I know Thanksgiving isn’t a wishing holiday, and that there’s probably no such thing as a wishing holiday, especially for adults. But I keep wishing I could sit down and watch baseball with some old-time players, and just listen to them talk.
I’ve been reading through some transcripts of the former Commissioner of Baseball, Fay Vincent, interviewing Larry Doby. I don’t know about you, but I never got to see Satchell Paige pitch. So I especially enjoyed reading this, from a 2004 interview:
LD: I think that Afro-Americans …were …great supporters. And great rooters, they root for you like mad. And I remember in 1946, when the Newark Eagles won the Negro League World Series, and we beat Satchel Paige two games, three to two and two to one.…Satch…if you probably have seen …the kid from Boston–
FV: Martinez. Pedro?
LD: Yeah, Pedro. Same kind of movement on the pitch. And finger-wise. If you notice how long Pedro’s fingers are, Satchel’s fingers were long like that and a thin hand, and just a nice, easy, easy movement.
I know it’s the research geek in me, but I love that detail. The finger length, the thin hand, the movement on the pitch. How great would it have been to watch a game sitting with Larry Doby, listening to him share details just like that?
Since it is a giving-thanks time, I will send mine toward Cooperstown, yet again, for preserving history and almost making those kinds of conversation possible.