Willie, Mickey and Belue

Every Dawg fan knows about the legacy Buck Belue left as a football player, but he was also a star when it came to baseball as well. Buck was a 2-time All-SEC outfielder. He batted .447 in 1982, the 2nd highest by any Bulldog in a season. He had 30 home runs and stole 27 bases in his career. In 1982, he was drafted by the Expos and played 3 seasons in the minor leagues. Buck now works in the media for both radio and TV and after calling a Georgia baseball game, Buck sat down with me to talk.

Dave McMahon -- When you were a child, which did you play first, football or baseball?

Buck Belue -- Baseball was my first love. My dad was a little league coach and I used to practice with him all the time. I remember reading baseball books when I was young and I would dream of playing in the World Series.

DM -- When Vince Dooley signed you to play football, did he know that you wanted to play college baseball as well?

BB -- Yes, I let all the coaches who recruited me know. My last 3 choices of schools: Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee all said it was OK. Bear Bryant at Alabama did not. He told me that no football player at Alabama played baseball for the Tide and that I wasn't going to be the first.

DM -- Describe what Foley Field looked like when you were playing?

BB -- The playing field is the same. It was always a hitter's ballpark. The big difference was the facilities. They are tremendous now. When I played, there were wooden stands maybe 12 rows deep. Also, right field was a big advantage for us. Out in Kudzu Hill, the fans used to really party over there. Opposing team's right fielders used to hate playing here and a few times they had to be taken out of the game because they couldn't take the abuse.

DM -- What are some of your favorite memories as a Georgia baseball player?

BB -- Our team's record was not that good. We were about .500 during my time here. It was frustrating. Individually, I remember playing in my first conference game on the road. It was my freshman year and we played Florida. My father was there and I hit a grand slam.

DM -- You played in the minors for a few years... any teammates that we all know?

BB -- I played with Andres Galarraga in West Palm Beach. He played many years in the majors and a few with the Braves. He was real good.

DM -- Any opposing pitchers that we might now?

BB -- I remember a series vs the Yankees minor league team, where I faced future major leaguers: Bob Tewksbury, Jim Deshaies and Jose Rijo. I didn't do so well. I went 1 for 12.

DM -- What is your favorite part of calling Georgia games for TV?

BB -- Just being back here is great. It doesn't matter if it is Sanford Stadium or Foley Field, I just love the atmosphere here in Athens.

DM -- Did you ever get Herschel Walker to swing a baseball bat?

BB -- No, but I got Lindsay Scott to. Lindsay played baseball for Wayne County in high school and their team got to semi-finals and lost. His team would've faced mine if they would have won. The next game I pitched and did real well. Lindsay told me that he would've got a hit against me if he would have faced me. I took him to Foley Field once and broke off a few curve balls and he couldn't hit me.

DM -- Thank you for your time and hopefully I can talk football with you in the fall.

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