Mookie Wilson

  • Aired:  04/28/14
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Baseball star Mookie Wilson describes the camaraderie of the New York Mets during their legendary '86 win in his eponymous book "Mookie." (5:55)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT A NEW YORK METSLEGEND.

IS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "MOOKIE: LIFE, BASEBALL AND THE 86 METS."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAMMOOKIE WILSON.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]MOOKIE WILSON.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]AN HONOR TO SEE YOU HERE.

>> GREAT.

>> Jon: THANK YOU FOR BEINGHERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Jon: REALLY THE LAST TIMEIN MANY YEARS THAT I CAN

ACTUALLY SAY THAT TO A NEW YORKMET.

>> ROUGH TIMES HUH?

>> Jon: IT'S BEEN SOMEROUGH TIMES.

THIS REALLY WAS.

YOU KNOW, YOU WRITE ABOUT 1986.

THERE IS SOMETHING TRULYINDELIBLE ABOUT A CHAMPIONSHIP

SEASON THAT MAKES IT WORTHY OFREMEMBRANCE.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE 86 TEAMWHEN YOU GUYS WON THE WORLD

SERIES? BESIDES THEDRAMATIC FASHION?

>> I THINK IT'S THE CHARACTERS.

I THINK WE WERE A GROUP OFINDIVIDUALS THAT WASN'T AFRAID

TO BE THEMSELVES.

I THINK YOU NEED MORE OF THAT INSPORTS.

>> Jon: MORE OF THAT?

>> YES.

>> Jon: BUT YOU WERE, YOUKNOW, THE 86 TEAM HAD

DOC GOODEN, DARYL STRAWBERRY.KEITH HERNANDEZ.

>> YES.

>> Jon: BUT, YOU WERE A BEACONOF MATURITY IN THAT.

>> OOOH, THAT'S GOOD.

>> Jon: DON'T YOU THINK?

YOU WERE THE ONE GUY EVERYBODYLOVED AND NOBODY EVER WORRIED

ABOUT.

YOU ALWAYS THOUGHT KEITHHERNANDEZ AT SOME POINT, 6:00 IN

THE MORNING SOMEBODY IS GOING TOBE LIKE WHERE IS KEITH?

MOOKIE WILSON NEVER HAD THATISSUE.

>> I THINK THE TEAM -- WE HADTHIS GROUP OVER HERE THAT WAS

REALLY OUTGOING.

A LOT OF PEOPLE CALLED THEM THESCUM BUNCH. YOU KNOW.

[LAUGHTER]THEN YOU HAD THIS OTHER GROUP

OVER HERE THAT WAS REALLY,YOU KNOW, GARY CARTERS,

RON DARLING AND THEN YOU HADTHOSE GUYS IN THE MIDDLE LIKE

MYSELF AND RAFAEL SANTANA THATKINDA KEPT IT ALL TOGETHER.

>> Jon: AND THAT CHEMISTRY?

>> YES.

>> Jon: AND IT BRINGSUP THIS KIND OF, YOU KNOW,

EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUTTHIS DONALD STERLING, THIS

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A RACISTOWNER, SPORTS REALLY IS AN

UNUSUALLY ALMOST PATERNALSITUATION WITH THE OWNER.

THEY CAN SHIP YOU OUT TO ANOTHERCITY.

DO THE PLAYERS FEEL THATRELATIONSHIP?

>> I THINK IT'S ALWAYS GOINGTO BE THAT WEIRD RELATIONSHIP

BETWEEN PLAYERS, YOU KNOW, ANDMANAGEMENT KNOWING THAT

MANAGEMENT DOES HAVE THE LASTWORD.

IT SOMETIMES DOESN'T MATTER HOWWELL YOU PLAY. IT'S ALL ABOUT

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEPLAYER AND OWNERSHIP.

NOW, THIS BASKETBALL SITUATIONIS A REALLY, REALLY DIFFERENT

WHEEL. A LOT OF RACIST REMARKSAND HERE HE OWNS A TEAM

THAT IS WHAT 80% BLACK?

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> THAT'S KIND OF WEIRD.

>> Jon: THAT IS WEIRD. BUT,YOU FIND IN THESE LEAGUES THE

OWNER IS TYPICALLY WHITE.THE ATHLETES, TYPICALLY

AFRICAN-AMERICAN. THEATHLETES WHO

ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN HAD TOFIGHT TO BE ALLOWED TO PLAY

AND EVEN NOW STILL HAVE TO FIGHTFOR RIGHTS. THIS IDEA THAT, OK,

YOU KNOW, YOU ARE ALLOWED TOLEAVE AT SEVEN YEARS BUT YOU

HAVE TO PUT IN THIS AMOUNT OFTIME.

