Edgar Prado

It was an electrifying finish to the 2006, Kentucky Derby, as the undefeated 3-year-old Barbaro won the race by the largest margin of victory in over six decades.

The jockey who guided Barbaro to victory that day was one of the world’s best, the 38-year-old veteran Edgar Prado.

But two weeks later tragedy struck. In the opening seconds of the Preakness, Barbaro went down with a catastrophic leg injury.

Barbaro struggled for months, before finally having to be put down.

Two years later, Prado wrote a love story, a book called My Guy Barbaro. That’s when I met him and his co-author, sports writer John Eisenberg.

So here now, from 2008, Edgar Prado and John Eisenberg

Edgar Prado will be 55 next Sunday. He lives in Hollywood, Florida.

Bobby Unser

One of the world’s most iconic auto races, the Indianapolis 500, will be run this Sunday.

In the 111-year history of the Indy 500 only a handful of drivers have won the race three times or more

And only two drivers have won the race in three different decades.

One of them Bobby, Unser, who’s part of the storied Unser auto racing family. He won the Indy 500 in 1968, 1975, and 1981.

He and his brother Al are the only set of brothers ever to win the Indy 500.

I met Bobby Unser in the spring of 2003, when he wrote a motivational book called Winners Are Driven.

So here now, from 2003, Bobby Unser.

Bobby Unser died last May, just days before the 2021 Indianapolis 500. He was 87.

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Rachel Robinson

Photo: Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com

A few days ago Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as she was confirmed as the first black female supreme Court Justice.

But 75 years ago today another African American made history, in a way that may have been nearly as significant.

On April 15th. 1947 Jackie Robinson took the field as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the first black man to play in the Major leagues.

And Jackie Robinson was no token. He was voted Rrookie of the Year that year and was the National League’s Most Valuable Player two years later.

By his side during his historic baseball career was his wife, his college sweetheart, Rachel

In the decades after Jackie Robinson’s death in 1972, Rachel Robinson has been a prominent andd influential active and leader in her own right.

In 1996 Rachel Robinson published a book about her late husband and their life together and that’s when I have the chance to meet her, the eve of the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s Major League debut.

So here now from 1996. Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson will be 100 years old in July. She lives in Connecticut.

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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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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.

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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Terry Bradshaw

Most people consider Terry Bradshaw, formerly of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, to be among the greatest quarterbacks ever.

His list of accomplishments, on and off the is impressive.

He’s had a long and fruitful career as a broadcaster, and he’s done some acting.

And he’s also written a couple of books. That’s how I met him, in 2002.

And no, football is not the center of his life.

So here now, come 2002, Terry Bradshaw.

Terry Bradshaw will be 73 in September.

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Cal Ripken

In 21 seasons with his hometown Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken racked up some very enivable numbers:

3,184 hits. 431 home runs. 1,695 runs batted in. A 19-time All-Star, and two-time American League Most Valuable Plater.

But perhaps his greatest number was 2,632. That’s how many consecutive games Ripken played in,shattering the Lou Gehrig record of 2,130, 25 years ago this weekend.

I met him 11 years after he broke the record. He had just written a book called “Parenting Youth Athletes the Ripken Way.”

So here now, from 2006, Cal Ripken:

Cal Ripken retired from baseball in 2001. A year after our interview, he was electyed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s 60 now and still lives in Maryland.