I’m reading “Campy,” a biography of Dodger Hall of Famer Roy Campanella.
It’s a heck of a good book. I’ve learned so much about Roy and Jackie and all of the great Dodgers of the 1950s.
One of the book’s best anecdotes was a quote from shortstop Pee Wee Reese.
Pee Wee was talking about a near-fight between Jackie Robinson and manager Walter Alston. Pee Wee said Jackie was very brave to get in Alston’s face, because everyone felt that the two toughest guys on the team were first baseman Gil Hodges and Alston.
I’ve heard many stories over the years about how physically powerful Gil Hodges was. His hands possessed superhuman strength, and he was built like a rock. Hodges’ demeanor, meanwhile, was very gentle and kind. A devout Catholic, Hodges attended Sunday Mass every week. He was the guy who broke up fights.
But I had no idea that Alston ranked right up there with Hodges in terms of strength. Alston must have been a really tough guy.