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Return of the Natives
Roy Blount Jr.
March 29, 1971
Down in east Carolina, where barn sides serve as backstops and baseball stirs the soul, the folk heroes are long, lean pitchers. Most stayed home, but the Perry boys of Farm Life have gone far
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March 29, 1971

Return Of The Natives

Down in east Carolina, where barn sides serve as backstops and baseball stirs the soul, the folk heroes are long, lean pitchers. Most stayed home, but the Perry boys of Farm Life have gone far

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However, a visitor is liable to feel more sentimental than Ruby does about the satisfactions of the old way of life. Mrs. Perry is a ruddy, maternal woman built along the lines of Nina Khrushchev. She is a former Farm Life High girls' basketball star who blushes and gives a modest little wave when her cakes are praised. She has been known to give interviews to local radio men while walking around barefoot in the mud. When she met Billy Martin, Jim's former manager with the Twins, she liked him because he was so friendly and down-to-earth. "You get somebody putting on," she says, "that's not worth a doodle." She would seem to have had a rich life staying down on the Southern pastures with Evan. But her response is not to that effect when she is asked whether she ever wished Evan could have played in the major leagues, in which case he would perhaps be wearing a blue suit, blue shirt and blue socks like Jim and scouting for some big-league team instead of sitting there in his overalls looking content.

"I surely did," Ruby says, giving a sad little shake of her head. "But he didn't have the opportunity that he give his boys."

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