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December 20, 2023 57 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon welcome author Adam Lazarus to the show. Adam wrote the book 'The Wingmen: The Unlikely, Unusual, Unbreakable Friendship Between John Glenn and Ted Williams'.  What was the connection between these two American Icons?  Adam helps us explore a friendship timeline going from the battlefield to the ballpark.  We find out how Glenn and Williams went their own ways after their military service but stayed friends for a lifetime.

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:15):
Hey there, welcome back.

Speaker 1 (00:16):
It's The Book of Joe, the most interesting baseball podcast
on the planet with Me, Tom Berducci and Joe Madden. Joe,
I know you are a voracious reader. Are you looking
for a book recommendation these days?

Speaker 3 (00:30):
Yes? Do you have them for me?

Speaker 2 (00:32):
I do? Well, let me put it to you this way.

Speaker 1 (00:34):
Would you like to read a book about John Glenn,
American hero?

Speaker 3 (00:38):
I would actually had to do a book report on
a book, not a book report, a report on him
after you went into space because I had gotten into
some trouble that day at our Lady of Grace School,
so that was my punishment. Do I report on John Glenn?

Speaker 1 (00:53):
How about a book on the great Ted Williams, the
last guy to hit four hundred in the big leagues
and also an American War hero?

Speaker 3 (01:00):
Right? I mean I never got to meet mister Williams.
I know everybody that worked with him, but never did.
And yes, Chuck.

Speaker 1 (01:07):
Check Okay, So what if I combined both of them
and I gave you a book about John Glenn and
Ted Williams. Well, it's actually happened, and I didn't do it.
Adam Lazareth has wrote a terrific book called The Wingmen,
and the subtitle tells you all you need to know
about the connection. Here the unlikely, unusual, unbreakable friendship between

(01:29):
John Glenn and Ted Williams. Fascinating stuff. The author has
joined us, Adam Lazarus. Welcome to the Book of Joe podcast.

Speaker 2 (01:38):
How are you?

Speaker 4 (01:39):
I'm good. Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1 (01:41):
Let me start with this, because you know much has
been written about both of these American heroes. What for
you was the genesis to say the connection between the
two of these guys is worth a book?

Speaker 5 (01:53):
Well, I think the one element of the both their
lives that I didn't know very much about was their
service in the United States military and particularly in the
Korean War. Like you said, a lot has been written
about both men. But for Ted Williams, it's mostly focused
on his baseball career and everything that he achieved hitting
four hundred, like you said. And for John Glenn, it's

(02:13):
certainly going to space in nineteen sixty two, being the
first American to orbit the Earth. Those are probably the
highlights of their careers or their lives. But this element
about their service together. But even separately in the Korean
War as combat fighter pilots for five months nineteen fifty three.
Was really fascinating to me. It's what piqued my interest
learning more about their service, their service together, just their

(02:36):
lives over there. Ted Williams being pulled out of the
middle of his Major League baseball career to serve in
a war, which is something that would never happen today.
But then later on their friendship kind of ebbed and flowed,
but particularly late on and Ted Williams toward the end
of his life, he and John Glenn were very close.
When Ted Williams is really dying, one of the people
he was most in touch with in connection with, was

(02:56):
John Glenn, And I thought that was really fascinating that
all those years after their service together, after everything they
had achieved in their lives, the sort of came back
into each other's lives. And I thought it was a
great story about friendship and how friendships start, how they continue,
how they go through ups and downs. But the whole
breadth of the story is what interested me.

Speaker 1 (03:15):
Yeah, we're going to get to the end of life friendship,
because that, to me is one of the most touching
parts of the book between John Glenn and Ted Williams,
and let's face it, Ted was known as an ornerary
son of a gun, and to see and read about
that softer side of him with John Glenn, it's really
touching right down to their last.

Speaker 2 (03:33):
Days, at least for Ted Williams. But let's go to
the beginning, Adam.

Speaker 1 (03:37):
From what I understand, they I'm sure I knew of
one another, but got to know each other in Korea
nineteen fifty two, and as you mentioned, Ted Williams is playing,
you know, he's on the Hall of Fame track, one
of the great hitters in baseball at that point, and
he's a reservist with the Marine Corps. He gets called
up and is dropped into I guess it wasn't technically

(03:58):
called the Korean War then, but by every measure it
was a war. So tell me how Williams and Glenn
actually happened, not just to be there at the same time,
but to be calm as you right wingmen.

Speaker 5 (04:10):
Well, it was just by happenstance that they ended up
at the same base. They were both shipped to the
same area in South Korea, and in February nineteen fifty three,
Ted Williams arrived on February third, nineteen fifty three, and
John Glenn arrived six days later. It was a small
base within a small squadron, so it's just by coincidence
that they arrived. Ted Williams, as you mentioned, was a reservist.

(04:31):
He did not have very much experience flying jets. He
had almost no experience coming into the war. He was
recalled in early nineteen fifty two and he learned to
fly jets for a couple months before getting shipped off
to Korea, but he hadn't really flown a plane since
World War Two. He was stationed in Pensacola during World
War Two, became a military a Navy flight instructor, but

(04:53):
didn't serve abroad. So when he gets recalled in nineteen
fifty two, he has a lot of catching up to do.
And these reservists were because they had less experience. A
lot of them were either younger guys who were new
to the Navy or the Marine Corps, or they were
reservists like Ted Williams who hadn't flown in many years.
They were often assigned to the more experienced career or

(05:13):
regular Marines, which John Glenn was John Glenn served for
three years in the Navy during World War Two. Was
a very accomplished fighter pilot, a real hero one I
think six Distinguished Flying Crosses during World War Two, so
he had much more experience he was even after the war.
He was served overseas in China and Guam. He was

(05:33):
a very experienced pilot. So they often paired the more
experienced guy like John Glenn with the much more inexperienced
reserves Ted Williams. And it turns out that they weren't
always paired together, but John Glenn actually liked flying with
Ted Williams.

Speaker 4 (05:47):
One of the reasons why was a lot of.

Speaker 5 (05:49):
The younger guys didn't like to fly with John Glenn
because he was very risky in the area, took a
lot of chances. He was, as he said years later,
he was sort of trying to win the war all
by himself, and Ted Williams was his friends Johnny Pesky
and Dom Demagio said this about a years that Ted
Williams liked to find an expert in whatever field they
were in, and he always liked to pick their brain,

(06:09):
even if it wasn't about baseball, it was about fishing
or in this case flying an airplane. And so once
he learned that John Glenn was really probably the best
pilot there over on their squadron at the base in Korea,
he sort of liked to pick his brain and talk
flying with him. He liked to learn from the best,
So after a while that was sort of how they
got paired up. Unfortunately, John Glenn was also the operations officer,

(06:30):
which within this squadron, so he got to assign his
own wingman, which is the person who flies on your
wing and sort of follows follows you through the missions
and does repeats all your maneuvers. So that's how they
became wingmen, and that's how their friendship got started. They
had some very harrowing experiences. One mission, John Glenn thought
Ted Williams had got him court martialed. Another mission, Ted

(06:51):
Williams plane crash landed and it was John Glenn who
helped guide him back safely to base. So it was
a very interesting way for their friendship to start from
a baptism by fire.

