Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Wally Backman and Doug Sisk

Spoke with two of my ol’ Bad Guys Won chums tonight, Wally Backman and Doug Sisk.

I’ve said this before—The Bad Guys Won is a flawed book, in that some of the writing if a bit gimmicky and I only interviewed 187 people (or so), but it was written out of love. I mean, I loved the ’86 Mets as a kid, so it was a joy to re-live their exploits as an adult.

I’ve never mentioned this before, but Doug actually got me going. He was one of the first players I called, and he graciously hooked me up with an updated phone/address list of all the players. That was an enormous help—used that to reach out to everyone. I actually started by writing letters, then following up with a call.

At the time, Wally was actually working in the White Sox system, as was Rafael Santana. So I went out to spring training and we sat down after a workout. The interview only lasted about 40 minutes—so-so material from a guy who was tired and probably just wanted to go home. What I remember most from Wally is his story about Bill Robinson, the since-deceased first base coach. Bill would motivate Wally and Lenny Dykstra, the team’s two top-of-the-order runts, by talking dirty to them. “You no good sack of shit … you little motherfucker …”

Wally responded to the words and sentiment in a big way.

Anyhow, found the above video, made me laugh. Let’s Go Mets! was the shit in ’86. Now—not so much.