Dusty was on deck when Billingham gave up Hank Aaron’s 714:
I faced him. I don’t remember what I did after Hank’s home run
True. After Aaron’s HR, Baker grounded out to Billingham.
Dusty had hit 5 homers off Billingham, who knew the number.
I didn’t want to say that.
Billingham told Hal, only 6 RBIs on those 5 HR
It wasn’t my fault Hank cleared them — what am I supposed to do?
Also true. Of course, the RBI problem may have had more to do with Baker’s batting line against Billingham, than just the opportunities: .228 .279 .509 (61 PAs). (If I subscribed to the Baseball-reference deluxe package, I could actually get the full details about every AB he ever had against Billingham.)
Hank used to help me out on how to hit those guys and then when he left, we were lost for a while. He’d tell me to look for this, look on the outside, stay off Tom Seaver’s high fastball, make them get it below the waist. Hank had an idea — make them get the ball up.
None of this means anything, of course. I’m actually just impressed with Dusty Baker in many ways. I look up a ton of this kind of stuff, because I’m just that kind of sick individual. A huge percentages of ballplayer recollections are just plain wrong. Baker’s been dead-on with everything so far. I figure it deserves mention, almost more so than if he’d been wrong.