Speaker 3 (07:00):
I'm just listening because the reasons why Ted Williams would
be drawn towards John Glenn obviously like as you describe,
but those that weren't drawn to fly with John Glenn
the fact that maybe he was a little bit reckless.
But was he intimidating to these people too? I mean, don't.
I don't see Ted Williams as being intimidated by John Glenny.
And like you said, he was more attracted to the

(07:22):
best and wanted to learn from the best. Was there
an intimidating factor to John Glenn at all? Was it
just the fact that he was more reckless.

Speaker 5 (07:29):
I think it was because he was very eager to
make with You know, they would with their job and
their squadron was to cross across thirtieth parallel go into
communists North Korea. They had an area where they were
supposed to drop bombs or rockets or shoot up enemy
troops on the ground and get back to base. Their
planes didn't carry enough fuel to to you know, fly

(07:52):
around in circles and do a bunch of stuff out there.
They would their their nickname of their squadron was the
Bomb and Go Group, So they would just drop their
bombs and get back to base. And John Glenn felt
it was his duty to do his missions of job,
dropping bombs, dropping rockets and then come back, circle around
and survey the area, see if there was somewhere he missed,
see if there was somewhere else he could take out.

(08:13):
And that wasn't really responsibilities of the squadron, especially a
leader like John Glenn, but he felt compelled to do
all he could. It was sort of an obligation. He
was sent to the war very late. He felt he
should have been sent a lot earlier. He really wanted
to serve his country because he had such great training
and such great natural skill. So he would go take
these extra chances and go take second and third runs

(08:33):
along the same target when most of the other guys wouldn't,
and the younger guys would say. I actually talked to
one of these younger guys who's still alive. He is
in his late nineties. He said nobody wanted to fly
with John Glenn because he did this. He would go,
he said, he'd drop their bombs and then come around
and root around in the trash cans, is how he
put it. And that was very dangerous, especially for like

(08:54):
either a guy who was, you know, selling insurance six
months earlier back in the States, or was a twenty
three year old who had.

Speaker 4 (09:00):
Just gotten out of college.

Speaker 5 (09:04):
So these guys didn't like to take chances in the air,
especially when they were, you know, already didn't really want
to be serving. So I think it was less about
being intimidated by John Glenn. They certainly knew he was
a very accomplished pilot, and then some of them had
trained under him at one of the Navy air stations
in Corpus Christi, Texas. But I think it was his
recklessness in the air that really turned off a lot

(09:24):
of people. But yeah, I don't think Ted Williams. Ted
Williams was probably never intimidated by anybody in his entire life,
so I don't think he was intimidated by that. But again,
he liked to be around exceptional people, and I think
that's one of the things that drew him to John Glenn,
you know, during the Korean War and in all the
years after that.

Speaker 3 (09:41):
I mean, that's such an incredible thought. I mean, it's
one thing to take chances in a baseball game, whether
it's as a manager, as a left fielder, as whatever.
It's another thing to take chances like that with your
life and the life of others. I mean, I don't
even it's just hard to fathom how a human arrives
at that point where he's able to to really face

(10:05):
death like John I mean a lot, not just John Glenn,
but other people, pilots. I mean, I've always had so
much respect for pilots that flying the danger like these
guys do. But the mindset of somebody like that is
it's just it's incomprehensible.

Speaker 5 (10:20):
It helps explain how he was willing about ten years
later to sit in a tiny little space capsule with
two massive rockets underneath him and launch himself into orbit
when the same rockets had blown up several times in
training exercises. And it explains all the bravery and courage

(10:40):
that John Glenn had. You know, you saw it as
early as his Marine Corps Flight Fighter pilot training gaze.

Speaker 2 (10:45):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (10:45):
I'm still blown away by the fact that Ted Williams
had not flown a plane in seven years, was playing
Major League Baseball, and you know, gets called up as
a reservist and gets probably limited training on the Panther jet,
and all of a sudden he's flying combat missions. I
think he flew thirty seven combat missions, and probably half
of those with John Glenn in the middle of danger.
It's just amazing how quickly things change and you're in

(11:09):
literally harm's way with life and death on the line. Adam,
I want you to go back, and you mentioned this
a couple of stories I want you to tell. You
mentioned the possible court martial. I understand it was one
of their bombing missions where they were dropping ordinances. They
had one left to get rid of and Ted had
to dump his and wasn't sure exactly where he was
dumping it, and I think John was worried that he

(11:31):
was dumping on Allied troops. Yeah, and it wasn't until
they got back that it was actually enemy troops.

Speaker 5 (11:36):
Correct with the best description I heard. Ted Williams and
John Glenn too, both told this story many times. Ted
Williams told it at an event in Boston one year,
and that was sort of the best version of the
story I got with all the details. Was they had
to drop They weren't supposed to bring back these rockets
that they had, or these bombs that they had to base.

(11:56):
You weren't supposed to bring anything back. Ted Williams used
to say that their their goal when they came back
to base was to have nothing it just even if
it weren't dropping them on enemies. Theyre supposed to just
dump them wherever because they had had a lot of
accidents with them and that was what they were instructed
to do. So after one successful mission, they both had
a couple rockets and a couple bombs left, so John
Glenn let them.

Speaker 4 (12:15):
It was just the two of them. That's what's really
interesting about this story. Most of these.

Speaker 5 (12:18):
Missions were, you know, eight, twelve, fifteen guys. On this
one mission, it was just Ted Williams and John Glenn,
and John Glenn guided him over to a certain area
and he dropped what he had left and blew up,
and Ted Williams did the same, and he screwed up.
He didn't press the master arming switch and so the
bombs didn't go off, so he say, figured I'll just
circle around and do it again. And when he circled around,

(12:40):
he kind of got tangled up and ended up pointing
at the opposite direction, which, according to John Glenn's map
that he had in his cockpit, looked like a shelter
of Allied troops. And John Glenn went berserk, and I
can't imagine what he said to him over the radio,
but they immediately got back to base and they ran

(13:00):
to the operations office, which had the map on the wall,
and apparently the the lines had been redrawn recently, and
so the area that they bombed was actually enemy troops
and not Allied troops. But it was really their first
mission together. I don't know how well they knew each
other before that, so thought I always thought it was
a great way for their friendship to start, because John Glenn,
who was normally very reserved and cool and calm under pressure,

(13:24):
was chewing Williams out and his face was sweating and
he was pale and irate. That's the way Ted Williams
described it. And Ted Williams, who everybody knows was very
emotional and high strung, was actually very calm about it,
because he said years later, he's like, I knew we
were I was shooting at the right area.

Speaker 4 (13:39):
Wasn't that big a deal.

