Jimmy Scott's High & Tight: The Rollie Fingers Interview
You figure that when you speak to a Hall of Famer, the guy is supposed to be like the pope or a saint. There are so few of them, there must be something oddly special and strange about them. You figure you're going to stutter and shake and sweat and have no business breathing the same air as the man who is such a huge part of baseball history. Because you love baseball and because you love its history and because this guy did things that you could never conceivably do, he's a deity. He's royalty. He's a god on earth, walking amongst the common folk. He's in the Hall of Fame. He's got to be different.
Then you talk to Rollie Fingers. And you listen. And you realize he's not that at all. Sure, he's in the Hall of Fame and sure, he was a great, great pitcher who won three World Series in a row. Yeah, this is the guy with the mustache and the history with Charlie Finley and Reggie & Sal & Catfish & Vida & the list goes on. But his voice... He's a regular guy. You know what? You listen and you realize he's just like you. His job was different, but beyond that, he's a guy who's been married and had kids and had "regular" jobs just like you and me. And you think to yourself, I like this guy.
The Jimmy Scott's High & Tight Interview with Rollie Fingers is special, not just because Rollie is a Hall of Famer. It's special because Rollie's a genuinely likeable man. If you read the book he just wrote with Yellowstone Ritter, Rollie's Follies: A Hall of Fame Revue of Baseball Stories and Stats, Lists and Lore, you'll get an even better sense of the man and his sense of humor. Why should you buy his book? Read the REVIEW HERE. Then, when you're done reviewing and buying, listen to Rollie and enjoy yourself. Here's what happened when we spoke:
Part II 14:30
The Head - the mindset - of the relief pitcher. Learning how to pitch. Who the best pitching coach in the world is (here's a surprise answer). Some of your questions.
Part III 26:00
Being a first-time free agent. His relationship to former A's owner Charlie Finley. More of your questions, including if the game is too serious today. The difference between his first and second free agent periods. His last contract. The End of his career.
Part IV 37:00
Was he glad to be done or did he want to keep playing? What has he done over the last 24 years? Love & marriage & kids & money.
My little sentences above to fully reflect the depth Rollie goes into. Nor do they show the fun. What you're going to hear is a regular 62 year old guy who just happened to be a great Major League pitcher 30 years ago. Other than that, you can hear his voice and imagine him being your neighbor or a nice guy you accidentally bumped into at the supermarket. Listen. You'll sense that too.
It's time now to sit back and listen to Rollie Fingers, pitcher, author, husband, father and all-around good ole guy. You'll be glad you did.
The Beatles - Helter Skelter
The Tubes - Talk To Ya Later
The Police - It's Alright For You
Huey Lewis & The News - If This Is It
Tom Petty - Running Down A Dream
The Eagles - I Dreamed There Was No War
Bruce Hornsby - Song C, Song D
Selections from the Pat Metheny Group's First Circle:
Yolanda You Learn
The First Circle
End of the Game
Tell It All