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Monday, July 18, 2011

Dave Machemer Interview: Thoughts on Former Players

Part 1: Credit to Others | Part 2: He Connected | Part 3: Just In His Blood | Part 4: Player Stories

When I do these interviews, I try to work as much of the interview into the main story as possible. For Dave Machemer, a couple things didn't fit, so I'll add those here.

The main things that didn't fit were Machemer's assessment of a couple of his former players, players that were in the CMC set.

Machemer is the first manager I've interviewed from the set. As such, he's in a unique position to talk about some of the players he watched over some 21 years ago. Had I known he would be so generous with his time, I would have come with a better list of players about whom to ask.

I was expecting 20 minutes, hardly enough time to get through both his own playing and coaching career. By the record of my recorder, he actually gave me 38 minutes.

Regarding CMC set members, Machemer had vivid memories and stories of three in particular. Without my list and without more time, I couldn't quiz him on more. Those three were, Ruben Escalera, Joe Redfield and Jim Olander.

I've already featured Escalera and Olander. I may add Machemer's comment on Olander to Olander's feature. I probably will include Machemer in Redfield's when I do Redfield's.

Jim Olander:
Olander played parts of nine seasons at AAA. He played 12 games the majors in 1991 with the Astros. He played for Machemer in 74 games in 1990 with Denver after starting that year with Tucson.
"One of the greatest center fielders that ever played the game," Machemer said of Olander. "He played in AAA his entire life. The man could flat-out play with anybody alive in AAA or the big leagues.

"He never got much of a chance. I don't know if he ever got to play in the big leagues, but I tell you what, he's the greatest center fielder who ever played for me. Bar none."

Joe Redfield:
Redfield played 11 seasons as a pro, six of those at AAA. He got 12 games in the majors. He played for Machemer in 1990 at Denver.

"I don't know if the guy ever played in the big leagues, but he should have," Machemer said. "He reminded me of me a lot. Because I know dang well if the guy would have been given an opportunity to play in the big leagues, he would have had success.

"He was always termed a AAAA player. Joe Redfield was a big league player that never got an opportunity to play in the big leagues, I'll tell you that, because Joe Redfield was a gamer, man.

"He played hard. He gave you everything he had. He could play the game."

Ruben Escalera:
Escalera played eight seasons as a pro, never making the majors. He played for Machemer in 1987 at Stockton and in 1990 at Denver. Machemer's comments centered on a meeting years later, in 2008, in the Arizona Rookie League.

Machemer managed the rookie Giants. Escalera was on the other side, managing the rookie Athletics. Machemer hadn't seen Escalera since Escalera played for him in 1990.

"I started walking out to home plate, and I didn't know who their manager was, and I got the lineup card and I looked, and I see Ruben Escalera walking towards me.

"'Ruben! What are you doing?' He goes, 'I'm the manager here, Dave,'" Machemer said with a laugh. "I go, 'Now I know I've come full circle, Ruben. Now I know I'm getting old, when I'm managing against a player that used to play (for) me."

Part 1: Credit to Others | Part 2: He Connected | Part 3: Just In His Blood | Part 4: Player Stories

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea asking about his former players. By the way, both Olander and Redfield played briefly in the majors.