Speaker 5 (13:40):
But it was a nice sort of role reversal for
me to see, especially since Ted Williams. If anybody has
any images of meeting Ted Williams, you knew that he
was very rarely quiet and reserved and confident in what
he was saying.

Speaker 1 (13:54):
Amazing, well, I can't get enough of the stories. The
stories are amazing but I do want you to go
into one more. And that was the time they were
flying back to base and Ted's panther is on fire,
he's getting hit by enemy fire, and tell us about
how John Glenn helped them get back to base safely.

Speaker 3 (14:10):
Well.

Speaker 5 (14:10):
Ted Williams had to at least two really dangerous moments
when he was serving in the Korean War. One he
crash landed where he absolutely was lucky to be alive.
This was in February. This was actually just his second mission.
John Glenn wasn't on this mission, but he had bad luck.
His plane got shot. He didn't want to eject for
a variety of reasons, one of which he thought he

(14:30):
would end up breaking his legs and never play baseball again.

Speaker 4 (14:33):
Another reason was because he was.

Speaker 1 (14:34):
So tall, right, I mean, it's hard for a guy
he's six foot three to eject from a fighter jet.

Speaker 5 (14:39):
Yeah, he was tall for normal pilots. That one of
the ground crew people years later said they had to
stand on his shoulders to press him down into the
cockpit because he was just too tall for a cockpit.

Speaker 4 (14:51):
So he had this.

Speaker 5 (14:52):
Terrible crash in February, and then about two months later
he's flying on a mission with John Glenn and his
plane gets hit. It turned out his plane was hit
by a rock, which is really interesting. It wasn't enemy
shells or bomb rockets are from the ground thing. A
rock had pierced his tip tank on his carrying his
fuel on his panther, and it led to a fire
and could have easily blown up the whole plane. But

(15:13):
John Glenn helped, pulled up alongside to him, gave him
a hand, signals, showed him where to which way to go.
What they did in this situation was they would fly
as high as possible so that in case they did
run out of fuel, since his fuel tank had a
hole in it, they would get as high as possible
so in case they ran out of fuel they could
sort of just glide what they call dead stick back
to base. And John Glenn was on his wing and
telling him, you know, I imagine he was encouraging him and

(15:36):
telling him to stay calm and telling him which angle
to go at. And sure enough the plane landed safely
and Ted Williams was fine, and they found the next
The next day they presented him his fellow pilots presented
him with the rock. They found it inside the tip tank.
They put a little bow on it and they gave
it to him and said, this is another another thing
that nearly brought you down. So they they had some

(15:59):
some good missions, some good tails together.

Speaker 2 (16:01):
Yeah that's better than an MVP trophy.

Speaker 1 (16:03):
And too that by John glenn signaling signaling to Ted
to fly higher, that the air is thinner and there's
less oxygen to feed the fire.

Speaker 5 (16:11):
Yeah, that's one other reason they would do that was
the thinner air would keep it from from the flames expanding. Yeah,
that was that happened quite often in these missions. There
weren't that many casualties in Ted Williams and John Glenns squadron,
especially because these missions were not the you know the
famous movie scene dog fights where two planes are shooting

(16:32):
at each other. Their missions were usually just going across
the border, dropping bombs and going home. But they did
have people shooting at them from the ground with anti
aircraft our cannons and people with small arms fire because
they got very low to the ground. They got sometimes
one hundred and fifty two hundred feet off the ground,
and so somebody could shoot at them with a rifle

(16:53):
and that was one some people actually think after Ted
Williams first plane crash that it was actually small arms
fire that had brought him down, that had put a
hole in his aircraft. So these were very dangerous missions.
They didn't have, as I said, they didn't have a
lot of casualties, but they did get shot planes did
get shot up and come back flaming and without a
lot of their equipment. So they were dangerous missions every

(17:14):
time they suited up in the morning.

Speaker 1 (17:16):
Joe, it sounds like top gun, but is real stuff,
life and death.

Speaker 3 (17:20):
Yeah, I mean, that's why I'm listening so intently. I
don't have so much respect for anybody that served in
the military. Then you serve in actual combat in the military.
You know. My pop was a ground guy during World
War Two in Germany. So were my uncles, and it's
something I never participated in. I was at that juncture
when I was at Lafayette with there there was a number,

(17:42):
a lottery number attached to your name regarding being called
to the service and not My number was very high,
and at that time was very grateful. As you move
farther along as you got older, as I got older,
It's one of the one of the regrets that I've
had is the fact that I never served. I you know,
you see what's going on in the world today, even
even when you look at the Israeli troops right now,

(18:04):
a lot of the people serving with Israel right now,
these folks, some of these kids came to the United States,
quit school and went back to serving the military in Israel.
And I got so much respect for that. And this
is part of our culture that I don't think is
obviously adhere to nearly as much. I mean, at that

(18:24):
time was a World War, and in the Korean conflict
after that, and it made youngsters like Ted Williams or
and he was in a youngster youngster, but nevertheless I
think he felt more compelled to join and fight for
I don't think that under the circumstance, and hope we
never get to it again where the magnitude of the
war doesn't make Just like in Ukraine right now, there's
sixty year old men and women are volunteering to go

(18:48):
back into the service there to fight for their soil,
for their land, And there's a difference I think with
all of that. So I'm a'm convoluted right now. My
point is I really respect what these people have done
in the past and the future. And I'm even going
to say this, I'd love to see and I think
a lot of different ways if we had conscription brought back,
the draft was brought back, I really believe that would

(19:09):
help solve some of society's issues by you know, so
many youngsters, young men primarily its young men, some young
male problem. Get these young males some kind of direction,
whether militarily speaking, whether it's I'm not saying the fight
necessarily just to be part of a military disci will
wake up in the morning, work out, learn a craft, whatever,

(19:32):
as opposed to hanging out like like a lot of
the kids are doing in a lot of the inner cities.
There's there's so much that could be positively done. I
think through utilizing the military service in a way that
not only helps obviously defend your country, but there's other
ways that can help to raise better young men.

Speaker 4 (19:51):
Yeah, you raised a good point that about it.

Speaker 5 (19:55):
It was obviously a different time, but World War Two,
everybody enlisted after Pearl Harbord, John Glenn went out and
enlisted twice actually because he enlisted in the Army Air
Corps and they didn't call him back after two weeks,
so he drove up to a Navy recruitment station and
listed in the Navy, and that's how he ended up
becoming a marine. Ted Williams was a little bit different.

(20:16):
Ted Williams was in the middle of his base Boker.
He had hit four h six in nineteen forty one.
Obviously he won the Triple Crown the next year. He
did not want to really serve. He enlisted sort of
out of pressure and was sent to serve in the
Navy during World War Two, and the same thing happened
with Korea. He did not want to serve. He went
out of his way to get out of it. Actually,
a good portion of the early part of my book

(20:38):
is detailing how he eventually essentially went out of his
way to have lawyers and then powerful politicians sort of
get his deferments so he didn't have to go. So
it didn't really reflect great on him. But I will
say is, and this is something John Glenn echoed years later,
was after he realized he was going and he was
going to be there and he was going to serve,
he gave us all. He did everything he could. He

(21:00):
knew he had a responsibility not just to his squadron
and to the Marines and the military. But there he
was setting an example for the other people, especially the
young people who were being sent over to the Korean War.
So while Ted Williams was something of a reluctant marine
or a reluctant war hero, I think he deserves credit for,
you know, stepping in when he was asked. He actually
said years later, I could have gotten a safe desk job.

