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Monday, June 15, 2015

Wid Matthews' Matchless Track Record

Jon Weisman has a brief story up about how the Dodgers missed out on Willie Mays:
Jackie [Robinson] says the Dodgers blew a chance to land Willie Mays when he was a 16-year-old phenom with the Birmingham Black Barons. “The Dodger players were much impressed with Mays when we played an exhibition game with the Barons,” said Jackie. “The front office in Brooklyn was contracted, but Wid Mathews, Mr. Rickey’s assistant, turned down Willie because Wid said he couldn’t hit a curve ball.”
This is genuinely incredible, because Wid Mathews also wrote off Jackie Robinson  as "strictly the showboat type". It's one thing to be wrong about a player, but to clank so impressively on two Hall of Famers is something like a reverse Midas touch.

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