Pete Falcone, a 10-year MLB veteran and former Met, has joined the Mets Rewind Podcast as a guest host twice a month. On the latest episode Falcone talks about his sign-stealing, baseball oddball Al Hrabosky, his work for MLB replay and his current job as an executive chef.
On Tom Seaver: “I grieved all week. There are guys who come along in the game through history that carry a certain aura about them; a presence on the field. Mickey Mantle had it. (Joe) DiMaggio had it. Mike Schmidt had it. There’s not many who have it and they’re all Hall of Famers … it’s not ‘hero worship’ it’s just seeing them in uniform. They just carry a certain presence about them.”
On his only career home run (September 29, 1981 vs. Phillies at Veteran Stadium): “I hit a homerun and threw a shutout. I didn’t know it was gone at first. It was like a line drive … I knew I hit it good. The next thing I know is it hit the black thing (backdrop at Veteran’s Stadium). I am running around second base and Larry Bowa was looking at me like, ‘What did you just do?'”
On Al Hrabosky: In St. Louis my locker was right next to his. He had a crystal ball in his locker. In 1977 when Red Schoendienst retired and Vern Rapp came from the Cincinnati Reds and the old traditional baseball … no facial hair … to see the Mad Hungarian go from the long hair and Fu Manchu mustache to a guy that looked like a 8th grade math teacher, it wasn’t the same. Something’s wrong here. It didn’t work out.”
On Astros: “Oh, I got a story about (garbage cans banging) but I don’t know if I’m gonna say anything. It’s so funny, because when I played everybody wanted to get somebody’s signs.”
On sign-stealing/cheating: “I knew coaches who were experts at stealing signs … if it’s true what the Astros did, they just got caught … I knew guys who used a little sandpaper, corked a bat a little bit. When I went to play baseball in Italy in 1990 I used a little sandpaper. I said, ‘Let me see what this is all about’ … I glued it to my glove … my ball was breaking a lot more, so there’s something to it.”