(21:22):
There were plenty of safe desk jobs. But if he
was going to be if he was going to be
forced to serve and miss time playing baseball, he wanted
to do something worthwhile, like flying a jet into enemy
territory and dropping bombs. So, and in the flip side
of that is John Glenn. John Glenn was probably one
of the greatest public servants in the history of our
country for his entire life, from the time he enlisted

(21:45):
in the Navy in nineteen forty two to the day
he died in twenty sixteen. So I think those guys,
while it was a different generation and it was a
different era in America, they are a great example of
people who were giving back to their country.

Speaker 1 (21:57):
The book is Wingman, The Unlikely Unusual unbreakable friendship between
John Glenn and Ted william our guests is the author
Adam Lazarus. We're gonna take a quick break when we
get back. Hey, it's one thing to be thrown together
because of battle. It's another thing to have the friendship
really take off in peacetime. We'll discuss that next. Welcome

(22:30):
back to the book Joe Podcast. Our guest Adam Lazarus
has written Wingman about John Glenn and Ted Williams their friendship.
Ted Williams was discharged from Marines on July twenty eighth,
nineteen fifty three, comes comes back to the major leagues
after serving in Korea, and oh, by the way, hits
four oh seven in thirty seven games for the rest

(22:53):
of the season.

Speaker 2 (22:54):
Just amazing hitter.

Speaker 1 (22:56):
But Adam, the friendship, as unlikely as it is, becomes
a lasting one when you think about They had very
very little in common when you think about their backgrounds.
Ted Williams, of course growing up in San Diego, basically
an atheist. His mom was working for the Salvation Army.
His dad was an alcoholic, wasn't around. Ted Williams comes

(23:18):
from this stern, very tight knit Presbyterian family in Ohio
politically on opposite ends of the spectrum as much as
you can. How did this friendship survive and actually thrive
among the differences between the two of these men.

Speaker 4 (23:36):
Certainly their service together is something. You know.

Speaker 5 (23:38):
We all hear tales and I know about my grandfather
who served in the Navy during World War Two. Some
of his closest friends lad in life were guys he
had served with. There is that whole idea of band
of brothers or however you want to explain it. John
Glenn even said, you know, when you fly into combat
with someone like you did with Ted Williams, there's a
bond you can't even describe. And I think there's something

(23:59):
to that. I'm sure that only goes so far. They're
probably guys who served together who couldn't stand each other.
But I think one of the things that I learned
about John Glenn and Ted Williams relationship was best explained
to me by John Glenn's son. His son David told
me he pointed out all those exact things, that they
were complete polar ends of the spectrum when it came
to everything, politics, life, ethics, everything. You know. John Glenn

(24:23):
was married to the same woman for seventy three years,
loved his children. There were the most important people in
his life. Ted Williams's three ex wives had very difficult
relationships with his children. Todd Ted Williams swore every fifth
word was a four letter word. John Glenn was very
quiet and reserved. But John Glenn's son told me that
I think that was one of the reasons why they
were friends was because they were so different that they

(24:44):
learned a lot about people and a lot about their
community and who they were learned by seeing someone totally
different than them. I have a letter that John Glenn
wrote home to his family during the Korean War where
he's describing a mission that he flew with Ted Williams,
and he just says something very simple. He says, what
a character. And to me, it really opened it up

(25:05):
how to understand their friendship was John Glenn never met
someone like Ted Williams. Maybe all the people he encountered
his entire life. He lived to be ninety five, Ted
Williams was probably the most unique person he ever met,
the singular human being with personality deficiencies and humor and way.

Speaker 4 (25:23):
He carried himself.

Speaker 5 (25:24):
I think it was really appealing to John Glenn to
meet this kind of guy, and the flip side was
that Ted Williams probably didn't meet many people like John Glenn,
and I think he learned a lot about the culture
of the Marine Corps and this astronaut mentality public servants,
someone who served in the Senate for four terms, so
I think they both learned a lot from each other.
The other thing that really I came to understand with

(25:46):
how their friendship not only maintained but developed and grew
over time was that they just had an undying respect
for one another. Ted Williams talked about seeing John Glenn
in the cockpit during the Korean War. He called him
cool as a cucumber. And I think, especially since Ted
Williams was not exactly a great fighter pilot during the
Korean War, he was just so impressed and wowed by

(26:08):
what John Glenn was able to do in the as
Alot as a fighter pilot and then years later as
a NASA astronaut, that he just had so much respect
for him many many years later, particularly when John Glenn
goes back to space at age seventy seven in nineteen
ninety eight. Ted Williams is one of the people who
attends the launch. He continually talks about how that's my hero,
that's my idol. So to Ted Williams, John Glenn was

(26:30):
his idol, which I thought is really remarkable, and this
sort of helped explain this friendship. As for John Glenn,
he often said, you know, Ted Williams was a great pilot.
He was someone, you know, the best wingman I ever had.
I think he was kind of exaggerating when he said that,
but he talked about giving up his baseball career for
all those years to serve in the military, particularly during
the Korean War, and he was very impressed that he

(26:52):
never he says he never heard him complain. He never
heard him say I should be at home, you know,
playing baseball with one hundred thousand dollars a year contract.
I shouldn't be eating these k rations or these terrible
foods and you know, served in the mess hall. He
should have been dining out on stakes in downtown Boston
or whatever. And I think that was one of the
things that John Gunn really respected about him was that

(27:13):
he never complained about being called back into the Marine
Corps and having dismissed basically two years of his prime
baseball career, So that was something for me that always
helped me understand why they had this mutual relationship.

Speaker 2 (27:25):
Joe, it's interesting.

Speaker 1 (27:27):
I want to run this by you because it reminds
me this friendship that Adam is so eloquently describing. I've
seen a little bit among players where there are major
league players are the best in the world, but within
that group is a subgroup of the truly elite, and
it's almost as if they share a bond and unspoken language.

(27:48):
You don't talking about like an Otani and a Mike
Trout together. And I think that John Glenn and Ted
Williams probably saw in one another this extreme level of excellence,
this rarity of elitism, if you will, and skill and approach.
I'm not sure, Joe, if you've seen that among baseball players,

(28:08):
that there is a connection there despite whatever cultural societal
differences there may be, But somethings share that I think
both recognize as something special.

