You got to see him swing a golf club.

I mean my guy is like baseball. And so he won 50 and he said let's go inside and have something to eat in the clubhouse. And so he goes to the trunk of his car, takes his shirt off and I swear to God, I mean he looked like a Greek god. He looked like he'd been lifting weights his entire life and to the best of my knowledge he never lifted one weight in his life. He had the most amazing physique you've ever seen on a man. And he was 18 years older than me at the time.

So anyway I lost 50 and I got to know Willie and he had me over to his house to get a time or two. So I got to know him pretty good. He was a hell of a man and by my records the best player that ever lived. So in person, a couple of words that you would describe him when he was away from the spotlight and away from the baseball field. He listened to everything he said.

He listened to everything you said and he responded to everything you said. He was mentally so sharp. So yeah, he was a great guy. He really and truly was and everything that said about him. You don't hear anything bad said about Willie Bates. No one has any trash on Willie.

Nobody. That is so true. Great point. Jim, thank you so much for sharing that story with us. I really appreciate it.

Alright. Wow, what about that? A round of golf with Willie and some dinners with Willie. And he mentioned he worked in the Bay Area in radio so I appreciate him sharing that perspective.

And he's right. When was the last time that you heard anything negative said about Willie Mays? Ever. Has anyone ever said anything bad about the guy?

Nah. He was a trailblazer. He was a pioneer. He was joyful. He was warm. He was generous. His personality was one that attracted people and that transcends not just the game but generations.

He'll be remembered, of course, more and more today and this week. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Boom!

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-19 10:54:25 / 2024-06-19 11:12:16 / 18

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