Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How Mick Became Killer Kelleher

A few days ago, I wrote about meeting Mick Kelleher, current coach with the New York Yankees and one of my favorite Cubs as I was growing up. I asked Kelleher about his scrap with Dave Kingman.
In 1977, when Kelleher was playing with the Cubs and Kingman was playing with the San Diego Padres (one of the four teams for Kingman in 1977), Kingman slid extra hard into second base. Kingman was supposedly upset that Cubs pitcher Steve Renko had hit him with a pitch. Despite Kingman's size (he had about 9 inches and 40 pounds on Kelleher), Kelleher jumped on Kingman and started to pummel him. In the video below, Kelleher talks about the incident.

I love the story, especially because Kingman joined the Cubs the next year. The two became teammates and put the wrestling match behind them. It's a great example of competitiveness on the field.
This is just one of many reasons why I liked Kelleher. It was a lot of fun watching him play and it was a real pleasure meeting and talking to him at Citi Field.
I really appreciate Kelleher giving us a few moments. I also appreciate the New York Mets for making this possible by facilitating Global Traveler's request for media access to the field.

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