Speaker 3 (28:17):
Well, there's somebody that they can share their experiences with
that understands I mean, not everybody understands somebody that performs
or orbits on that particular level. That's where it's different.
So that when you talk about Glenn and Williams stands
out to me is that they never met anybody like

(28:39):
each other before, so it was they did in the
sense that they were perfectionists. Probably they were. They were
they were the best at what they did, whether it
was baseball or as a as a fighter pilot that
Glenn was, but there there was a mutual respect just
based on their abilities and both although you've said it
earlier that Glenn wasn't necessarily attracted to the baseball thing

(29:01):
with with Williams, but he had to be attracted to
like you're saying, is sense of duty, is discipline, is
competitive nature, everything that you'd probably want still in a
fighter pilot that he recognized in him, And of course
I think I can identify with this. Williams loved the
fact that he didn't care. Glenn didn't care that he
was a baseball guy, that he hit four hundred, that

(29:23):
he was All Star, that he's one of the best
players used you know Teddy ball game, that he's the
best hiterver. He didn't give a crap about that, and
that really resonated for Williams too, the fact that somebody
did dig him and respected him for just him being him.
As opposed to this magnificent baseball player. So when you're
talking about with baseball players specifically, like Tommy brought up,

(29:44):
there's a level. I mean, some guys just they just again,
they orbit on a different level. And maybe it takes
Trout to understand, which shows up to her vice versa. However,
maybe this might be contradictory. But also there's this desire
from the superstar guy to really hang out with somebody

(30:05):
that's not at all like you need humor, you need
somebody that you need the floil. You need somebody that
deflates the balloon a little bit, that helps you relax
a bit. Againess, it takes all time. But the thing
that really stood out as you're explaining all this to
me was the attraction was based on the fact that
Williams never met anybody like Glenn before, and Glenn never

(30:25):
met anybody like Williams before. That's what I'm hearing.

Speaker 5 (30:28):
Yeah, you're and you're also right, tom you touched on
something else and this helps explain their friendship. In the
later years. John Glenn was not an international celebrity and
icon for Americana during the Korean War. It wasn't until
he went to Space in nineteen sixty two, ten years
later that he is meeting with President Kennedy frequently. You know,
everybody wants to shake his hand. He's on the cover

(30:50):
of Time magazine, Life Magazine, on TV. Every newspaper had
him on the cover after he returned from space. Ted
Williams was on the cover of Life magazine at age
twenty three in nineteen forty one. So he was a
national celebrity from nineteen thirty nine to the day he
died in two thousand and two. John Glenn would became
a national celebrity a little bit later, but for the

(31:11):
second half of their lives, they both kind of understood
what it was like to not be able to walk
down the street without fifty people coming at you wanting
your autograph or to take a picture or whatever. And
I think that touches on what you were saying about
two superstars, even in a culture of Major League Baseball,
having something to connect over that is dealing with celebrity idea.

Speaker 4 (31:33):
Right.

Speaker 5 (31:34):
Ted Williams, I don't think dealt with celebrity very well,
whereas John Glenn dealt with it very well. But I
think they learned from each other and that was something
else they shared in common was this idea of being
a household name and all the responsibilities that went with that.

Speaker 1 (31:47):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (31:47):
I love the one story.

Speaker 1 (31:49):
It's nineteen fifty seven and John Glenn it becomes the
first person first supersonic transcontinental flight across the US and
Ted Williams is playing a game in Kansas City. He
goes off to the Western Union off Its to send
a telegram to John Glenn his congratulations on record. I'm
a big shot now telling everyone I flew with you

(32:09):
in Korea, Ted Williams.

Speaker 5 (32:11):
Yeah, that's one of my favorite stories in the book.

Speaker 4 (32:14):
I actually have a copy of the telegram, which is interesting.

Speaker 5 (32:17):
Yeah, that's great for him to For Ted Williams is
at the time, other than maybe Mickey Mantle, the biggest
athlete in America. It's telling people that he knew John
Glenns and now he's a big shot. Yeah, that's really
that is a great story.

Speaker 1 (32:28):
But Adam getting getting back to the politics of it.
Of course, you know Williams he loved Herbert Hoover.

Speaker 2 (32:35):
He was a Nixon guy.

Speaker 1 (32:37):
John Glenn is running for the presidential nomination at nineteen
eighty four and Ted Williams doesn't support his buddy.

Speaker 5 (32:44):
Yeah, that's it's you know, I've talked a lot about
this book since it came out. Someone said to me
that that's a good sign of how committed Ted Williams was.

Speaker 4 (32:54):
To his politics and his beliefs.

Speaker 5 (32:56):
And he wouldn't even step across the party line to
help out his friend. But yeah, that's sort of an
interesting point in their friendship. Ted Williams was, you know,
very good friends with Nixon. Nixon used to visit him
in the locker room at RFK Stadium when he managed
the Senators. He was frequent guests at the White House.
Nixon would call him from Camp David to talk to him,
and he was a big supporter of Republicans for as

(33:18):
far back as he could remember. John Glenn runs for
president as a Democrat in nineteen eighty four, and his
campaign does not get off to a very good start,
and someone after a while floats the idea of we're
going up to Massachusetts. Why don't you asked Ted Williams
to endorse you, and they ran it by Ted Williams
and he said he wouldn't do it, and he said here.
A couple of years later, he was interviewed by Bob

(33:39):
Costas for one of Costas's radio shows, and he basically
said he came as close to saying he wished he
had voted for him. He wished he had supported him,
but he couldn't do it because he was a Republican.
That was something he often said. If Todd Ted Williams
was talking about his friendship with John Glenn, he would say,
I thought the world of him. He's my great hero.

(33:59):
He's the greatest person I ever met. It's just too
bad he was a Democrat. So it was always it
was there was that one line with Ted, with Ted
Williams and has never crossed. I interviewed a very good
friend to Ted Williams who knew him in the later years.
Huge baseball fan, he was a major general in the
Marine Corps.

Speaker 4 (34:17):
He said that Ted.

Speaker 5 (34:18):
Always had this way of no matter who he was
talking about, no matter how much he loved someone or
respected someone, there was always one caveat, And for John
Glenn it was that the caveat was he was a Democrat.
I don't know why that was. I guess it was.
It was something that made Ted feel better about himself.
But yeah, it's it's an interesting story that he couldn't,
he couldn't bring himself to support John Glenn and in

(34:39):
his race for the presidency. But John Glenn got over
it and their friendship continued on.

Speaker 3 (34:44):
Because briefly, I love the fact that he didn't like
his politics, but he liked him and he continued to
do so. I mean I left to see a lot
more of that happening today.

Speaker 5 (34:52):
Yeah, That's that's something that I've I've been you know,
I've talked a lot about during the course of my
book tour, is that they set their politics didn't get
in the way of their friendship. And today that's probably
much harder for something to happen than it was twenty
years ago. I don't know how John Glenn and Ted
Williams would have gotten along given their politics in today's climate,

(35:13):
but it is a good example for probably people today
that don't let you being a Republican and then being
a Democrat or whatever ruin a friendship that's forty years
old or fifty years old.

