Tom Kelly Interview of 19980531
Sort of accidentally, I interviewed Twins Manager Tom Kelly. I was actually there visiting another Twins player (who's name I have forgotten) who I met at one of the tech fairs earlier in the year. The Twins organization was great. I contacted them about an interview, and they easily arranged press credentials and guided me through the labyrinthian tunnels under the dome to the playing field. I'd never been on a professional baseball field before; heck, it was only the second or third time I'd been inside the dome at all.
I'm a science fiction radio producer, not a sports reporter. I think that showed all around. Yet everyone was super-nice and treated me special. I got to the dugout and talked to my guy. He was pumped up, but not particularly interesting. I interviewed one of the cameramen. He was good (his favorite memory was Kirby Pucket's home run in the 6th game of the World Series).
And there was the manager, managing. This was well before the game, but he was busy. I approached him somewhat shyly, but he was up for an interview. I hadn't prepared for an interview with him, but of course I knew who he was and some of his highlights.
I was unprepared for a revelation: I asked him what his favorite science fiction book was. It turns out that Tom Kelly was nearly illiterate and "could barely fill out the line-up card". He'd spoken of this before, though I haven't seen mention of it before or since.
I then stayed for my first baseball game ever. The Twins lost, but it was a good game; no pitcher's duel at 5-6. Then I interviewed the guy behind me who kept yelling "batterbatterbatterbatter". It was fun.
On Shockwave later that week, I talked about going to the game, and eventually edited the interviews down and played the relevant parts on the air. I've never played the whole interview; it just didn't seem that interesting after the game. I can see why sports shows play short sound bites, and why sports figures master the phrases that get them on the air.
Still, the Twins are retiring Tom Kelly's number today (9/8/12) and I now have niftier technology than before. So I cobbled together a bunch of photos I took (and various LJers are in a few of them) as background for the audio, and posted it.