Welcome to The Quazcast, a weekly podcast that brings listeners in on a frank conversation between myself and a random person from the world of sports.
These interviews are about digging deep and avoiding the cliché questions and answers that too often plague sports conversations. My guest could be anyone. I might speak with a 90-year-old NFL kicker one week, the manager of a Major League Baseball team the next, and a bull fighter the week after that.
This week I talk with former Major League Baseball All-Star Ellis Valentine. Over eleven seasons in the big leagues, Valentine earned a reputation for having an amazing arm, prompting former Montreal Expos manager Felipe Alou to quip, “There’s a plateau where you can’t throw the ball any harder and you can’t be any more accurate. That was Ellis Valentine.”
The Gold Glove Award winning right fielder faced a ton of adversity throughout his career. In addition to fighting drug and alcohol addiction throughout his playing days, Valentine missed a crucial month of action back in 1980 when he was hit in the face with a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Roy Thomas that cracked his cheekbone in six places. Valentine maintains to this day that he was targeted with a beanball.
Below is an excerpt of our conversation and a recording of the complete interview. As always, to get future podcasts downloaded straight to your listening device, you can subscribe to The Quazcast on iTunes.