Speaker 3 (35:25):
Well, these people could think for themselves. So if they
could think for themselves, they're able to They're able to
differentiate between politics and what they thought about their friend
I absolutely believe that one hundred percent.

Speaker 1 (35:35):
Yeah, that's my if you will, for lack of a
better word, biggest lesson takeaway from the book. We've talked
a lot about their differences, and especially these days political differences.
Nobody wants to reach across the aisle, even to say hello,
and to have something that went beyond just a casual acquaintance.
It's acquaintance to a strong friendship. Is it's a testament

(35:56):
to the integrity of these guys, and you described that
so well. I want to then go to end of
life for Ted williams Adam In two thousand and one, he.

Speaker 2 (36:05):
Was recovering from an open heart surgery.

Speaker 1 (36:08):
He actually only had another year to live, and from
what I understand, you know, he couldn't speak for about
two months coming out of that surgery, a lot of complications,
and when he did begin to speak again, he asked
for John Glenn. He wanted to know how John Glenn
was doing. That's that says a lot right there.

Speaker 5 (36:26):
Yeah, there's that. That's one of those stories that I
uncovered that he couldn't talk. He had a trake in
his throat for a long time, and his friends were
all calling him, and John Glenn would call frequently and
one day John Glenn called and his Ted Williams son
answered and he couldn't talk. But then John, his Ted's son,
came in and said, oh, that was John Glenn on
the phone. And the first thing Ted Williams said was, oh,

(36:48):
how he is he? And that was the first thing
he had said in months. So that was sort of
a nice heartfelt moment in their relationship. And that was
another you know, when Ted was recovering from that, he
had like a twelve hour heart surgery, John Glenn visited
him in the hospital. He's visit him at his home
in Florida. It was something. I think there was something too,

(37:09):
not just the fact that they were friends and that
they had served together in the war. You know they
were in Ted was eighty three, John Glenn, I think
was seventy nine. Around this time, I think they had
this feeling of you know, they had made it, they
had survived, forget the war, they survived life in a way.
And when you get to be that age, I would
imagine you look around and see where all your friends are,

(37:29):
and a lot of them are probably gone. And for
Ted Williams, his friend John Glenn was still there and
John Glenn, his friend Ted Williams was still there and
it was something that they wanted to keep going. It
kept their friendship going meant a lot to them, and
I think that's one of the reasons you see John
Glenn visiting Ted Williams so frequently, Ted Williams calling John
Glenn to talk to him. It's a great story about
how long lasting some friendships can be.

Speaker 2 (37:51):
Well, it's an incredible read.

Speaker 1 (37:52):
I definitely can recommend it to anyone as a gift,
especially but just to buy for yourself. It's wing Men,
the unlikely, unusual, unbreakable friendship between John Glenn and Ted Williams,
two of the most really iconic American heroes and I
don't use that word lightly at all from the twentieth century,

(38:13):
and really about not just their own lives, but the
intersection and the friendship, especially between the two of those.

Speaker 3 (38:20):
It was just one more question before you go, just
this is off the cuff. Is there any mentioned of
Bob Kennedy Senior in this book at all? Executive manager, etc.

Speaker 4 (38:28):
The baseball part.

Speaker 3 (38:29):
Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 4 (38:30):
Yeah.

Speaker 5 (38:31):
Bob Kennedy was recalled to the Marine Corps at the
same time as Ted Williams, right. He was went through
a lot of the retraining that was required of Ted
Williams to go to serve in Korea, but he had
like six dependants at the time, so before he was
sent to duty, he was relieved of service and sent

(38:52):
back home. But he did retraining with Ted Williams. I
think he flew some practice missions over. It was probably
at Cherry Point in North Carolina. They were good friends
and they spent some time together, So yeah, he was.
There were very few people active ballplayers recalled in Korea,
but that was one of them. Jerry Coleman was another
who played obviously the Yankees and the Padres. Announcer Lloyd Merriman,

(39:16):
who was a tremendous college football player who ended up
playing for the Reds for a few years, also served
in Korea, actually in the squadron next door to Ted
Williams and John Glenn so he's mentioned in the book.
So yeah, there were a few guys. Bob Kennedy was
one of them, and he's mentioned in the book briefly.
I actually spoke about the book at Cooperstown in May

(39:36):
at their annual Baseball Book Symposium, and I gave a presentation.
It was partly on this book in Ted Williams, but
I did a little presentation on all four of those guys,
and Bob Kennedy was one of them.

Speaker 3 (39:47):
Mister Kennedy was running the Giants minor league system when
I began with the Angels, and I remember sitting next
to him at Genaudry Park and he was telling me
about him and Ted. He was telling me about all
that stuff is I knew Terry and his other son too.
And the big thing about mister Kennedy back there, he
hated the fact that there's too many strikeouts going on.
His big movement that year with the minor league system

(40:08):
was to cut down a number of strikeouts. And he
convinced me so much that I developed my b hack
that Tommy's very much aware of. Anyway, mister Kennedy was
he was another larger than life dude man. I mean,
he he had a lot of He had a lot
of jack back then in baseball, and when you're around
mister Kennedy, you knew you were around a dude man,
and say, well, I always had a lot of respect

(40:29):
for him, and I just wanted to bring that up
because he had talked about Ted Offfen to me whenever
I sat with him talking about what was going on
the field that day.

Speaker 2 (40:38):
Adam, you'd done a great job with this book.

Speaker 1 (40:40):
It's a fascinating read, well researched, well written.

Speaker 2 (40:43):
Congratulations.

Speaker 1 (40:44):
I wish you all the best of luck, and we
certainly have enjoyed you. Stop and buy the Book of
Joe podcast.

Speaker 4 (40:49):
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (40:51):
We're going to wrap it up with some closing thoughts
right after this, Joe. I really enjoyed that conversation, and
I think you just get a little bit of an
insight of how much is in the book, and again,

(41:15):
the details of it.

Speaker 2 (41:16):
It is like reading the script of Top Gun.

Speaker 1 (41:19):
The details, especially these missions that John Gled and Ted
Williams ran, are just amazing the way he brings it
to life.

Speaker 2 (41:26):
I really enjoyed the conversation.

Speaker 3 (41:28):
Yeah, and it's just it's just tumbling to hear what
these men did. And again I mentioned it during the podcast,
for those that did serve and for those of us
that did not. I mean, I'm very in a sense jealous.
I really what they did and how they did it,
and how they set an example for so many other people.

(41:50):
I think is spectacular. So yeah, I'm gonna have to
pick this up. I need to get more background with that.
I need to hear more of the stories. But that's
immediately what I My impression is here humbled by the
fact that these guys did for all of us back
in the nineteen fifties and before.

Speaker 2 (42:08):
That's a great word to describe that.

Speaker 1 (42:10):
Hey, Joe, I've got a question for you about managing
in Ted Williams, because obviously Ted Williams, you know, his
goal was to walk down the street and people would
say that's the greatest hitter who ever lived, and he
may be. I mean, he's certainly in the conversation, right,
so a huge success there as a manager.

