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Biofile Bob Scott Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

STATUS: Bob was a pitching star for the old Negro League New York Black Yankees from 1946-1950.

DOB: June 22, 1930-2020 IN: Macon, Georgia

CHILDHOOD HERO: “My father, Howard. He was a man that loved baseball. He organized a team in Macon, Georgia…the Macon Braves when I was 10. When I was 16, I was in the Negro League playing for the Black Yankees.”

CHILDHOOD DREAM: “I dreamed of playing baseball with Campanella, Newcombe, Doby and Robinson. And that dream came true. I met Campanella in Gaston, Alabama at a game we played. He was more than what I thought he would be – a fun-loving guy, happy-go-lucky. That’s what Campanella was. Real down-to-earth. We need a few more of those guys around.”

HOBBY: “Horse racing. They’re just beautiful. Reminds me so much of the game of baseball. We’re always trying, always trying. Seeing them run their hearts out keeps the competitive moods in me going.”

FAVORITE MOVIES: “Randolph Scott movies. Such a good actor and a fine gentleman in all his pictures.”

FAVORITE ATHLETES: “Derek Jeter is an old throwback to the old days. John Olerud is a throwback. Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods…just quiet. Play the game like it’s supposed to be played. You have to be a gentleman to be a player. Carry yourself as a gentleman..that’s all sports asks you to do.”

EARLY BASEBALL MEMORY: “My father once told me, I want you to hit a homer so we can get this game over and hurry back and get back home. We were about 60 miles from home. And the next time up – BAM! – I hit the home run [laughs]!”

FAVORITE MEAL: “Baked chicken.”

FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: “All ice cream. That’s what’s wrong with me now [laughs]!”

FUNNY MEMORY: “1949, we were coming into Pine Brook, Arkansas to play a game. We were getting off the bus. There was a gentleman standing there and he said, ‘I hope you boys brought some black baseballs cause you ain’t gonna hit no white ones here tonight [laughs]!’ That was one of my funniest memories as a player. Most of the time it was just great to be in the Negro Leagues.”

GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: “When Jackie Robinson picked a few players from the Negro Leagues to play for his All-Star team. I played on Jackie’s All-Star team…with Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, Ernie Banks. We travelled all around the United States. The chance to play on the same field as Jackie Robinson.”

MOST PAINFUL MOMENT: “When Roy Campanella had his car accident [that left him paralyzed]. I knew Campy well. Hurt me as much as it hurt him. I read it early in the morning in the paper on the front porch.”

TOUGHEST COMPETITORS: “Buck Leonard and Leonard Pearson. They were mean, man. I didn’t get a chance to pitch against Josh Gibson. He had passed on by the time I came in ’46 or ’47.”

PEOPLE MOST ADMIRED: “I see quite a few people I admire. By the way they carry themselves. The time has almost passed where people don’t know what respect is. And when you get respect, you don’t even know how to accept it. Respect is one of the most special things you can have in life.”

(Notes: I got lucky to do this rare interview with Bob Scott at a Mets game tribute to Negro League players.)

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