In lieu of actual baseball, I’ll be posting snippets that were cut from The Baseball Codes as a way of amusing myself and, hopefully, you. Today’s theme: intimidation.
From “Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays”:
As a young player Mays was ripe for intimidation. [While with the Birmingham Barons] he had hit a home run off Chet Brewer, one of the league’s top pitchers. The next time up, Brewer hit him on the arm with a fastball. Pain went through Mays’s entire body. “I was on the ground in tears when Piper [Davis] bent over me and said, ‘Don’t let this guy show you up. You see first base over there? I want you to get up and then I want you to run to first base. And the first chance you get, I want you to steal second and then third.’ ”
Mays said that he followed Piper’s orders and stole second. “All of a sudden, as I was standing on the base, I realized what was going on. Piper made me show the pitcher that he couldn’t hurt me by hitting me on the arm. Not only couldn’t he hurt me, but that if he tried, I would show him up. That’s how I learned against one of the best pitchers in the league.”