Jimmy Scott's High & Tight: The Warren Cromartie Interview
Speaking to Warren Cromartie the first time, I thought to myself, "Uh oh, he's one of those guys." What are "those guys?" To me, they are people who speak when spoken to, who answer your question and stop there; people who probably never should have agreed to speak with you in the first place. Fortunately, I've only had to deal with "those guys" a couple of times here at Jimmy Scott's High & Tight. I was sure Warren Cromartie, "Cro," fit the profile.
I was wrong.
Cro turned out to be a man who has a lot to say. He's been through a lot since being first drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1971 (he said no to them, the Twins, the Padres and the A's before finally signing with Montreal in 1973). He's played with the Expos, a franchise that may no longer exist but has a deep history of finding deep talent. He's skipped out of Major League Baseball when he became a free agent for the first time in 1983 and flown to Japan to play for Sadaharu Oh and the Tokyo Giants for 7 years. He's come back to play with the Kansas City Royals in 1991 so he could be teammates with Bo Jackson. He's been a celebrity wrestler, the manager of an all-Japanese minor league team in the Golden State League (California), an author (Slugging It Out In Japan, with Bob Whiting) and the uncredited model for a Tom Selleck movie called Mr. Baseball. Warren Cromartie did turn out to be one of "those guys," but he was a different kind of guy. He was one who's seemed to have done it all.
Warren talks about why he held out so long before signing with the Expos. He describes the 1981 playoffs (the Expos' only post-season appearance), his feelings about their subsequent move to Washington D.C., why he ended up playing in Japan and his book, "Slugging It Out In Japan."
Pt. 2 (11:00)
Why did he come back to the U.S. to play? Warren tells it like it was. He talks about the Mr. Baseball movie, more about the book and his co-author, Bob Whiting, thoughts on Andre Dawson's chances for the Hall of Fame, and why he retired from baseball after the 1991 season.
Pt. 3 (17:30)
What's Warren Cromartie been up to since 1991? He explains his various passions, including managing the Samurai Bears in 2005, the documentary made about the team (a very funny film called called Season of the Samurai), his radio work today, his fledgling health food company, and the derivation of the name Cromartie.
Pt. 4 (25:00)
He calls Jose Canseco an "idiot" and describes the circumstances of his debut as a celebrity wrestler. He compliments me to no end and we agree to speak again soon.
That's everything. Wanna hear his voice now? I think you do. So it's time now for me to stop writing and you to just listen and enjoy The Samurai Man, Warren Cromartie-san, at Jimmy Scott's High & Tight.
Tony Toni Tone -If I Had No Loot
The Eagles - The Long Run
The Beatles - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
All-American Rejects - Move Along
Selections from Charlie Parker's Jazz 'Round Midnight