Tuesday, September 30, 2008


If you have the HBO, you'll want to be watching tonight as Bob Costas has a long -- and according to Allen Barra -- compelling interview with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. No mere nostalgia fest, the interview both reveals the controversial . . .:

Nor was the era as pure as misty-eyed nostalgics would have us believe. In one of the more eye-opening segments, Mr. Mays admitted, "I might have taken somethin' that in a vitamin mixture that, by today's standards was questionable. I had a gift of a body for 20 years -- 34-inch waist and 189 pounds -- but I got to where I was draggin' toward the end of the game." He went to a doctor and asked for a boost. He didn't know what was in it, and he didn't ask.
. . . and diffuses false controversy:

Nor was the nearly 20-year rivalry between Messrs. Aaron and Mays, confirmed by
numerous veteran sportswriters such as Leonard Koppett and Roger Kahn, really
addressed. Was Mr. Aaron, as many reported, truly resentful of Mays's popularity with the New York press? Was Mr. Mays jealous that Mr. Aaron was the one who finally surpassed Babe Ruth's home run record?

The two old legends would have none of it. "That's so far from the truth," Aaron offered. "It was competition, not jealousy." "I lived in New York and then in San
Francisco," Mr. Mays added. "Hank lives in Milwaukee and Atlanta. We saw each other when we played, and we were friends. I would borrow his bats. If I wasn't hitting, I'd say, 'Give me one of your bats. Maybe you've got something here.'"
I've done my fair share of Costas-slagging over the years, but he is one of the best at what he does, and it sounds like he hit it out of the park with these guys.


RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

Have not seen this yet, but it should be available from On Demand for a few weeks. The show Costas did from NY at the All Star break was also fantastic. If you trip over the availability of that show, I highly recommend it.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

flat out awesome. I have gotta get the transcript