See Baby ‘Tek & the Little Perfessor on Netflix !
Posted by athomeatfenway on December 29, 2011
I stumbled across a wonderful video trove of Baseball history on Netflix. Because I have a Wii, Netflix, and internet from my cable company, I can watch Netflix on my TV. Anyone with a Netflix account, the internet, and a gaming system can do this.
The trove on Netflex I speak of is 60 episodes of Talking Baseball, a 30 minute program in which host Ed Randall interviews different stars of past and present days.
The galaxy of stars include Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Bill Virdon, Bob Gibson, Bob Murphy, Chuck Tanner, Clete Boyer, Curt Flood, Darren Daulton, Del Crandall, Dock Ellis, Dom DiMaggio, Don Sutton, Dusty Baker, Ernie Banks, Ernie Harwell, Jenkins with Stargell, Frank Howard, George Foster, Greg Maddux, Harmon Killebrew, Harry Caray, Howard Johnson, Jack Morris, Jason Varitek, Jim Leyland, Joe Pepitone, Johnny Podres, Juan Marichal, Keith Hernandez, Larry Bowa, Lonnie Smith, Luis Tiant, Maury Wills, Mickey Mantle, Orlando Cepeda, Ozzie Smith, Phil Niekro, Phil Rizzuto, Branca with Thomson, Ralph Kiner, Richie Ashburn, Vera Clemente with Roberto, Jr., Robin Roberts, Rod Carew, Roger Clemens, Ron Darling, Ron Santo, Sparky Anderson, Ted Simmons, Ted Williams, Glavine with Justice, Tom Kelly, Tom Seaver, Tony Oliva, Tony Perez, Travis Fryman, Wade Boggs, Whitey Ford, Will Clark and Yogi Berra.
These shows were recorded between 1988 and 1995.
19 of these people have passed. 28 of them are in the HOF. One day, 33 of them may be in the Hall if we see Larkin, Maddux, Morris, Tiant and Glavine go in.
There are some great nuggets for Red Sox fans. Like these thoughts from Wade Boggs:
In an April of 1994 appearance, a humble Boggs reveled in his opportunity to play for the Yankees. He said he first felt anxiety while playing against former Sox team mates, but he “crossed the bridge” emotionally and left Boston behind. “The Sox made a business decision, went with Scott Cooper at a low salary, and just let me go. I watched them let Fisk, Lynn, Rice and Evans go. If they can do it to them, they can do it to me. I’m not special.”
Boggs says about his 6 Minor League seasons: “I figured they thought I had something to work on. I figured that whenever I finally got to the majors, I would be there to stay. I was categorized as a poor fielder, and a hitter without power. There are a lot of labels that are put on people. I was told in the Minors by a top honcho with the Sox that I would never play 3rd base at the major league level, but I could hit a little.”
And as for his credentials for Cooperstown, he said, “My place in the HOF is NOT assured. The guys in the Hall have 3,000 hits. 3,000 hits is the pinnacle, an important piece of the puzzle. 5 batting titles will not do it.”
Boggs was inducted in 2005 with 91.9% of the ballots in his first year of eligibility. He finished with 3,010 hits.
Jason Varitek’s interview is a Kodak moment. The 23-year-old catcher spoke with composure beyond his years. ‘Tek explained that he had not yet sign with the Mariners nearly a year after the 1994 draft because their $400,000 signing bonus offer was $300,000 to $800,000 below what peer draftees were getting. The buzz cut, jowly faced, pre-rookie ‘Tek explained that with the advice of his agent Scott Boras, he was staying strong, in-shape, calm, and fully understanding that he could only control what he could, and would not worry about the things he could not control. Asked about his greatest talent, he cited his ability to lead others. Prescient.
Dom DiMaggio , coiffed and well put together, recounted how Ted Williams insisted on not taking a pass on the second game of the double header on the last day of the 1941 season. And as for that unrivaled year of ’41, he said, “It was amazing that I was a team mate of the guy who hit .400 and the brother of the other one who had a 56 game hitting streak – in the same season !!!”
When Randall put Dom’s feet in the fire by asking him to name the greatest batsman he ever saw, the Little Perfessor chuckled his practiced reply, “Oh, I’ve answered that question many times. Joe was the greatest right handed hitter I ever saw. And Ted was the greatest left handed hitter I ever saw.”
Dom shared memories of the great talent on the 1940 Sox, when ¾’s of the Sox infield were future HOF’ers (Foxx, Cronin, Doerr): “Course I played behind Cronin and Doer and I could see how they operated. Doer was the smoothest second baseman. He was just so pretty to watch. 1940 was the end of Joe Cronin’s career, but I could see that the talent had once been there and how graceful he was at shortstop. By the time I got there, some of the balls that Joe would have gotten as a younger man were trickling through, so I when they did get through I charged in hard and made sure the runners didn’t go from 1st to 3rd.”
Dom explained how his Dad didn’t initially think that BB was something adults should aim for as a career goal. “When we reached our teens he wanted us to work rather than play games and wear out clothes and shoes doing so. But then Vince started as a pro player and Dad realized you could earn a salary. Later, when Joe went Professional, Dad thought that was nice and he was proud. And when Joe reached the majors, Dad looked at me and asked, ‘When are you going to start getting paid to play Baseball ?’ He did a compete 180.”
So boot up your Netflix and browse for TALKING BASEBALL WITH ED RANDALL. Randall is a serious Baseball man and a smooth interviewer. You’ll dig it.
Ed Randall continues to host TALKING BASEBALL on WFAN-AM Sunday mornings and on Sirius XM Radio’s Home Plate Channel on Saturday mornings. He has called television play-by-play for the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees. He is a survivor of Prostate Cancer and founder of Bat for The Cure, which is a charitable foundation dedicated to the prevention of Prostate Cancer. You can learn more at www.batforthecure.com/. You can read Ed Randall’s blog at http://www.edrandallstalkingbaseball.com/
Go Sox !