Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher who never intended to leave a game he started until it was over. In 1984, he helped lead the Detroit Tigers to a World Championship.
Buck Martinez was a catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays (later to be their manager). He never intended to lose to the Tigers or Morris during the 1984 season’s race to lead a then 7 team division.
They were the two teams that would finish 1 and 2 that year and both teams were loaded.
This rivalry between the Jays and Tigers, Morris and Martinez, is the subject of our latest The Sports Rivals Podcast.
While the Tigers went on to win it all that year, Toronto stayed close until September when this rivalry heated up even more. Buck and Jack will let you in on how those games went down in front of packed ballparks.
How intense was this rivalry? Morris confirms a rumor that he placed a clubhouse call to opposing Jays’ pitcher Dave Steib, who was preparing to come out of the game before the 9th, telling him to get his butt back on the mound because they weren’t done yet.
Martinez refuses to let Morris soften the extent of the rivalry between the teams, as they both conclude there was no love lost.
The names of their teammates are legendary in baseball: Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell, George Bell, Lloyd Moseby among them. Martinez and Morris will give you their teammates’ place in this rivalry.
Good old fashion hardball gets played when the talent level is high and the stakes are a ring.
That was the case in 1984 for these players and these two teams. The memories are fresh and the emotions vivid in this remembrance by two who lived the feelings. Enjoy.
If you’d like to read more from Buck himself, check out his book Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better.
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