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Monday, November 26, 2012
Well, as the tag line sez…“The Hall of Fame outfielder looks back at Reggie, Finley and his final chance at competitive glory.”
About a week after the season ended, the phone rang. It was the voice many of my now ex-teammates hated hearing. Didn’t bother me much.
“Billy,” Finley said in a cheerful voice, “How are you?” We had a nice conversation for 10-15 minutes; then, of course, Charlie wanted to get down to business. Although I had a two-year contract, there was an option for 1977, so I could have played another year if I wanted to. Finley made me well-aware of this. I was flattered Charlie wanted me for what was most likely going to be a serious youth movement. I should’ve known better.
“So, you’re going to play next year, right?”
“No. That’s that. I’m done.”
“You’ll keep playing. You’re still among the highest-paid players in the game.” He couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Charlie, I’m going home.” I was retiring, I told Finley.
“The Mariners, that new team, just called me about you. Seattle’s a great town.“ The tone in his voice was very salesman-like.
Finley said the Mariners’ ownership group had asked about me. He tried to convince me to sign up for another year so he could trade me for a young player or two. Finley spent 45 minutes trying to sell me on conducting my farewell tour with the Seattle Mariners for the 1977 season.
“You’ll be back playing again,” Charlie laughed. I laughed, too, thanked him for the call and hung up the phone.
Posted: November 26, 2012 at 09:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
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