I ment to post this on the Old Guard only but I did not realize I was in the Reds Live forum. Sorry for the double post.
I got to play golf today with Eddie in a fundraiser for SCORE International. SCORE is a Christian organization that ministers to College Basball players, and missionary work to child baseball players in Central America.
Here is how the informal interview went:
What are you doing now Eddie?
"I live in Orlando with my wife and 3 boys. All under 12."
Are you working?
"Ya, I work and travel along with my wife to minister to MLB players and their wives. I encourage them to be an example on and off the field."
Do you see much baseball?
"ya I get the MLB package on TV and catch as much Reds games as I can."
Do you miss baseball?
"Well, I do and don't, I love spending time with my sons, you only get one shot to raise them the right way."
What do you remember about Opening Day 1996?
" Wow...McSherry was going in to see the doctor the next day for chest pain. He said, "wait a minute Eddie, just wait." He walked away and colapsed. I was the last person to talk to him. Marge was in the Umpires room and wanted the game to go on. One of the umpires grabbed her by the throat. It was pretty intense."
What was your signing bonus out of High School?
" I was a 6th round pick by the Indians, and got $20,000. My dad bought 2 $10,000 C.D.'s with it."
What about your pension?
"I will get a full pension at age 45. I got my ten years in."
What was your favorite hit?
Spring training, we (astros) played the Rangers, and I got a single off of Nolan Ryan...pretty cool."
Favorite Home Run?
"8th inning, against the Cards, two run homerun in the reds seats."
What are your thoughts about the 1995 playoffs?
"We had a chance to win both games at home against Atlanta. Reggie had a bad series. Would not bunt or was not told to bunt by Johnson when we had guys on 1st and 2nd, I think in the 8th. I can't knock Reggie. He had a great year and we would not have been there if it were not for him."
What are your thoughts about the 1999 season and the 1 game playoff?
"Should not have gotten that far. We blew the 2nd game against the Brewers. If we win 2 out of three, we win the Wild Card. We had a great team that year. Vaughn was a great leader. We were only .500 in mid May and won 96 games. We really thought we were better than the Mets. We thought we were destine to win...guess not."
Where did you meet your wife?
"While playing minor league ball in Canada, I got the 3rd base coach to ask this girl out for me during the 7th inning. Been married 13 years."
What about coaching?
"Just my boys. My wife wants me to get "into" coaching but I don't. I enjoy being with my sons. My wife loved going to the games."
What is a day like on the road?
"Sleep until 12, get up and eat...go to the park." Other guys bragged about cheating on thier wives, but that was not for me. They all got cought and lived a life of lies."
What about steroids?
"Honestly never heard about it. I had no idea how many guys were doing it."
What about Boone's numbers in Seattle?
"He did get pretty big didn't he? I think he retired at just the right time."
How about hitting .313 in 1999?
"Ya, I guess it was a pretty big deal for a catcher to do it. I think they told me I was the only the 2nd Reds catcher to do it, and it was not Bench."
Why was it over in 2001?
"To much pain after those back surgeries." I got released by the Indians, but they had to pay me until 2003." They new I had surgery, and sign me to 2 more years anyway."
Eddie was a great guy to play with and a true gentleman. He rented clubs, only plays 4 times a year and played great. Real Athelete. Still in great shape. It was a pleasure.
Note: This comes from my memory of the conversation. I've never got to spend time with a real major leaguer, so I soked up every work. It's pretty acturate word for word.