In Ken Burns' baseball documentary, Bob Costas made a statement about Willie Mays' catch that I'd like to clear up. I'd been brought in to face Vic Wertz,
and, of course, he hit that long ball that Willie caught. Wertz was the only
man I faced.
They showed the catch, and Bob Costas said I told the relief pitcher who came
in for me, Marv Grissom, "I got my man," after the catch. Well, I didn't say
that there. We were still in hot water. We still had two men on, the score
tied in the eighth inning, and only one man out. Well, that wouldn't have been
any time to say something like that. I said it in the clubhouse after Dusty
Rhodes won the game with a home run.
We were all in the clubhouse and Leo was over by Willie Mays and me. Willie
and I lockered next to each other. We were all happy, and I told Leo, I said,
"Well, I got my man." It was a joke, of course, because it was only because of
Willie's great catch, and everybody laughed.
Well, Leo's the one that spread that around. Well, then it got turned around,
that I said it to the relief pitcher coming out to the mound.
But a lot of people did the job, and I think it takes the whole 25 players to
get the job done.
From Tales from Baseball's Golden Age by Gene Fehler.
Copyright © 2000 by Gene Fehler. Reprinted with permission.