North Carolina Newspapers

    Perquimans People
Jimmy Hunter speaks
Baseball, wisecracks key dinner
Br mike Mclaughlin
Baseball stories, wisecracks
and future plans filled the pine
paneled meeting hall at the
Durants Neck Ruritans' first
meeting of the New Year on
Thursday night.
Some 36 Ruritans and a
large number of guests
feasted on a barbecued pig
donated by Marshall Caddy,
then settled back and listened
as plans were introduced for
the coming year, and special
guest speker Jimmy Hunter,
Perquimans County's major
league baseball star, was
introduced.
Among the many proposed
projects for the coming year
were hunting and boating
safety courses.
President Albert Eure told
the group that there are three
kinds of people, "those who
make things happen, those
who watch things happen, and
those who don't know what
happened." He said he hoped
Ruritan members would count
themselves in the first
category.
Caddy, of course, had a
wisecrack ready when he was
complimented on the pork.
"Ya'll just can't believe that
hog died three weeks ago," he
said. "It smelled a little, but I
stuck it with a knife to let the
air out of it and then it was
alright."
The highlight of the night,
though, was the appearance of
Hunter. "We had a hard time
running him down," said club
vice president Charles Mims.
"This is the first time in IS
years he's gonna be home
since he left high school,"
Mims said.
Hunter reminisced on his
baseball career, and talked of
his future plans as a retiree.
He also had some com
plementary comments for the
Ruritans.
Before being asked to speak
at the program, Hunter said
he had . little knowledge of
what the Ruritans do. But
upon reading up on the club
and its community service
projects, Hunter concluded
that such organizations are
very worthwhile.
"There should be more of
'em around," he said. "There
should be one around Hert
ford. Gubs like this makes us
all a lot closer and make us
live a little bit better," Hunter
said.
Noting the number of young
persons in the crowd, he said
there is a strong need for a
young man to have the
guidance of an elder in the
community, a sort of "boss"
to keep him pointed in the
right direction.
He said he had always had
such bosses, beginning with
his four older brothers. Early
on, they ruled over his access
to the ballfield.
"The only way I'd get to play
was to throw strikes and let
'em hit it out of the ballpark.
When I got up to the majors I
did the same thing," he said.
The good old days for
Hunter were with the Oakland
Athletics. The younger
players learned from the older
players, he said, and team
members were a close bunch,
not a group of strangers
bought with free agent money.
Together they won cham
pionships in 1972, '73, and '74,
he said. "Then (Oakland
owner) Charlie Finley refused
to pay me the money I earned
so I went to the Yankees,"
Hunter said.
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nunier naa mixea
memories of his years in New
York City.
Just playing in the old
Yankee Stadium was a thrill,
he said. The stadium was a
monument to baseball
achievement. As an example,
Hunter spoke of the spot in the
right field seats where Micky
Mantle's legendary 600 foot
homerun struck, within six
feet of having soared out of the
stadium.
There were, however, some
monrnts of dark dissension
among the Yankees. Reggie
Jackson, who along with
Hunter came from the
Athletics to the Yankees, was
initially not well received.
Proctor promoted
Peoples Bank and Trust
Company recently announced
the promotion of Janie W.
Proctor to Assistant Vice
President in the bank's
Hertford Consumer Credit
Department.
A native of Perquimans
County, she attended
Perquimans County High
School and graduated from
American Schools, Chicago,
Illinois.
Prior to joining Peoples
Bank, she worked as a
bookkeeper with Hollowell
Chevrolet, Inc. Since being
with the bank, she has worked
in both Consumer and Com
merical loans.
Mrs. Proctor has completed
several AIB courses including
Advanced Business
Management, Supervisory
Development, and Special
Organizational Services. She
is a member of National
Association of Bank Women
and Women's Division of N.C.
Bankers Association, where
she has served on the
Executive Committee. Along
with memberships in
professional organizations,
she also has been active in the
Hertford Grammar PTA,
serving as Secretary, and
Perquimans County Chapter
of N. C. Cerebral Palsy,
serving as Treasurer.
