Bobby McGuire answered the phone Wednesday afternoon and, no, he didn’t mind talking at all.
Looked forward to it, he said.
When the phone rang, McGuire, a part of the Lauderdale County Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013, admitted he was in the process of discussing with his wife about what he’ll say at Saturday night’s induction ceremony.
He’s got plenty to choose from, ya know. Those were fun times to be a baseball player.
McGuire could tell them about the time his semi-pro team played a doubleheader in Leoma, Tenn., and he pitched complete games, winning each one.
Or he could tell the story of when he was playing for a Navy team and correctly predicted to a fellow teammate that he would win the league’s triple crown, and then went out and did it.
There’s also the story of his three-week stint in the Detroit Tigers spring training camp where he was offered $350 per month by then-general manager John McHale to play professional baseball, and turned it down because he didn’t think he could pay the mortgage on his new house in Lexington.
And there’s plenty of stories from the longtime Lexington resident’s days as a youth baseball coach.
So many stories, so little time to speak.
McGuire and his classmates — Beth Brewer, Nancy Esslinger Brock, Carl Bullard, Bill Kelley, J.D. Moomaw, Tommy Suitts, Terry White (posthumously), Mike Willis and Damon Young, will be inducted into the hall of fame in a ceremony at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center on Saturday night. If the others have as many stories as McGuire, it promises to be a memorable evening.
Without stealing all of McGuire’s material, here’s the short version of that day in Leoma when he pitched complete-game wins in both games of a semi-pro doubleheader.
“Mr. Bob Eastep was the manager at St. Joe and he came up to me and said, ‘Bob, you’ll pitch the first game,’ ” McGuire recalled. “I went out on the mound and won 2-1.”
In between games, McGuire said he went to use the restroom.
“I walked into the restroom and here came some men and they started sticking money in my pockets,” McGuire said. “I asked what was going on, and they said they wanted me to pitch the second game. I told them Mr. Bob was the manager and they said they’d take care of Bob.”
McGuire remembers seeing the men in the dugout. A short time later, his manager approached him and said, “Bob, they want you to pitch the second game. I said, Mr. Bob, if you want me to, I will.’ ”
So, McGuire went back out to the mound and won it 3-2.
“It’s the first and only time I pitched a doubleheader,” McGuire said. “I couldn’t wait to get home to see how much money I had.”
“Between 45 and 50 dollars,” he said. “That’s more than I made working at Reynolds that week.”
I’m not going to steal any more of McGuire’s material. If you want more, and there’s plenty, better show up Saturday night.
Contact Gregg Dewalt at 256-740-57478 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @greggdewalt on Twitter.