Tamilee Webb

If you’ve ever seen the exercise video called “Buns of Steel, you” know exactly who Tamilee Webb is.

For over 30 years, Webb has been one of America’s leading and most popular fitness gurus.

Webb’s popularity as a television personality helped propel her to a series of best-selling books and videos.

I met her in 1995, when she was promoting her book Step Up Fitness Workout.

So here now, from 1995, Tamilee Webb.

Tamilee Webb is 64 now. And still going strong. She was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2008.


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Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Sports Illustrated For Women once named Jackie Joyner-Kersee the greatest female athlete of all time.

With her almost superhuman talents in the heptathlon and long jump, Joyner-Kersee accumulated multiple Olympic gold medals during her career.

After her Olympic career ended, she even was briefly a professional basketball player.

In 1997, Jackie Joyner-Kersee wrote her autobiography, a book called A Kind of Grace. That’s when I have the chance to talk with her. So here now, from 1997, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 61 now. A few weeks ago, she was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame.


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Joe Garagiola

Tomorrow is Major League baseball’s opening day, the first day of the 2023 season.

On the first day of a 162 game schedule, every team is in first place. Any team can win the world series. And a batter can hit /400, and a picture can have a no-hitter.

The world is full of possibilities .

On the Opening Day roster for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946 was a rookie catcher named Joe Garageola.

That year Joe played in his first, and only, World Series. He was a major leaguer for nine seasons, playing for the Cardinals, the Pirates, the Cubs, and the Giants.

But after his retirement from the game, Joe Garagiola found another career in which he had much greater success.

Television.

He did sports broadcasting, but also game shows, and even substitute hosting on the Tonight Show.

I met him in 1988, when he was promoting his book It’s Anybody’s Ballgame, about his post baseball career.

No, to add some context to the interview you’re about to hear. We talked just a couple of weeks into the 1988 season, but already by that time the hapless Baltimore Orioles had a 13 game losing streak, a major league record. Sadly he Os Went on to lose their first 21 games in a row, which still stands as the major league record.

So here now, from 1988, Joe Garagiola.

Joe Garagiola.died in 2016. He was 90.


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Doug Williams

It’s super bowl weekend, and as we prepare to watch the Rams and Bengals in super bowl 56, let me take you back to super bowl 22 in January 1988 between the Washington Redskins and the Denver broncos.

The quarterback for the Redskins that evening was 32-year-old. Doug Williams.

And by halftime, Williams had made NFL history. In the second quarter alone, he passed for $340 yards and four touchdowns. The Redskins ended up as super bowl champions, and Williams was the game’s MVP.

He was the first black quarterback to start and win a super bowl.
A couple of years later, he wrote an autobiography called Quarterblack.

And even though this interview is 30 years old, it still seems very relevant today, especially in light of the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL.

So here now, from 1990, Doug Williams.

Doug Williams of 66 now. He’s an executive with the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders.


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Dan Jansen

Photo: Ineke Vogel

As the 2022 Winter Olympics get underway today in China, we are reminded that these games can produce heroes and great triumphs, but also soul crushing defeats which can bring out either the best or the worst in a competitor.

Wisconsin native Dan Jansen was one of the world’s best speed skaters when he went to the Winter Olympics in 1988. He carried the expectations of millions of Americans on his shoulders. But as the games got underway, Jensen got devastating news from back home — his sister Jane was dying of leukemia.

He was informed of her death just before competing in the 500-meter event, the one he was expected to win. But he fell in that race, and fell again in the 1,000-meter race, and came home with no medals.

In 1992, he again came home empty-handed. Many people tacked the name the heartbreak kid on him.

But in 1994, at the Lillehammer Olympics, in his final race, the 1,000-meter, Jansen won his first and only medal, a gold medal.

I met him just a few months later, when he wrote a book called Full Circle.

So here now, from 1994, Dan Jansen.

Dan Jansen is 56 now. He’s an NBC commentator.


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Dick Butkus

Photo by Alan Light

The national football League is over 100 years old, and in that time, football fans have enjoyed some breathtaking games, spectacular plays, some of the most colorful athletes we’ve ever known, and more than a few moments of spectator sport agony.

