My good pal Hank Waddles has an interview with Richard Bradley, author of The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78, over at Broken Cowboy:
BC: You mentioned that you spoke to a lot of players and people connected with the game. Even though we’re talking about a game that was played thirty years ago, I’m guessing that the people you spoke with didn’t have any trouble recalling its details. Were you surprised by how vivid some of the memories were?
RB: Actually I was surprised at how faulty some of the memories were. I think this is something that happens with iconic events. At some point, say, a faulty memory might get introduced into the conversation, people misremember things just a little bit, and then they repeat it over and over again until it becomes established fact, at least in their own minds. I’ll give you an example. I went down to Florida to meet with Bucky Dent, and I was talking to him about his home run which he hit on a 1-1 count. Remember, this is one of the most famous home runs in the history of the game, far and away the most famous thing that Bucky Dent ever did on the playing field, and Bucky thought – and was adamant – that he had hit that home run with two strikes on him. He said that, and my ears kind of perked up, and I interjected and said, "Actually, no, there weren’t two strikes." And he said, "Oh, yeah there were." And I felt kinda bad, because…
BC: Because you had seen the tape.
RB: Who am I to say to Bucky Dent what the count was? But in fact, I’d always wondered because the first pitch of that at bat was arguably a strike and a check swing by Dent. And I’ve always wondered if on some level in his memory he didn’t sort of think that maybe that had been a strike, and maybe he remembered it that way.
Here is an excerpt from the book. Enjoy.