Actually all of us have the seed of coolness somewhere inside, it’s our true self, but many will never know it’s there and sadly, will never be able to let it grow.
Now THAT is a cool looking ballplayer! Not only was Templeton a handsome young man but notice the relaxed, confident composure about him, very atypical for a 21 year old professional athlete trying to prove he was worthy of all the hype.
-Now about all that hype.
To that day, I don’t remember a young baseball player coming up with more hype than Garry Templeton. Back when he was playing in the Cardinal's farm system, in Tulsa, the ageless wonder himself, Satchel Paige, touted young Garry as the best shortstop he had ever seen! There were so many praises that some of the press people started being a little suspicious, even sarcastic about it. Like that Post-Dispatch writer who suggested that with all the hype Templeton ought to skip his career and report to Cooperstown for immediate induction into the Hall of Fame...
Here are some of those quotes from his early days, illustrating how impressed his managers, coaches and teammates were about his game and attitude;
- Lou Brock is standing in left field during a 1977 exhibition game as a ground ball heads his way. In front of him, the Cardinals' kid shortstop, Garry Templeton, glides into the hole at full speed. Never breaking stride, Templeton picks the ball out of the province of outfielders and slings it to first base. The runner is out. "I said then he couldn't make that play again on instant replay." Brock recalls. "It's almost physically impossible. But now I've seen it so much it looks routine."
Lou Brock Article from Baseball Digest June 1978.
-"When you look at him, he's still a baby in a man's job... but he's doing the job". Jack Krol, 1978
- "It was on a Monday night in Cincinnati. GeorgeFoster hit a one-hop rocket between shortstop and second base. In my mind, there was no way anybody could make that play. But Garry took one longstep, got his glove right on the ground and came up with it. He never left his feet, just straightened up and gunned him out ".
- "It's nice to know he's out there, it's that plain and simple. He gets balls in the hole that a lot of guy's wouldn't even touch. Sometimes when a ball is hit, you say, 'O no!' Then Temp's there and you say, 'Oh YEAH!'."
- " Templeton is clearly a natural, which is a good thing because he has rarely lingered anywhere long enough to absorb much instruction."
- " He has turned the triple, baseball's rarest hit, into a routine race around the bases. You know they're triples when he hits them . The opponents know it too. They just get the ball and throw it in the direction of home plate or a relay man to head him off."
These are just a few examples of all the things said about Tempy when he started playing pro ball. Now you just don't get these kinds of comments from these kind of people unless you're really something special because these men have been around and seen it all before, but Templeton found ways to impress pretty much everybody who'd seen him play back then.
Most definitely qualifies as cool!
Ok, end of part one. Much more to come in the next article, Mr. Cool part II