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Jake Thies

Retired MLB Player

                      

   

What was your favorite part about being a baseball player?

Just being in the major leagues.  There is nothing better.  That was the greatest part of my life.

 

What advice do you have for an aspiring baseball player?

You really have to love the game.  You have to live and die baseball.  You have to always try to improve yourself to be better.

 

Who were your heroes growing up?

Mostly Cardinals players.  I would say Medwick and Mize.  They were 2 great players at that time.  They were kind of like the Holiday and Pujols of the Cardinals then.  They were my 2 favorite players

 

What was your favorite subject in school?

Baseball.  It was really geography.

 

What current player plays most like the way you did?

I always believed in hustling.  Rex Hudler with the Cardinals was a great hustler.  I would like to see more players hustle these days.  I guess Brendan Ryan is another player who really hustles.

 

How has the game changed since you played?

There are alot of things we could do as a pitcher then that we can't do now.  Today, they call it a "brush back" pitch.  We used to call it the "knock down" pitch.  We can't do that any more.  The mound is much lower than it was.  I was a submarine pitcher.  It would have been easier throwing today from the lower mound.  I was the first submarine pitcher in the National League.

 

What was your career highlight?

I was in the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  I came into the game with the bases loaded and no outs.  We were playing the Dodgers.  The first person I faced in the majors was Jackie Robinson.  I struck him out in 3 pitches.  The next batter was Gil Hodges.  I got him to hit into a double play and got out of the inning.

 

What did you do after your baseball career was over?

I became a traveling salesman for 40 years and then I retired.

 

Who was the best player from your era?

Willie Mays was the best.  I knocked him down once in New York.  The next pitch he hit over  the top deck at the Polo Grounds.  I learned an important lesson that day.  Don't knock down a great player