After getting out of the service and going into baseball I never wanted to do anything else.
I was acting when I was playing baseball.
I did stand-up, weird and ignorant stuff about my career – anything for a laugh.
You throw batting practice, you warm up pitchers, you sit and cheer. You do whatever you have to do to stay on the team.
How do you catch a knuckleball? You wait until it stops rolling, then go pick it up.
I hit a grand slam off Ron Herbel and when his manager Herman Franks came out to get him, he was bringing Herbel’s suitcase.
I used to soak my mitts in a bucket of water for about two days. Then I’d put a couple of baseballs in the pocket and wrap it up with a rubber band. Today you don’t have to do that, because catchers’ mitts are more like first baseman’s gloves.
Before broadcasting for 50-some years, I did TV, played 10 years in the big leagues, won a world championship – and played a big part in that, too, letting the Cardinals inject me with hepatitis. Takes a big man to do that.
We were on for six years. We were in syndication for a while. It had its run. I still see the people from ‘Mr. Belvedere,’ too. We stay in touch.
Phil Niekro and his brother were pitching against each other in Atlanta. Their parents were sitting right behind home plate. I saw their folks more that day than they did the whole weekend.
Any teammate of mine that had a kid and a boy that was capable of playing baseball, I think I set a terrific example of ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that.’ And that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.
When I looked at the third base coach, he turned his back on me.
I had a great shoe contract and glove contract with a company who paid me a lot of money never to be seen using their stuff.
I spent three of the best years of my life in 10th grade.
I signed a very modest $3,000 bonus with the Braves in Milwaukee. And my old man didn’t have that kinda money to put out.