Mookie Wilson On His New Book, Darryl Strawberry, PEDs

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Q: How did it feel to hit a ground ball between Bill Buckner'€™s legs in the 1986 World Series? - Uinterview

Well, at that moment it was probably one of the most exciting moments that I have had in my career and to be able to be part of one of the greatest moments in baseball is just phenomenal. There are some athletes that just dream of that, just being in that position, and I just happen to be there, and I've been very grateful for it but as the situation where we really shouldn'€™t have won that ball game and to be in a position to win a ball game after the guys before me - three guys before me - have two strikes and then they end up getting hits, then the pressure was on me to come up and do my part and the last thing you want to do is let your team down and that was what I was feeling at that point is do not be the last out, you know, we need to get on base and the pressure was there, but as it turned out the Red Sox actually let me off the hook by the pitches and then throwing a wild pitch and allowing an entire run to come in, now its just a matter of me putting the ball in play and we all seen what happened when that happened. I just put the ball in play on first base and Billy Buck he missed it, something that shouldn't have happened but it did and we ended up winning the ball game and the World Series eventually after that the next day.

Q: Do you feel bad that Bill Buckner remains infamous for that error? - Uinterview

I've been asked that question many times you know, how I felt about Buckner when he missed the ball. Do I feel bad for him? And the answer is no, I do not feel bad for him. It's one of those things that happens and as a matter of fact he doesn'€™t want you to feel bad for him because he understands that the game is full of surprises and disappointments, and he made a mistake. He made an error that'€™s something that happens in the game all the time if it had not been for the World Series, no one would even give second thoughts. But we'€™ve become very good friends over the years we talk about it very candidly. He is very receptive to talk about it, and he's open about it and honest and I couldn't ask for anymore. I think its been a situation where he was in, and we make the most of it.

Q: Is it fair to say you were one of the good guys that played for the Mets? - Uinterview

You know, to say that I was one of the good guys, I wouldn'€™t think I was a good guy, but I think to label the other guys as bad guys is very overstated. They weren'€™t bad guys. They were unusual athletes. They enjoyed their free time. I think we need to honor that. We may not agree with it, but we have to honor the fact that in their free time they did what they wanted to do. But the one thing that you have to respect is when they came to the ball park to play, there was nobody better than those guys, so I'm honored to be a part of their team. I'€™m honored for them to be called friends, and we continue to be friends as long as we are in contact with each other.

Q: What’s something that would surprise about Darryl Strawberry or Keith Hernandez? - Uinterview

I think everyone knows just about everything there is to know about those guys. So much has been written, good and bad about this team. I don'€™t think anyone has been omitted, but Straw when he came into the scene I'€™ll be honest with you, I was one of the most envious persons in the world because he was the perfect athlete I mean he had the body, the speed, the power. He had everything that any baseball player dreamed they could be, and he was amazing to watch, and I enjoyed playing with him. Keith Hernandez, on the other hand, now he'€™s the guy who was probably the most intelligent ball player I've ever had the opportunity to play with, very good friend. I learned a lot from him. He was more than just a good ball player on the field. The way he taught the game and demanded to respect other players, he was definitly a first class leader in that ball club, and there hasn'€™t been anyone better that I've seen, and he was a phenomenal, phenomenal person.

Q: Growing up in the South, how did racism affect your life? - Uinterview

I grew up in a time right in the middle of the civil rights movement. I was probably too young at the time to understand what was going on, just knew that things weren’t equal and to a young person that’s disturbing a lot of the time because you feel you should be able to do and go where I want to go, and at the time, you just couldn’t do those things. You go to back doors of the restaurant, back doors of the doctor’s office if the doctor would see you at all, and those types of things you know really effect young people. It’s very easy to be bitter but it serves no real purpose to continue the bitterness through the years, and I grew to accept that that was part of the culture it wasn’t right, but it was. Growing up in that culture actually helped me to be the person I am and to take things and people for who they are, and saying all that, I met some wonderful people during those very turbulent times and Judge Julius B. Ness was one of them, he was a white judge in Bamberg, South Carolina. He was my American League coach. He was very instrumental in me going to college, and I became very good friends with his family and his son and I are very good friends, even till today. As turbulent as times were, there were good times and I really had a happy childhood and contribute those good and bad times to the person I am today.

Q: Did you have knowledge of your teammates using performance enhancing drugs? - Uinterview

In all honesty, when I was growing up and coming to the minor leagues and my early years in pro ball, you just didn'€™t hear things about steroids and HGH. It just wasn'€™t there. Now, I think I would have to be naive and to say no one used them. I think it probably was there. I don'€™t they publicized enough or people didn'€™t really pay attention to it, and it was nothing I think and were being used at the time but again with today'€™s social media and media everything is brought to more light. You see baseball games every day of the week, so there's more exposure, so you'€™re going to get more exposure of the good and the bad. But I will say through all those reports and stuff, I think that baseball is doing a good job in trying to clean it up. I don'€™t think they will ever clean up 100%, but the effort is there and I think you can see a more positive reaction from the fans and from management and from the players who want a clean game, so we'€™re not where we want to be but we'€™re on the right track.

Q: What’s your reaction to Donald Sterling’s racist comments? - Uinterview

First of all, racism is ... no one is immune. Racism - it goes both ways: blacks, whites, Hispanics, you know whatever race you are there’s racism involved, and it’s something that this country or this world has been dealing with for centuries and to think that it’s going to disappear over a couple of rules that have been changed or amendments in the constitution, whatever, it’s not going to change until you change the hearts of people, and I think that’s our job. I think we should first try to educate people to change their way of thinking, and you have to want to change for change to occur, and I think part of that change is to punish people for displaying their racist attitudes no matter whether it's Donald Sterling or whomever. It is when you’re punished for your display of racism you’ve earned what you have gotten. I think there’s a debate on how severely that punishment should be, I personally believe that the basketball community didn’t over react. I think the baseball community did not over react, and I think that it's something that we should continue to give stiff penalty to when you display because there's nowhere in this country or in the sports industry to be displayed in racism as they have been doing the past couple of weeks.