Billy. Ichiro. The “Black Babe Ruth.” Khalil. Captain Video.
August 6th, 1979. A heart wrenching photo of a distraught Billy Martin at the funeral of his team captain Thurman Munson. I love Billy Martin and how he approached the game as both a player and Manager. It’s possible that I would include him on my dream team in some capacity if I had to pick (maybe an idea for a future post?). I recently watched the movie “Billy Martin: The Man, The Myth, The Manager,” and it was GREAT. It was filmed shortly before he died in 1989 and has some of the greatest interview footage of Billy that I have ever seen.
The movie also features interviews from players who were very close to Billy over the years such as Micky Mantle, Whitey Ford, and even Rickey Henderson. Rickey’s end segment is very sad as he breaks down in tears when reflecting about Billy and their relationship. It was a very genuine and touching way to wrap up the movie if you ask me. Definitely check it out if you get a chance. It’s on Netflix so you really don’t have an excuse.
I cant say too much about this photo besides state the fact that Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest players of all time. I have always thought that Ichiro plays the game like he was in the Negro Leagues. The way his speed & finesse on the base paths frustrate pitchers & defenders like crazy, his batting stance & the way he is almost out of the box before he even finishes his swing, the way he sprays the ball over the field with precision, and while his game does not depend on power by any means he does possess it and will surprise you with it. Also, don’t even get me started on his Defensive skills as his glove and arm need no introduction.
This all translates into 2 words: Athleticism and Excitement and both of those things are what made the Negro Leagues so great. Basically, I think it would have been impossible to truly succeed in the Negro Leagues unless you were an absolute 4 or 5 tool player and Ichiro falls under that category without a doubt.
1939. Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays trots home after hitting a Homerun at Griffith Stadium in Washington DC. It’s kinda crazy to think this photo is 72 years old.
Khalil Greene, oh where are did you go? During his years in San Diego he made some of the most spectacular defensive plays I have ever seen and seemed poised to hold down Shortstop for years to come. Unfortunately that was not in the cards for Khalil. Him eventually leaving Baseball due to Social Anxiety Disorder is truly a bummer. I would love to see him finally overcome this and come back to the game before it’s too late (assuming he want’s to come back). I heard today on San Diego XX1090 San Diego Sports Radio that they may try and get an interview with him soon. This could be VERY interesting if it materializes.
A great photo of Tony Gwynn during his college days at SDSU. It’s kinda odd seeing him with an aluminium bat don’t you think? I’ll leave you with a little fun fact: Gwynn was drafted out of SDSU in 1981 by both the San Diego Padres for Baseball & the San Diego Clippers in the NBA…on the same day.