Ebook excerpt: The Captain & Me – Half 2

This excerpt was made accessible to you thru a partnership between Baseball Prospectus and the Pandemic Baseball Ebook Membership, a collective of baseball writers who concentrate on the precept of working collectively in opposition to competitors. Try their conversations about baseball books and extra on and on Twitter at @ pandemicbaseba1. To see Half 1 of Chapter 6, please click on right here.

Chapter 6: Virtually Lower My Hair

Thurman preferred to have a number of beers after a sport or on a workforce flight or once we had been going out at evening, however I’ve by no means seen him get any sauces. Sam McDowellHowever, he was identified to be an excellent drinker. We obtained it from the Giants in June 1973, which was thrilling for us as a result of, no less than throughout the time I used to be on the workforce, we had by no means had an actual energy pitcher on the baton. Sam was a giant man, possibly 6’5 ”, nicely over £ 200, and he had led the league on strike 5 occasions. When Sam was doing nicely he was superb; He had an excellent arm and will throw a fastball over 100 miles an hour. That is why they referred to as him “Sudden Sam”. To at the present time I’d swear he threw a bit more durable than Nolan Ryanand Nolan pitched like 100 to 103. And if he pitched a nine-inning sport he’d pitch like 170 and nonetheless come again 4 or 5 days later, prepared for extra.

However once we obtained it, issues did not go so nicely for Sam. He joined our workforce whereas we had been enjoying in Oakland, however he stayed on the resort for 3 days and drank as an alternative of going to the ballpark. I went to his resort room to say howdy and it was simply totally worn out, full of empty bottles, beer cans, the entire thing. He lastly made it to the airport for our flight to Anaheim and obtained on the aircraft in an orange go well with with a suitcase labeled “Sudden Sam”. It regarded like an enormous orange.

A few month later we’re enjoying in Boston and Thurman and I am going again from Daisy Buchanan round one thirty or two within the morning. Rapidly I see a person within the gutter on Boylston Road sporting an orange go well with, and you’ll actually see it as a result of it is fluorescent – it is an orange go well with. Certain sufficient it is Sam and he is chilly and it is beginning to rain.

“We will not depart him right here, Bloomie,” Thurman mumbles. We’re drained and wish to go to mattress, and the very last thing we wish to do now could be choose up this big man and drag him a number of blocks again to the Sheraton Prudential the place we dwell. However he is our teammate, and a wet gutter on Boylston is rarely a spot to be at any time of the day. We attempt to shake Sam awake, however no cube. We’re searching for a taxi, however there is not one. “Assist me choose him up,” says Thurman, making an attempt to get Sam’s big physique into an upright place whereas the rain is absolutely beginning to rain. We let him rise up, put his arms over every of our shoulders and slowly trudge again to our resort.

We’re taking him again to the resort and we’re all soaking moist now as a result of we needed to stroll 4 or 5 blocks to hold a big man who’s been mendacity within the gutter for some time. At this level nobody is within the foyer, so we prop Sam – who continues to be fully beside himself – in opposition to the entrance desk and ring the doorbell. As quickly because the receptionist exhibits up, we discover out that Sam hasn’t even checked in but. We checked in on the resort once we had been on the town earlier that day, made certain our luggage obtained to our rooms, after which went straight to the ballpark. However Sam wasn’t checked in and we had no thought the place his baggage was. Lastly we let him verify in, took him to his room and tossed him in mattress, and we let the bellhop discover his luggage and put them in his room. After which we went again to our personal rooms to dry off and get some sleep.

The following day, Sam involves the ballpark prefer it’s no huge deal – aside from that he has two black eyes and has no thought how this occurred to him and no reminiscence in any respect of how he obtained again to the resort, so should they had been waffled fairly nicely! We hadn’t even seen his black eyes the evening earlier than as a result of his hair was on his face and we had been too centered on getting him again to the resort. If he’d stayed within the gutter all evening, who is aware of what might have occurred to him?

Sam did not play Boston on this sequence, regardless of warming up a few occasions. After which, as we get on the aircraft to Detroit, I look over and see that somebody has crossed out the “sudden” on their suitcase and written “Not often”. It was humorous but additionally unhappy as a result of Sam might have been a pitcher within the Corridor of Fame. He had the arm of the Corridor of Fame however not the top. Thurman was yelling at him the entire time he was serving for us as a result of Sam wished to throw what he wished to throw. Thurman would return to the dugout and say to Ralph, “You’d higher get him out. He messes me up as a result of he would not take a look at my indicators – he simply desires to throw! “

Ralph mentioned to Sam, “It’s important to take a look at Thurman’s indicators and throw the place he desires.” However then he would exit once more and after a number of steps you’ll see Thurman strolling to the hill pointing at him, like: “You’re listening to me! You do not take heed to me, I am going to get you out of right here! “

Thurman did not have this downside with many pitchers, however some pitchers simply wished to throw what they wished to throw. They’d shake him off, however Thurman would by no means take it. He would go on the market and inform them what to do. Lots of people turned fairly good pitchers from listening to Thurman. And the blokes who did not wish to take heed to Thurman obtained them out of there.

The Yankees finally launched Sam on the finish of the 1974 season, however he did not do us a lot good within the 12 months and a half he’d been on the workforce, each as a result of he did not take heed to Thurman and since he was preventing some critical demons . However I am completely satisfied to say he has modified his life since then; He is a giant AA man and has helped lots of people.

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

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