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Biofile Manny Sanguillen Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: MLB catcher from 1967-1980 with Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland A’s.

DOB: March 21, 1944 In: Colon, Panama

First Baseball Memory: “The first time I sign in 1965. The second year I was in spring training. And when I get to the clubhouse, for me, the first person I saw was Roberto Clemente sitting down in the clubhouse. And from that time, baseball, I love baseball.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I have so many. I have to say in ‘71, (Baltimore Orioles manager Earl) Weaver said we were going to lose (World Series) in four. We come on and win in seven.”

Most Painful Moment: “In ‘72. The right pitch – when we lose against Cincinnati. But God blessed us and we came back and won in ‘79. You don’t quit.”

Baseball Inspirations: “Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Rod Carew. In honesty…Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson.”

Favorite Uniforms: “We have them. The Pittsburgh Pirates.”

Favorite Stadium: “Chicago and Three Rivers Stadium.”

Closest Baseball Friend: “Roberto Clemente.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “The funny ones, in all honesty, was Dock Ellis and Steve Blass.”

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “I don’t have one. Because I was prepared for the war.”

Most Memorable Hit: “In the ninth inning with two outs in Baltimore in the World Series (game two), with a lot of snow, 25 degrees, and they pinch-hit me. Bam. Eddie Ott scored. We win the game.”

Strangest Game: “Really sometimes your body doesn’t feel the same way every day but you have to push yourself to comeback. They were tough times. But I’d fight and I’d come back and do it the right way.”

Embarrassing Baseball Memory: “That’s the right pitch that I took in ‘72.”

Funny Baseball Memory: “After I caught no-hit, no-run in New York in 1969. That one I was laughing and I’ll laugh forever because (I) caught no-hit, no-run, that’s going to be in your memory for a long time.”

Favorite Sport Outside Baseball: “Golf.”

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Number one, Tiger Woods. Number two, LeBron James. Number three…Jesus.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “They have a great time, love people, love your neighbor, and help each other.”

Career Accomplishments: .296 career batting average (4th highest by a catcher since WW2/10th highest for a catcher in MLB history); 1,500 career hits and 585 RBI; All-Star in 1971, 1972, 1975; World Champions with Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971 and 1979.

About Mark Malinowski

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