Thursday, October 17, 2013

What do Ozzie Smith, Hank Aaron, and Oscar Gamble have in common?

Yeah, I didn't know either. Until I picked up this book, that is.
Okay, so that's not completely true. Let me explain. I've been reading this book for some writing ideas and terms. Why else would you read I baseball book right? I really didn't know that the three had anything in common until I did some research prompted by author Dave Martinez, who showed me the answer, which formulated the trivia question in the title. 

The answer? All three are members of the "Major League Baseballers from Alabama" club, and Ozzie and Hank (both HOFers) of Martinez' "All-Alabama Team."

I had asked Martinez on a whim if he had any good baseball stories come out of Alabama. He replied, saying this via email, used with permission: 

"To answer your question, I'm sorry I can't really share any stories about Alabama baseball. I'm from California and have never visited the region."

"I will say, however, that I've recently been doing research on the greatest baseball players from every state. While New York, Texas, and California all have great squads, I was most impressed by the All-Alabama Team, which would include: CF Willie Mays (Westfield), RF Hank Aaron (Mobile), 1B Willie McCovey (Mobile), 1B Mule Suttles ([West] Blocton), LF Monte Irvin (Haleburg), LF Billy Williams (LF), SS Ozzie Smith (Mobile), and SS/3B Joe Sewell (Titus). And that’s just among position players. On the mound, you have RHP Satchel Paige (Mobile), RHP Don Sutton (Clio), and RHP Early Wynn (Hartford). Those are all Hall of Famers."

I couldn't resist adding Ozzie Smith, Oscar Gamble (of my Blogger pic props), Virgil Trucks, Jimmy Key, and now-free-agented Timmy Hudson. Also, besides Mule Suttles, the town of West Blocton (near Tuscaloosa) was also the old stomping grounds for Mel Allen, the Yankees broadcaster, and Sammie Lee Hill, a football player from Stillman College (which I wrote an article on last summer)

As an aside, Martinez is also a SABR member, and maintains a website on top of that, which is worth a look. It can be found here:

Thanks to Dave for his help! You learn something every day, and this was definitely mine!

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