Jump to content

Recommended Posts

One thing I don't understand is how Willie Mays, and *especially* Hank Aaron, aren't more famous than they are. Yes, race probably has something to do with it, but why? Jackie Robinson is mentioned with the same reverence as Martin Luther King, Jr., but why not Willie Mays, and *most certainly* why not Hank Aaron?

Let's celebrate these two giants *now*, while they're alive.

Greats like Frank RobinsonRoberto Clemente, and Ernie Banks are maybe a small step down from The Big Three (Aaron, Mays, Mantle), and I hate to think that Mickey Mantle is such a legend because he's white, and I choose (probably incorrectly) to believe it's because he played center-field for the Yankees.

Hank Aaron should be as famous as Muhammad Ali. Good God, the man broke *Babe Ruth's* home run record - that's like Jesus Christ walking in your front door.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their accomplishments on the field are unquestionable. 

But I met and interacted with both of them, and they were both surly and uncharming. Borderline rude. Not an ounce of them were charming and engaging.

I'm not making any racial judgements here, but Mays and Aaron are about as lovable as Barry Bonds.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Their accomplishments on the field are unquestionable. 

But I met and interacted with both of them, and they were both surly and uncharming. Borderline rude. Not an ounce of them were charming and engaging.

I'm not making any racial judgements here, but Mays and Aaron are about as lovable as Barry Bonds.  

They had stupid, ignorant white trash calling them niggers their entire lives, and they have every right and reason to be angry and bitter. They couldn't stay in the same hotels, or even take a piss in the same urinals, as other baseball players when they came into the major leagues - because segregation was still legal until 1954.

We owe them a national apology.

I would *gladly* devote the rest of my life to getting on my knees and licking the boots of black Americans as an apology for what white people did to them, if that would solve any problems.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Their accomplishments on the field are unquestionable. 

But I met and interacted with both of them, and they were both surly and uncharming. Borderline rude. Not an ounce of them were charming and engaging.

I'm not making any racial judgements here, but Mays and Aaron are about as lovable as Barry Bonds.  

I haven't met with any of them but I read that Mantle was similarly surly to Mays.  Well shit if all that is true, I'm glad I never met any of them and can hold onto boyhood fandom.  :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, DonRocks said:

They had stupid, ignorant white trash calling them niggers their entire lives, and they have every right and reason to be angry and bitter. They couldn't stay in the same hotels, or even take a piss in the same urinals, as other baseball players when they came into the major leagues - because segregation was still legal until 1954.

We owe them a national apology.

I would *gladly* devote the rest of my life to getting on my knees and licking the boots of black Americans as an apology for what white people did to them, if that would solve any problems.

I can't disagree with your indignation, and I would join you in some boot-licking. Count me in on that national apology. I agree with your premise that we laid a serious social and emotional drubbing on these people, and some of them were very angry about it.

To juxtapose the surliness of Aaron, Mays, and Bonds, let me offer some other personal observations of my many years of chasing down baseball's greats at autograph events up and down the east coast in the '80s and '90s....Willie Stargell couldn't have been nicer to my then-11-year-old son, telling him to "hit line drives, and if the Lord wants you to hit for power, it will come." Ernie Banks wore a "Let's Play Two" cap and was a one-man advertisement for the love of baseball. Frank Robinson sprang from behind his table at the "Four Living Triple Crown Winners" show in Atlantic City about 20 years ago, grabbed my son, worked him into a good batting stance, and posed for pictures with him. Fergie Jenkins, Lou Brock, and Rod Carew, by comparison, were more gracious in these autograph shows than Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, or Whitey Ford, maybe because the latter three were struggling with alcohol demons.

I'm trying to keep this from being a racial commentary, and I certainly don't wish to diminish the ugliness that some of the greats had to endure entirely by virtue of their skin color. It's just that some guys seem to move onward and upward....

(I was in Kansas City for a business trip about 15 years ago, and I wanted to use an hour of free time to go visit the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame. I was one of only a handful of people in the place, and it was as though I was punched in the stomach when I got to the exhibit where the hate letters Hank Aaron received when he was chasing Babe Ruth's home run record were on display. It sickens me to this day that people in this country can write such things to other human beings.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2016 at 10:06 AM, Kibbee Nayee said:

I can't disagree with your indignation, and I would join you in some boot-licking. Count me in on that national apology. I agree with your premise that we laid a serious social and emotional drubbing on these people, and some of them were very angry about it.

To juxtapose the surliness of Aaron, Mays, and Bonds, let me offer some other personal observations of my many years of chasing down baseball's greats at autograph events up and down the east coast in the '80s and '90s....Willie Stargell couldn't have been nicer to my then-11-year-old son, telling him to "hit line drives, and if the Lord wants you to hit for power, it will come." Ernie Banks wore a "Let's Play Two" cap and was a one-man advertisement for the love of baseball. Frank Robinson sprang from behind his table at the "Four Living Triple Crown Winners" show in Atlantic City about 20 years ago, grabbed my son, worked him into a good batting stance, and posed for pictures with him. Fergie Jenkins, Lou Brock, and Rod Carew, by comparison, were more gracious in these autograph shows than Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, or Whitey Ford, maybe because the latter three were struggling with alcohol demons.

I'm trying to keep this from being a racial commentary, and I certainly don't wish to diminish the ugliness that some of the greats had to endure entirely by virtue of their skin color. It's just that some guys seem to move onward and upward....

(I was in Kansas City for a business trip about 15 years ago, and I wanted to use an hour of free time to go visit the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame. I was one of only a handful of people in the place, and it was as though I was punched in the stomach when I got to the exhibit where the hate letters Hank Aaron received when he was chasing Babe Ruth's home run record were on display. It sickens me to this day that people in this country can write such things to other human beings.)

Your're right, Kibbee, and I certainly wasn't directing my diatribe at you; I guess I just feel so sorry for them that it's spilling over - I was also very "aware" at the time of my writing that both Mays and Aaron were born in Alabama, and probably knew people who had been lynched. 

However, to bolster your point, allow me to show you a couple interviews by our own Jon Karl from ABC News:

"Mr. Cub Goes to Washington: The Legendary Ernie Banks Talks Baseball, Politics" on yahoo.com

"Jim Bunning Is Just a Dick" on cc.com

---

The first time I saw the Bunning video, I hadn't seen Willie Wonka, had no idea what that bit was, and didn't understand the joke - I owe a note of thanks to goldenticket for putting me on the trail of that wonderfully fun movie.

---

One thing I should mention, however, is that Ted Williams also had the reputation as being *very* surly, even to his own fans. While his name doesn't have the panache of a Joe Dimaggio, the mention of his name still pretty much equates to "legend' - but maybe that's the additional time that has gone by (plus, his .406 season didn't hurt).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...