Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Baseball and Marty Lurie

One of the things I like most about Marty Lurie, who hosts the baseball show “Right Off the Bat,” before every Oakland Athletics game, is that he loves the game in a way I rarely see these days.

If anyone is keeping the memory of baseball alive it’s Marty.

Marty keeps meticulous pitching records in a notebook that date back a couple of decades. His home in Oakland is full of baseball treasures. A true fan would have to send days going through his unique collection.

Yet it’s also the way Marty talks — and listens — about the game that makes a difference. The way a pitcher tries to hold a runner on first base, when to move the shortstop a step to the left, or what a manager might say to a young outfielder after an error in the field. Marty believes in the little things as much as the big moments, the memories created by the flow of baseball.

What I mean is that Marty not only appreciates the game itself, and all the nuances that goes with it, but also the personalities of the players, coaches, managers, and most importantly, the fans themselves.

The reason I mention all this is because Marty and I were talking about what makes baseball, and what makes a memory. Sometimes it’s not about what happens on the field at all.

For example, one of my everlasting memories as a child was sitting in the front row of the box seats down the right field line, within touching distance of the relief pitchers in the bullpen. I can’t tell you who was playing, what the situation was, or anything else that happened that day other than the fact that then Giants pitcher Ray Sadecki offered me a caramel.

I never ate that caramel, and it has since been lost in transit over the years, but I did keep that caramel on my dresser for many years simply because a major league baseball player had touched it.

Another off-field cherished memory was also very simple: Juan Marichal autographed the glove I was using in youth baseball. During my childhood, the parking lot at Candlestick Park was never fenced in. You’d be able to come out of the stadium and walk all the way up to the locker room doors. You’d wait politely, and when players came out, they would be more than willing to sign for you. I have autographs from many Giants and visiting players, but the one I remember the most was Marichal.

The day after getting Marichal’s autograph, I played third base for the first time in my youth baseball career. I didn’t make an error, and got six hits (I may not have gotten six hits the rest of my career) in what had to be the greatest game I ever played. I even recorded the final out of the game by backhanding a sharp grounder, spinning around and throwing a strike to first base.

I never had a day remotely close to that before or since. For me, it was the magic of Marichal.

I normally don’t think about those things any longer, except when Marty comes around to remind me that baseball is so much a part of our existence, it’s easy to bring those memories up. Marty, who’s hair is gray, keeps reminding me through his actions and words that there is no such thing as being over the hill in baseball. Every day you create a memory, and every day you’re at a ballgame is special.

Thanks Marty.


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