I was watching a documentary the other day, about Billy Martin. A fighter from his early days in Berkeley, California, growing up poor, playing under Casey Stengel on the Oakland Oaks. Stengel liked him so much that when he got hired to manage the Yankees, he brought Billy along for the ride, not so much because he was super jock, but because he had fire in him, played hard, over achiever, all that and more. Interesting side note of Martin as a player – he hit way above his career .257 average during his playoff appearances…99 at bats, 33 hits including 5 home runs.
When he was released by the Yankees, he maintained his offensive numbers for three years, but then at the young age of 33, he called it quits, played only 11 years. According to the documentary, being released by the Yankees cut his career short, messed up his mind a bit. Oh well, then he became a manager, first with the Twins, then the Tigers, Rangers and finally the Yankees and all those dramas with Reggie and Steinbrenner, followed by Billy Ball in Oakland and then back again to New York.
What I like is that the documentary doesn’t focus entirely on the New York dramas. I mean they cover it and why wouldn’t they? It’s as good as that hit sitcom from the 70’s called SOAP. I loved that show. The documentary also points out that Martin won everywhere and he did it by running, bunting, stealing home, hitting and running…..I love that style.
I still haven’t finished watching the two hour show, but during my imposed intermission, I did a you tube search for Letterman and Martin because I remember seeing him on the show. Funny story by Martin plus what I didn’t remember was the music selection as they faded to commercial. I guess they call that irony.