Speaker 2 (42:27):
Kind of a mixed bag now.

Speaker 1 (42:29):
I think he's actually a little bit underrated in his
time as a manager. But it was set about Ted Williams,
and it's set about a lot of great players who
become managers or in other sports, coaches that they have
a hard time relating to the everyday player, that they
can't play the game at the same level. I'm not
sure if you ever came across people who worked with
Ted Williams or remembered him as a manager, but I

(42:51):
do you buy into this theory that it's harder for
the elite player to.

Speaker 2 (42:57):
Become a successful manager.

Speaker 3 (42:59):
Well, I mean I did running the people that played
for Ted and a coach to work with him when
Joe Coleman was one of them, and Joe kind of
related that story to me if he loved them, he
thought he was great. He had so many great little insights,
but it's hard for anybody else to live up to
the standards that he created for himself as a player.
So that was that was not only Junior. Some other

(43:23):
guys told me the same thing about working for him,
and beyond that on a personal level, when you sometimes
when you work with coaches that were such good players,
they're not as good at coaches as they were players. Again,
I think a lot of times when a lot of
times a really great player, there's things that were indigenous
or unique to himself, things that just his body worked

(43:44):
in a certain way, and that's how we did it.
And when he came down to actually breaking him out
teaching it to somebody more pedestrian, they're unable to do
that because I only try to tell them the way
that they did it, and they don't have that ability
to say it. In other words, to me, the true
essence of coaching is the ability to say the same
thing to two or three four different guys in other words,

(44:06):
whatever those set of words are that makes sense to
Tom or to me, or to Vans or whomever, or
today Adam. I mean, it's so important. I don't know
that people focus on that enough. I was my big
thing as a young coach. I wanted to make my
staff understand that, be prepared to say the same thing,
in other words, to make sure that you do resonate

(44:26):
with everybody. They're really great players, to me, are not
necessarily able to do that because they never had it.
They never had to break it down for themselves. They
just did it, which is beautiful. That's the way to live, man,
when you're able to just being consciously competent. Here it is,
here's the pitch. I'm seeing the ball. I hit the
ball pitcher, I see the catcher's mitt. I throw it
right through the catcher's chest. You have this unconsciously competent moment.

(44:49):
We just do things because it's the moment. And that's
what these guys do. And that's the beauty of being great,
and that's the you know, but that's the beauty of
not being so great in the sense that you become
a better teacher because you have no other choice.

Speaker 1 (45:03):
Yeah, those are all great points, Joe, because I think
the key and success and you did it so well
as a manager is connecting with people, all kinds of people,
no matter their skill level, their personality, their backgrounds.

Speaker 2 (45:18):
You have to find different ways to reach people.

Speaker 1 (45:21):
And I remember Joe Torre telling me years ago that
sometimes when a player finally the light goes on and
he turns the corner, it's not because that coaching staff
happened to tell him something he never heard before. It's
that maybe they presented it in a way that connected
with that individual. And I think for some with Ted Williams,
based on what I've read and heard from some other people,

(45:43):
he did some things that were extremely impressive as a manager.
For instance, he completely changed the career of Frank Coward
as a hitter. He just turned him into a home
run champion and All Star when he was not that
kind of player before Ted got his hands on him.
Someone like Mike Epstein turned him into a much better player.
But I'm not sure that Ted Williams, first of all,

(46:05):
uh managed up well in terms.

Speaker 2 (46:07):
Of the owners that he dealt with.

Speaker 1 (46:10):
He's not the kind of guy who's gonna take advice,
I don't think. And I'm not sure how he could
relate to pictures. I mean, Ted Williams lived to hit.
I'm not sure he lived to play defense, or to
read a bases or to appease fans. His life was
to be the best hitter in the world, and he
poured every ounce of energy into that.

Speaker 2 (46:31):
So I'm not sure that he was relatable to pictures.

Speaker 1 (46:34):
And you know how a big part of managing is
the pitching side of it, so you know, you know
better than anybody, Joe. It sort of takes a renaissance
person to to really be successful as a manager. And
Ted was so great at hitting, you know, I'm not
sure those other managerial skills were in his wheelhouse.

Speaker 3 (46:54):
Yeah they were. They were just pretty much specialist in
one area. They didn't really have that. I've often talked
about the liberal liberal arts component. They didn't have to.
I mean, you hit that good, you don't have to.
You're that good of a hitter. When you get a
guy that's that good of a hitter, I think of
Aaron judge right out of the shoot. I'm thinking about
Showy too. But when you got a really good hitter
that's also a good everything else, good base, when a

(47:17):
good out for the good thrower, you know, just as
the greatestinct for the game makes good decisions for the
right base, all these different things, then you really got something.
But there's a lot of times that there has been
that moment because a good hitter is going to get paid.
A good hitter, a team's going to find a place
to play a good hitter. You've seen people at second base.
I've had second base a second basement dan Ugla a

(47:38):
couple of years ago as an example with the Brads,
You're going to find a place to play somebody that's
got that kind of hitting ability and power independent of
the rest of his game. So, yeah, that's it happens
with managers. He became a manager just based on who
he had meant and then maybe he did have the
ability to help a couple of guys. Maybe what he

(47:58):
said resonated to Frank as an example of Epstein as
an example, But it doesn't necessarily touch everybody because there's
only one way. And listen, I'm not going to point
anybody out. But I've been around other guys that id
just one method of teaching. Like I said, they said
it one way and I'm listening to And the last
point that resonated for me as a young hitter in

(48:20):
the minor leagues. I mean, I my most stupid. He said,
tell me, get your backside longer, longer. And I went,
and the hell is he talking about? Get your backside?
I didn't know what he meant for like two years.
I had him for two years and finally figured out
what he's talking about. How to rotate return on the
ball of my back foot, you know, all that kind
of stuff. But it was like his his his way

(48:41):
of saying it was get your backside longer. I had
no idea what he was talking about, which meant I
did not get it for a couple of years. And
then finally the light bulb goes on and then ah,
that's what he meant. That's what happens. That's what happens.
You have these the light bulb moments. That's what he meant.
All of a sudden it makes sense. And that's last
point again, redundancy. That's that's the essence of coaching is

(49:04):
to be be redundant.

Speaker 2 (49:05):
Well, greatness.

Speaker 1 (49:06):
You know that word is used probably too much, but
I think this case of these two men, it certainly
does apply. And one last thing for me, Joe, and
I'll go back to a column that Ted Williams actually
wrote for the Boston Globe back in nineteen sixty two.
I mean Ted didn't do that a lot in terms
of putting his name on something. He did do a
lot of interviews. I'm talking about a written piece he

(49:28):
wrote for the Globe. And he did it when the
Globe asked him to write something about his friend John Glenn,
because Glenn had just finished orbiting the Earth, the first
manner to orbit around the Earth on the friendship seven.
And here is what Williams wrote. And again it goes
back to these guys being thrown together essentially by happenstance
in Korea, and the connection instantly made. What did they

(49:50):
have in common? Here's what Ted Williams wrote. Glenn was
a man destined for something great. It was an intuitive
feeling I had. John always had exceptional self control and
was one one of the calmest men I have ever met,
no matter how perilous the situation.