Mrs. Proctor is a member of
the Bethel Baptist Church,
where she is presently in the
Adult Choir and works as the
Clerk. She is married to Willis
Proctor, and they have one
son, A. Willis, of Hertford.
Hunter told his new team
mates that Jackson was a nice
guy. but he just talked too
much sometimes and you had
to know when not to listen. It
took a couple of years, but the
rest fo the team finally
realized Hunter was right.
New York sportswriters
didn't exactly contribute to
love and brotherhood on the
team either, he said. "If you
said 'boo' they'd write it
down," Hunter said. "If one
player said 'I hate that guy'
they'd write it down and go
over to the other guy and
say, 'that guy said he hated
you. What do you have to say
about that?'"
Hunter said the sport
swriters always tried to keep
something stirred up. "It's
like my Daddy said. The more
you stir a pot of manure the
worse it's gonna smell,"
Hunter said.
On Billy Martin, the fiery
sometimes Yankee manager,
Hunter said he knew baseball
as well as anybody, but would
let his temper get in the way of
his better judgement. "He'd
fight anybody if he had two or
three more with him," Hunter
said.
Martin would even let his
temper get in the way of
winning ballgames on oc
cassion.
On the other hand, Yogoi
Berra was the even-tempered
coach who always kept things
in perspective. He also had the
Midas touch, Hunter said.
Berra had convinced a few
players to go in with him on a
Yoo Hoo chocolate drink deal,
and when the proposition
started losing money, they all
wanted out. Berra bought
back all the stock and wound
up turning a $5,000 investment
into something like a $10
million return.
Another time Berra tried to
get Hunter to join him in a
racketball club venture.
"You'll be sorry if you don't go
in with me," Berra warned.
Six months later the facility
was paid for.
"Anything he touched
turned to gold," Hunter said,
"and I've got one dog he
touched," he added hopefully.
Berra even named the dog
YooHoo.
In looking back, Hunter said
his 15 year baseball career
had been very good to him,
giving him the opportunity to
see places and do things he
otherwise would not have
done.
His last seaspon as a
Yankee, though, was a rocky
one.
"This year was the hardest
I've ever spent in baseball,"
Hunter said. "I felt like my
arm was sound and I could
pitch but they wouldn't pitch
me."
The script was similar for
each of his infrequent ap
pearances on the mound. He
would usually be tagged hard
in the early innings.
When the manager would
ask, "What happened,"
Hunter said he would respond,
"I've always pitched on four
days rest. I can't pitch this
way."
Hunter also lost three people
who were very close to him
this past year. They were
Clyde Kluttz, the scout who
signed him, his father, who
died this past July, and
Thurmon Munson, the Yankee
catcher killed in a plane
crash.
"The whole year, nothing
seemed to go right, in
baseball, or in life," Hunter
said. "But it's helped me a lot.
It's changed me," he said.
"I'm just thankful to God
that he gave me the op
portunity to play baseball. If it
wasn't for him I wouldn't be
able to play ball, or hunt, or
fish, or farm."
Now that his baseball career
is over, Hunter said he is
looking forward to settling
into the farming life in
Perquimans County. Again,
he said he will have that boss
to give him direction.
"I've got an older brother
who thinks there ain't but one
way to farm and that's his
way," he said.
As Hunter was finishing up
his remarks, a comment from
the audience made reference
to his latest promotional
gambit.
"Hey Jimmy, can we call
you Catfish Chapstick?"
"Long as they pay me you
can," Hunter quipped.
Full service auto re
pair, Farm Bureau
tire dealer, Uniroyal
Firestone, Goodrich,
road hazard war- i
ranty on tires.
Your cor or truck is a big (
investment. If you want to
protect that investment
with expert service A
.?J
J
George Washington appears to be looking on as Jimmy Hunter delivers a talk to the
Durants Neck Ruritans.
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j Says?
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