In August 1970, the Cincinnati Reds were in New York for a series with the Mets, and a 19-year-old rookie pitcher from Kentucky named Don Gullett was taking a long look at the big town. He didn't like it.
"I'd give one house in the country for the whole city," he said. "All you can see is buildings and long-haired people. There's no fresh air. I can't take that, not even out on the mound when you're pitching. You're surrounded by so many people that the air smells."
Last week, after Gullett left the Reds to sign a six-year contract with the New York Yankees for a sum in the neighborhood of $2 million, he said, "It wasn't a hard decision for me. There's something special about pitching in Yankee Stadium."
THEY SAID IT
?Mike Downey, Chicago Daily News sportswriter, on the jumping ability of Denver's David Thompson: "The last time anybody jumped like that in Chicago was when Mayor Daley asked an alderman to get him a cup of coffee."
?Jeff Morrow, University of Minnesota tackle, after he injured his right knee and sprained his left ankle: "I can't even limp."
? Sal Bando, asked how he felt about leaving the Oakland A's to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers: "Was it difficult leaving the Titanic?"