Speaker 3 (50:10):
Well, I mean that says it on I would almost
bet or believe that Williams kind of either felt that
way about himself or wanted to be more like that.
I mean that's and then he saw him in an
absolute gosh, I mean, you know, life and dead situation.
I mean that they're not talking about like being nervous
about giving a speech before the assembly. This is like

(50:30):
dropping bombs on an enemy territory. Then they used the
word calm in that moment just speaks to his focus,
his ability to see things, sell things down, all the
different things a great hitter wants to be or is.
So I'm certain that he saw a lot in John
Glenn that he wanted to believe was that he could
recognize within himself. And that's what that article sounds like

(50:52):
to me.

Speaker 1 (50:53):
Well, this has been a lot of fun, Joe and boy,
I don't know how you do it, but you usually
always have a great capper to our talks here, and
but I can't wait to see what we've got for
this one after we just went through John Glenn and
Ted Williams.

Speaker 3 (51:08):
Well, well, I did go with mister Glenn. I mean,
of course, knowing the book, and I thought it was
appropriate to include him, and it's it almost is like,
you know, it's when you talk about people that rotat
in that great world, a world of greatness. I mean,
he said, we are fulfilled and we are involved with
something bigger than ourselves. And I mean I thought about

(51:30):
show hey, like we're talking about a baseball since he
was kind of saying that the other day regarding what
he did in regards to his signing, and John Glenn
did it in a more worldly sense during during a
war he was he he did everything that he did
to be involved in something bigger than he was, and
he thought sense of duty, a call to duty, this

(51:51):
is important. I got to get this done. If I
don't do this, nobody else will. He had probably had
all these different thoughts when he led into the battle,
and then the fact that he circled back to make sure,
my god, don't you start high telling at that point,
I don't even want to go back where I've just been.
So that's we're fulfilled. We're fulfilled when we are involved
with something bigger than ourselves. And then I wanted to

(52:14):
conclude it with this just based on something that I
heard Adam say in another interview. We talked about things
are different back then. We hear that all the time.
Everything we talked about You and I talked about it,
talk about it in baseball, talk about it a lot.
And I had a teacher in high school, mister Julie Franzosa,
and Julie was he was kind of funny dude. He said,
at third base and sitting on the corner of third

(52:36):
base and my uncle Carly and David my mom were working.
Julie was hit there one day. I guess he said
something to the effect that mister Lemanatti told me about it.
But things are better when they were worse.

Speaker 2 (52:48):
That's a yogism, right.

Speaker 3 (52:50):
I carry that with me and I passed along to
to the right person who might appreciate it. But you know,
you talk about what's going on now, and you talk
about what had happened, and to a certain extent, maybe
things were better when they were worse. I know, listen
tech wise, and there's a lot of parts about our
standard of living that are better and our whether it's

(53:11):
just right down to the fact that I could do this,
We could do this. Zoomer and an Ipata watched a
really nice color TV last night. I can fly whatever
I want to fly, but there's so many things we
could do that are more convenient. But when it just
comes to interacting with one another instability. Maybe things were
better when they were worse. I don't know, but that's
something from Julie Franzosi, so I thought it kind of

(53:33):
fit into the genre of what we're talking about right now,
historically some great figures, and I just wanted to throw
that out there too.

Speaker 1 (53:40):
Hey, Joe, no offense to Julie Franzoso, but I have
to have you go back to that quote from John Glenn.

Speaker 2 (53:46):
I love that so much that I want to hear
it again.

Speaker 3 (53:50):
We are more fulfilled when we're involved with something bigger
than ourselves, John Glenn.

Speaker 2 (53:55):
I mean that.

Speaker 1 (53:57):
I mean nothing true or has been spoken. I think,
especially in today's age, Joe, where you've seen it, and
not just with play but people in general. There's so
much inward looking going on, you know, for lack of
a better phrases they use in social media and navel gazing,
where it's about you while you're looking in on yourself
and you make your world very singular. No, that's not

(54:19):
where satisfaction and gratitude comes from.

Speaker 2 (54:22):
It is truly a part of being something bigger.

Speaker 1 (54:25):
And I don't know about you, but you know, mostly
growing up playing team sports, that's first nature to me
to think about team. So it's not for a lot
of people. I get that, I understand that, but it's
a reminder that we should never take for granted that
people think that it's a truism, because it is a
truism and a lot of people do need to hear it,

(54:47):
especially in today's world, that to be part of something
bigger outside of yourself, that's where the true rewards are.

Speaker 3 (54:54):
Talking about team, you're talking about family, You're talking about
all those different things. I think again, when I hear
the word branding, I just like I cringe when I
hear that, and even even to the point now I
mean just I don't want to go from tangent, but
like even like we've talked about this, for instance, travel
teams as an example, and I used to play for
the Hazelton area, Hazelton All Stars, the Mountaineers. I mean,

(55:17):
you played for the area that you come from and
the people that live in that area. To almost become
a carpetbagger or a mercenary at an early age to
pay money to go play somewhere else. There's the loyalties
never built. You just don't arrive at that point where
it means something to have that city name on the
front of your shirt and you go out through it
a bunch of guys that you grew up with and

(55:39):
you beat a bunch of guys from another town. I
mean that to me was the ultimate. I mean, we
win the World Series, of course, and that's awesome, But
I could go back to when the Molly mcguires we
win our championship up in Swuersville for the Tennis League
All Stars shoot. That might have been nineteen sixty seven
or six. What a big moment. I mean, those are
things that resonate to me and all the other dudes

(55:59):
that live in this area that are run into that
we grew up with together. We're missing that stuff. We're
missing that we need to promote that more. But I
listened to Genies out of the Bottle. I don't know
that that could ever get placed back into that kind
of routine.

Speaker 1 (56:12):
Yeah, and listen, playing for the name on the back
of the jersey, there's nothing wrong with that either, because
that name is not just your name, that is your
family name.

Speaker 3 (56:22):
Agreed and listen. I'm very proud to where my name
on the back of my jersey. And one of the
big things for me to get to the big leagues
was that my dad would be able to yes, say
Yankee Stadium. I think I thought Yankee Stadium exactly, and
then he'd be standing behind the dug out and I
would walk out of the dugout with my name on
the back of my shirt. Away thought that'd be a great.

Speaker 2 (56:43):
Moment, very cool. Hey, this was a very cool episode.

Speaker 1 (56:47):
We'll have to do something like this again because again,
I'm recommended highly if you're a fan of baseball, the
space race, American history, what makes great people tick, all
of that stuff.

Speaker 2 (56:59):
You've got it in the Wingman. A lot of fun. Joe,
thanks again, well.

Speaker 3 (57:02):
Don Tommy, thank you.

Speaker 1 (57:09):
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