Last week’s program featured a conversation with Allen Barra about his new book, Mickey and Willie. The last names of those worthies are, of course, Mantle and Mays, and we invited you to post on our Facebook page thoughts about your favorite centerfielder.
The results were intriguing. Sriram Subarmaniam mentioned Lenny Dykstra because he was “tough as nails, good with the glove, and a big part of my favorite team, the Phillies.” Mr. Dykstra’s post-baseball days have been even more twisted than Mickey Mantle’s were, so it’s nice that he’s been remembered for his time as a boy of summer.
David Hollis mentioned Al Kaline. “22 years with the Tigers,” he wrote, “and he won the batting title at the age of 20, captured 10 gold gloves, and made it to Cooperstown the first year he was eligible. Just totally solid.” He certainly was, though he was a right fielder and first baseman.
Karl Lindholm, who hears the program courtesy of Vermont Public Radio, emailed with kind words for Jimmy Piersall. “His well-known psychological problems obscure a true estimate of his baseball abilities,” Mr. Lindholm wrote. “He played with abandon. He seemed to love the game as much as we did. Jimmy played like us.”
Jimmy Buff posted a comment in response to my conversation with Zoe Romano, who is in the process of running the route that the Tour de France cyclists will soon be riding. “If she finishes,” he wrote, “she will have one more clean finish than Lance Armstrong.”
Zoe reported recently that she had done “some silly run dances” and raised more than $20,000 for the World Pediatric Project, delivering care to children in Central America and the Caribbean.
The listener line lit up this week courtesy of Terry Double, who hears the show on KSUT in Durango, Colorado. He reminded me of a call I should make very soon, “I’m a big hockey fan, and I would really like to hear the thoughts of Helene Elliott if you can get her back on the show before the playoffs are over,” Double said.
Finally, my commentary last week about the banning of the belly putter provoked Jay Tieger of West Palm Beach to note via email that the club has not been banned. As he wrote, “only anchoring it against that soft, protruding cushion of the belly or that rock-solid, stable sternum has been banned.”
I stand corrected, Mr. Tieger. Well played.