E book excerpt: The Captain & Me

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Chapter 6: Virtually Lower My Hair

One of many good issues in regards to the DH is that in the event you weren’t feeling one hundred pc you can reserve your energy for once you acquired in your plate after which come again and relaxation for a number of innings. There was a time in 1973 after we went to Detroit for a four-game sequence – Friday, Saturday, and a double dip on Sunday – and I acquired the flu actually unhealthy. I used to be sweating like a pig on a airplane and I used to be actually, actually hurting. Our coach, Gene Monahan, took my temperature and it was 104. I actually did not know if I’d play the subsequent day; I needed to, in fact, however I used to be so sick that I could not even see clearly.

We acquired to the Cadillac in Detroit and I instantly went to my room and went to sleep; Gene had given me remedy to make me sleep. However once I went to the ballpark the subsequent day, I used to be nonetheless very sick. Thurman had watched me on the airplane – whereas he was enjoying gin Bobby Murcer, that was her massive deal – so he knew I felt unhealthy. He comes as much as me whereas I am mendacity on the coaching desk with towels round me and asks me, “How are you, Bloomie?”

“Oh, I am dying, Thurman,” I croak.

“Okay,” he says, “let me inform you what I will do: I will offer you one thing and I would like you to take it half an hour earlier than the sport and you’ll really feel good. ”

He is giving me a bit capsule. I don’t know what it’s – I am very naive – so I simply say, “Okay, yeah. Thanks, Thurman. “As a result of the group is doing nicely and I’ve moved into the line-up and need to play.

I believe possibly it was what they name a “greenie”. Again then, mainly 85 to 90 p.c of gamers took them. It was mainly like a NoDoz. It wasn’t like cocaine or steroids; It was simply one thing to wake you up, like school youngsters finding out for exams or truckers staying out of the road. Everybody within the clubhouse was speaking about how it’s time to have our cup of espresso. And once they did that, you knew what these guys have been doing. For those who have been to take a greenie the espresso would actually actually strengthen it.

However I used to be naive and had by no means accomplished something like this earlier than. I took the capsule Thurman gave me and immediately I felt like I used to be within the Jetsons! It is like when Pete Rose He used to run to first base sooner on a stroll than most individuals tried to get a base hit. I used to be so wired! I felt nice and able to play. However once I acquired to the plate, I used to be so hyperactive that my palms have been shaking and the ball seemed like three balls coming in direction of me. I swung and missed each time I confirmed up. I do not know who hit it, however I knew I seemed like a swinging idiot. I mentioned, “Thurman, what did you do to me?”

He simply laughed and mentioned, “Now I do know that I should not offer you any of those anymore. You missed the ball by two or three ft! “

I could not sleep that night time; The following day I used to be again within the line-up and hit twice. I could not sleep for 4 days in a row! “What did you give me?” I stored asking him.

“I gave you Indian medicines,” he replied. That is all he’d say. From then on I by no means took something once more. However Thurman would at all times annoy me about it; We would speak to folks in a bar or one thing and he’d inform them, “Let Bloomie inform you when he could not sleep for 4 nights in a row!”

Individuals say, “Oh, you took amphetamines” nowadays and make an enormous deal out of it, however a greenie was actually like a NoDoz, one thing that may very well be bought over-the-counter. Consuming was much more of a factor within the days we performed, and all the fellows who would drink after the sport would want one thing to get going the subsequent day, particularly when the day-to-day lifetime of the lengthy season wore them on . You’ll hear gamers say, “I am drained – I’ve to make use of a pepper higher.” But it surely wasn’t like we had massive glasses of that stuff within the clubhouse.

I’ve by no means seen Thurman take a lot of it. Thurman would drink like different ball gamers, however I’ve by no means seen him do any medicine. And as loopy as a few of these guys have been, I by no means noticed any of them stroll into the clubhouse drunk. I’ve even seen lots of people hangover on street journeys, however I’ve by no means seen anybody have a drink whereas enjoying a recreation. However the NoDoz kind stuff was fairly widespread. A beginning pitcher might go half an hour earlier than the sport, or if a reduction pitcher knew it might enter on the seventh, it will take one within the fourth. It was a recognized truth. However even in my day, I’ve by no means seen a participant smoke weed or drink cocaine or something like that. I heard gamers speak about going to events the place that was occurring. However I have never frolicked with individuals who did these items, and I by no means noticed ball gamers take these items. However taking a pep capsule was a part of on a regular basis life for a lot of gamers.

However regardless of the variety of video games Thurman performed every season, he was extra of a “pure excessive” man. He was simply at all times pumped up for a recreation, and I actually do not assume he needed to take something as a result of he was such an intense competitor; that was what he lived for. And it was three lockers away, and we just about did every little thing collectively, so I am certain I’d have seen it if he’d been taking one thing like this repeatedly.

This excerpt from The captain & me: On and off the sphere With Thurman Munson by Ron Blomberg with Dan Epstein is printed with permission from Triumph Books. For extra info and to order a duplicate, please go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, or

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