“Former Mets outfielder Benny Ayala talks about his first Major League at-bat on August 27, 1974”
“Benny, they want you on Kiner’s Korner right now,” the young man said quickly, in a rush. I looked up at Felix as if to say, “Can you help me with this?”
Felix laughed a little, then nodded his head and off we went to Kiner’s Korner.
Ralph Kiner had spent a lot of time with me down at St. Petersburg in the offseason instructional leagues working on my swing, so we knew each other well. This was an honor to be part of the talk show they aired after the game. During the interview, Ralph asked me about the home run. Felix came on as well to interpret my Spainsh. I was even more nervous than during the game. Trying to present my thoughts in my best English, I think I said “I saw something white.” Ralph and Felix thought that was funny. When I returned to the clubhouse, the first voice I heard was Tug McGraw’s, who was the starting pitcher of the game.
“Hey, Something White,” Tug called me, laughing the whole time. For the rest of the season, whenever my name was called, “Something White,” was said, too.
... Driving back over the Harlem River Drive later in the night to my hotel near LaGuardia Airport, I stared at the New York skyline, still amazed at my first day in the big leagues. The wonderful Mets fans, their cheers, their smiles, their clapping. It was one of the greatest nights of my life.
My time with the Mets was short and I never rocked the boat in the clubhouse, but for one magical night in New York, “yo sacudido la casa,” which in English means, “I rocked the house.”
Posted: August 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6 comment(s)
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