In 1994, The NFL participated in publishing a huge coffee table book reflecting on the first 75 years of the league. And to write the forward to that book, they chose legendary Chicago bears, middle linebacker Dick Butkus.

Now I grew up in the Chicago area, so I knew the name Dick butkus very well — and his reputation. An opponent once said that when he was tackling you, Dick Butkus was aiming not to put you in the hospital but the cemetery.

But when I met him to talk about that book, I found him to be a very warm and personable guy with lots of fun stories.

So here now, from 1994, Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus celebrated his 79th birthday last week. He’s active in several charities through the Butkus Foundation.

Walt Frazier

As the 1960s Drew to a close, New York had a unique Trifecta of sports victories.

In January of 1969, the New York Jets won Super Bowl 3.

After an incredible summer with baseball, the Miracle Mets won the 1969 World Series.

And then the 1969 – 70 New York Knicks tore up the MBA, including an 18-game winning streak, and won the league championship in the spring of 1970.

One of the key players on that Knicks team was Walt Frazier, nicknamed Clyde. In fact he is often considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

In 1988, several years after he retired, Walt Frazier wrote A Memoir of that 6970 season. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1988, Walt Frazier.

Walt Frazier is 76 now. He can still be heard doing color commentary on New York Knicks games.

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Willie Mays

It’s September 29th. And on September 29th, 1954, a young baseball player made a name for himself with a defensive play that to this day remains one of the greatest ever.

It was the first game of the 1954 world series, between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Playing center field for the Giants that day at the Polo Grounds was the young Willie Mays.

In the eighth inning of a tie game, Vic Wertz of the Indians came to the plate. He lofted a Fly ball to deep center field, and maze made a heroic run for it. With his back to home plate, Mays reached up and caught the ball over his shoulder.

The play was so amazing that to this day, it is usually simply referred to as The Catch.

In the years that followed, maze quickly established himself as a superstar, not only for his ability to smash home run after home run, but his speed on the bases, he was so fast, he was actually run out from under his cap. More on that in the interview you’re about to hear…

In 1988 Willie Mays finally wrote his autobiography, and that’s when I had the chance to meet him.

First, a little context. You’ll hear a reference here to Willie Mays being banned from baseball. What? Yes, in 1980, the commissioner banned Willie Mays because he had signed a deal with and Atlantic City casino, to be a greeter and autographed signed her. He was eventually reinstated.

Also, this interview took place at a time when the Baltimore Orioles, under the managerial leadership of Frank Robinson, we’re having a horrible year.

And we did this interview just a few weeks before the historic first ever night game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

So here now, from 1988, Willie Mays.

Willie Mays is 90 now. He’s been in the Hall of Fame since 1979.

Carl Lewis

The covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics get underway today. We’ll seen enougbh know who the next athletic heroes will be.

Throughout the 1980s and into the ‘90s, one of the world’s dominant sprinters and long jumpers with Carl Lewis.

In addition to several world championships, Lewis won gold Olympic gold medals in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996.

Sports Illustrated once named him “Olympian Of Tje Century.”

No doubt Carl Louis was one of the world’s greatest athletes. The problem, according to many of his competitors, was that he was much too aware of how good he was, and eager to show it off.

Critics said Lewis lacked sufficient humility. And, they said, he was too aloof.

I met him in the summer of 1990, after he wrote a book called Inside Track.

So here now, from 1990, Carl Lewis:

Carl turned 60 this month. He owns a marketing and branding company.

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Bob Gibson

In the 1960s and into the early 70s, one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League was St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson.

During a 17-year career, Gibson racked up 251 wins, over 3000 strikeouts, won two Cy Young awards and one year was Most Valluable Player.

He was a star of the 1967 World Series in which the Cardinals beat the Boston Red Spx.

Now, like any picture with that kind of record, Gibson was an intimidating presence on the mound.

But in his case, it went beyond intimidating and he acquired a reputation for being mean.

In 1994 Gibson wrote a memoir called Stranger to the Game. And that’s when I met the man who was anything but “mean.”

So here now, from 1994, Bob Gibson.

Bob Gibson died last year at age 84.

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