2 Guys Talking: Wayne Garrett and Mom’s Favorites


I was around eight years old when I realized that Mom had a crush on Wayne Garrett. I mean to say: Mom really, really liked “Red” and it made for some uncomfortable moments at the dinner table. Of course, an Irish lass herself, Mom was a sucker for any pale-skinned, freckle-faced kid who had a good eye at the plate. That Garrett volunteered for the Army Reserves sealed the deal. Whatever was going wrong with the country in the late 60’s (sex, drugs, and rock & roll), the clean-cut  Garrett appeared to Mom as the antithesis. Later on, her affections shifted to a series of light-hitting, slick-fielding shortstops; she showed more enthusiasm for Jose Oquendo than his play ever warranted. (By the way, he was “Little Jose” to Mom, always and forever.) There was a disturbing period when she grew infatuated with Paul Lo Duca, something I never understood. But these days, Mom is slowing down. She’s 86, still a faithful fan, but her engines have cooled.


Mom had her favorites but I never really thought about it like that. She did like to tell a story about how Frank Thomas asked for her phone number once, but that always seemed more about her pride in herself than about Frank. Dad never got much of a kick out of hearing about it, I do remember that (and in case there was any doubt Thomas did not get the number). And I guess she really liked Keith Hernandez, and most women sure did, but the Keith thing was so universal back then. Everyone loved Keith, he was the guy who could infatuate both Jerry and Elaine.

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  1. Ken H. says:

    While nobody could rival Jerry Grote or Bud Harrelson for my Mom in the 60s and 70s, much like Jerry and Elaine, we competed for Keith’s affection in the 80s. I recall my mother and myself racing to the old Barnes & Noble on Continental Avenue in Forest Hills (which has since moved to a larger space on Austin Street) to get in line for Keith to autograph my copy of ‘If At First’ at a weekend afternoon book signing. At least I thought it was MY copy, but that book, whether by way of inertia or other circumstance, now resides on a bookshelf at my mother’s house. Incidentally, we got to B&N early enough to be 2nd in line…but my mother will tell you that she was 2nd – I was 3rd.

  2. Great comment. I have a similar story. Mom took me to the Sizzler to meet Ron Swoboda — but I was just a pawn in her game.

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