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Jack's still got it...

Accord

Muckdog
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01/27/06

A seasoned McKeon offers rimshots, advice

Jack McKeon, 75 years young, knows how to work a room.

Thursday, during the second of two presentations to the residents of South Port Square in Port Charlotte, the former manager of the Florida Marlins, who took them to the World Series title in 2003, had them laughing with his tales about baseball and growing old.

"Our generation is the seasoned generation," McKeon said. "I don't like to say senior."

McKeon, who had managing stints in Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego and Cincinnati before finding the Fountain of Youth with the Marlins in 2003 as the oldest manager ever to win the World Series, believes that life is just beginning for him.

It's the message he is telling in his second book, "I'm Just Getting Started."

"I wanted to leave a message, I wanted to reach all generations and alert them, advise them about how precious life is," McKeon said.

He regaled his "seasoned" listeners with stories of his relationships in and out of the world of baseball. "I've been in baseball for over 50 years, and I've met a lot of wonderful people and managed a lot of Hall of Fame players," he noted.

As well as he managed, McKeon also could have been a comedian.

To wit:

"I'm so old, I can remember Preparation A."

Rimshot.

"Now on my birthday, the candles cost more than the cake."

Rimshot.

"My mind still works like lightning -- one flash and it's gone."

Rimshot.

McKeon spoke about his growing up in New Jersey and wanting to play professionally, but acceding to his father's wishes to attend college. So he matriculated to Holy Cross, where he prayed that his father would allow him to sign a contract.

That Christmas, scouts again showed up with a contract, and this time McKeon's father agreed to allow him to sign as long as he got a college education. It took McKeon eight offseasons, but he eventually did from Elon University in the late 1950s.

By that time, McKeon and others had already figured his best route to the majors was as a manager.

"Danny Murtaugh (his manager at New Orleans, then a Triple A team for the Pirates) said he recommended me to Mr. (Branch) Rickey (then the Pirates' GM)," McKeon related. "When Danny (who led the Pirates over the Yankees in the 1960 World Series) told me that, I kind of realized I couldn't play."

Rimshot.

"One time, we were ahead 10-2 in a game, and Danny said to me, 'Mac, grab a bat and stop this rally.' That's when I knew I was going to become a manager."

Rimshot.

McKeon's message to his audiences, young or seasoned: "Live every day ... follow your dreams ... be persistent ... believe in the power of prayer."

"You're never too young to get older," he said, "and you're never too old to get younger. My advise to you is to stay active. I'm 75, and I work out every day and have fun. There's still a lot of kid in me. Take a cruise, write a book, teach a class, run on the treadmill, stay active."

And have fun, always.

Laughter can help. McKeon told this story about sharing pizza with Yogi Berra:

"The waitress asked Yogi, do you want us to cut it in four slices or eight?" McKeon said. "Yogi said, 'I can't eat eight slices.' Make it four."

Rimshot.

http://www.sun-herald.com/NewsArchive2/012...6&story=sp2.htm

:lol :notworthy
 

PBMarlin

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"The waitress asked Yogi, do you want us to cut it in four slices or eight?" McKeon said. "Yogi said, 'I can't eat eight slices.' Make it four."


:lol

Going to have to add that one to my sig.
 

BlackaWhacka

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"One time, we were ahead 10-2 in a game, and Danny said to me, 'Mac, grab a bat and stop this rally.' That's when I knew I was going to become a manager."

LOL.......

McKeon rules..... I hope he lands a job some time again.
 

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