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Remembering Nate Colbert

January 7, 2023

In my last post the great Stan Musial was cited and now sadly, Nate Colbert the only player other than “The Man” to hit as many as 5 home runs in a doubleheader and a friendly one of my favorite players, has died at age 76.

It seems Nate and his father attended the games on Sunday May 2, 1954 in which “The Man” hit those 5 homers though not one report indicated they probably were by decree of laws set aside by another, unlike Stan Musial, who was a wonderful, “The Man”/man, “The Man” forced to sit apart from people whose skin color was not black, I believe in the distant bleacher’s of the so inappropriately (worse than the corporate names) named Sportsman Park in St. Louis, the arched/better than Mississippi, but border town with its prejudices.

On a lighter, brighter note I called Nate on Saturday May 6, 1972 (Willie Mays now 91, turned 41 that day, 8 days away from a first game with the Mets Mother’s Day home run) and we talked, each of us happy that Jim McMillian’s overtime hoops had led the (69-13, winners of a still record 33 straight games) ’71-’72 Lakers to a (3-1) final round lead the night before. (They finally had an L.A. based title after Wilt led a (114-100) win on Sunday night May 7th–where the bleep are the last say 7 minutes of that game?!!)

Nate and I had such a nice talk, I gifted? (this a good memory but remember Joseph Cotten’s character in “Kane” on the memory subject) with the memory, recall being near my desk and bedroom window.

I cited how well Nate was doing, his big 5 HR’s day, 86 such away on August 1st, a Tuesday.

Perhaps, even probably, unlike with Dusty Baker the current title winning manager who I also first spoke with in 1972-now over 50 years in the “rear view,” I do not think, that Nate/Andy B. conversation manifested again. (Not quite sure, but if so, it is regretful as Nate was so cool).

He was a fine player and rather than cite stats, it is, yes, the fact he is a function of my youth, but also that it was a better more accessible time between player and fan, making it so that the beauty from Nate Colbert the player and friendly telephone conversationalist that happy May day, something that still resonates.

Head up there, I think Ernie (Banks) has arranged to “play 2,” and maybe Nate and Stan “The Man” will hit a few out of the heavenly park.


Nate Colbert Padres.jpg

Nate Colbert, pictured above.

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