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  1. #1
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    Al Campanis - 25 years later

    ESPN this morning looked back at the infamous Al Campanis interview on ABC's Nightline.

    VIDEO - ABC NIGHTLINE 4/6/87

    I normally did not watch Nightline but I did that night because of the Hagler-Leonard fight.

    Why I am sure everybody reading this knows the story, it is important to look at the interview and how Ted Koppel tried to save him.

    CAMPANIS: No, I don't believe it's prejudice. I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.

    KOPPEL: Do you really believe that?

    CAMPANIS: Well, I don't say that all of them, but they certainly are short. How many quarterbacks do you have? How many pitchers do you have that are black?

    KOPPEL: Yeah, but I mean, I gotta tell you, that sounds like the same kind of garbage we were hearing 40 years ago about players, when they were saying, ''Aah, not really -- not really cut out --" Remember the days, you know, hit a black football player in the knees, and you know, no --" That really sounds like garbage, if -- if you'll forgive me for saying so."

    CAMPANIS: No, it's not -- it's not garbage, Mr. Koppel, because I played on a college team, and the center fielder was black, and the backfield at NYU, with a fullback who was black, never knew the difference, whether he was black or white, we were teammates. So, it just might just be -- why are black men, or black people, not good swimmers? Because they don't have the buoyancy.
    I almost fell off the couch when he made the buoyancy crack.

    In the past 25 years there has been some movement with African-Americans in the front office and Bob Watson and Kenny Williams have won the World Series as GM.

    I don't believe Watson ever gets enough credit for the Yankees of the late 90's.

    Ted Turner hired Bill Lucas as GM but he died suddenly at the age of 43.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/p...39096&c_id=atl

    I see fields of green, Veeck's pinwheel lights
    Cubs lose by day, Sox win at night
    And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
    .

  2. #2
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    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    I remember watching that interview when it aired. I just had nothing better to do at that age than watch a lot of Ted Koppel, which is a reason that ABC never had late-night until Koppel retired (his ratings trounced both Dave & Jay ... by a lot). I also watched Magic Johnson after he'd gotten AIDS.

    If Campanis had meant that blacks needed better mentoring, then I'd agree. What did he mean about QBs or pitchers? There are lots of people in those areas who are smart, and some not so much. However, there were a lot more white QBs than black ones when that statement was made.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  3. #3

    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee View Post
    I remember watching that interview when it aired. I just had nothing better to do at that age than watch a lot of Ted Koppel, which is a reason that ABC never had late-night until Koppel retired (his ratings trounced both Dave & Jay ... by a lot). I also watched Magic Johnson after he'd gotten AIDS.

    If Campanis had meant that blacks needed better mentoring, then I'd agree. What did he mean about QBs or pitchers? There are lots of people in those areas who are smart, and some not so much. However, there were a lot more white QBs than black ones when that statement was made.
    Campanis' argument simply came down to claiming that there must be a good reason for the status quo (in this case, lack of capability), when in fact the reason was a bad one (prejudice and lack of opportunity).

    Sadly, this type of argument remains ever-present in our discourse about a lot of things.
    "Baseball is about hope, not confidence." -- rajah

  4. #4
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    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by sweet_lou_14 View Post
    Campanis' argument simply came down to claiming that there must be a good reason for the status quo (in this case, lack of capability), when in fact the reason was a bad one (prejudice and lack of opportunity).

    Sadly, this type of argument remains ever-present in our discourse about a lot of things.

    Irony is now Magic Johnson will be the face of ownership of the Dodgers.

    I see fields of green, Veeck's pinwheel lights
    Cubs lose by day, Sox win at night
    And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
    .

  5. #5
    R-I-P, Mr. Nelson Mandela Jersey Yankee's Avatar
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    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by sweet_lou_14 View Post
    Campanis' argument simply came down to claiming that there must be a good reason for the status quo (in this case, lack of capability), when in fact the reason was a bad one (prejudice and lack of opportunity).

    Sadly, this type of argument remains ever-present in our discourse about a lot of things.
    I thought that he was referring to a lack of mentors or sports leaders to set examples. You know, like what Joe Morgan refers to when he mentions the RBI program for minority youth.

    I'd have to read the whole thing, but I guess that Al must've missed the entire career of Bob Gibson if he'd mentioned a lack of black pitchers. I'm not sure how many black pitchers there were back then.

    Re the lack of QBs in the NFL, I think that in the Super Bowl directly after those comments, a black QB won that for the first and, to date, the only time. I guess that black QBs are more prevalent in the NFL.

    Oh, and a team most famous for white stars of yore has CC as their ace.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  6. #6
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    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by chisox View Post
    Irony is now Magic Johnson will be the face of ownership of the Dodgers.
    I thought of two things when I heard that Magic's group bought the LA Dodgers:

    Well, there goes any chance that they'll return to their rightful roots in Brooklyn.

    -and-

    Interesting that he took a different route from Michael Jordan, whose Charlotte Bobcats are unfortunately the Basement Berthas of today (7-44).

    http://www.nba.com/standings/team_re...w_Std_Cnf.html
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  7. #7

    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee View Post
    Well, there goes any chance that they'll return to their rightful roots in Brooklyn.
    What gave you any idea that such a chance ever existed?
    "Baseball is about hope, not confidence." -- rajah

  8. #8
    R-I-P, Mr. Nelson Mandela Jersey Yankee's Avatar
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    Re: Al Campanis - 25 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by sweet_lou_14 View Post
    What gave you any idea that such a chance ever existed?
    Just one of those li'l secret desires ... that the Dodgers get returned to Brooklyn, and the Muts go to LA.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

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