DO YOU THINK IS COULD BE ATURNING POINT IN THAT

RELATIONSHIP?

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

I THINK SPORTS HAS SURVIVED. IMEAN,

OVER THE YEARS AS MUCH AS WE'VETRIED TO MESS BASEBALL UP, WE

HAVEN'T WITH STRIKES AND ALLTHAT.

THE GAME WILL SURVIVE. I THINK,

YOU CAN MAKE ALL THE RULES YOUWANT TO BUT UNTIL YOU CHANGE THE

ATTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE, YOU AREGOING TO HAVE THIS KIND OF

IDIOCY NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.IT'S JUST GOING TO HAPPEN.

>>Jon: RIGHT. RIGHT. AS APLAYER, HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT

KIND OF, I MEAN, THESE GUY GUYSARE IN THE MIDST OF A

PLAYOFF RUN. NOW, YOU PLAYEDIN NEW YORK.

THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OFDISTRACTION.

A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MEDIA.

THEY ARE THIS THE SAME IN LOSANGELES.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR AN ATHLETE ATTHAT HIGH LEVEL TO STILL COMPETE

WITH THIS TYPE OF EMOTION UNDERTHE SURFACE?

>> WELL, FIRST ANDFOREMOST IS ATHLETES DEAL

WITH PRESSURE. EVERY DAY THEYGO ON THE FIELD IT'S

ALL ABOUT WHAT DO YOU THAT DAY.

THIS IS NO DIFFERENT.

THEY ARE NOT PLAYING FOR THEOWNER. THEY ARE PLAYING FOR

THEIR OWN SELF RESPECT.AND YOU KNOW, I'VE HEARD THINGS

ABOUT OH SHOULD THETEAM BOYCOTT AND NOT PLAY.

THAT SERVES NO REAL PURPOSE. IMEAN, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE

PURPOSE OF YOU BEING THERE,PLAYING BASKETBALL AT THE NBA

LEVEL THAT'S A GREAT, GREATHONOR AND TO LET SOME IDIOT NOT

LET YOU FULFILL THE POTENTIALTHAT YOUR TEAM HAS I THINK YOU

WOULD BE DOING YOURSELF ADISSERVICE AND THE LEAGUEITSELF.

>> Jon: SEE WHAT I MEANABOUT YOU HAVING THE MATURITY?

LOOK AT ME.

I'M READY TO FLY OFF THE HANDLE,JUST WALK AWAY FROM THE GAME AND

YOU BROUGHT ME BACK.

HERE IS WHAT I THINK SHOULDHAPPEN.

>> YES. OKAY.

>> Jon: THE CLIPPERS RALLYAROUND THIS, THEY PLAY

UNBELIEVABLE BASKETBALL FOR THENEXT MONTH.

THEY WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: AND IN THE LOCKER ROOMIN THE JUBILATION THE TROPHY IS

HANDED TO THEM.

DONALD STERLING IS RIGHT THEREAND THEY GET THE TALLEST GUY.

LET'S GO WITH BLAKE GRIFFIN,HE'S ABOUT 6'11''.

AND HE JUST HOLDS THE TROPHY UPLIKE THIS

AND DONALD STERLING IS -- HE HASTHIS -- CAN'T GET IT. AND DONE.

THEY DON'T LET HIM HAVE IT.

[LAUGHTER]DO YOU STILL, ARE YOU STILL ABLE

TO GET TOGETHER WITH SOME OFFELLAS AND REMINISCE ABOUT IT?

YOU KNOW, TRAGICALLY GARY CARTEROF COURSE PASSED AWAY.

GREAT CHARACTER GUY. AREYOU ABLE TO GET TOGETHER

AND SORT OF REVERT BACKTO FORM FROM THE 80s AND HAVE A

GREAT TIME TOGETHER?

>> WE DON'T WANT TO GO BACK.

WE DO GET TOGETHER AND WHEN WEDO IT'S ONE BIG REUNION.

WE TALK A LOT AND WE LIE ALITTLE BIT, TOO.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHATREMINISCING IS ALL ABOUT.

>> THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

>> Jon: AND WHO WOULD HAVETHOUGHT THAT WOULD BE THE LAST

CHAMPIONSHIP THE METS EVER WON.

[ LAUGHTER ]IT'S AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO SEE

YOU AND TO HAVE YOU HERE ON THESHOW.

GET YOURSELF "MOOKIE."

ONE OF THE GREATS.

MOOKIE WILSON, LADIES ANDGENTLEMEN.

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