Friday • July 19
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In The Dugout With Trader Jack
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Jack McKeon handed the reins of the Florida Marlins over to Ozzie Guillen & retired. But is he retired for good this time? We'll find out when he joins us on the program! Plus, we line up with one of the Vikings' Purple People Eaters - Hall of Famer Carl Eller.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports & Torts: Jack McKeon
Cubs fans remember Jack McKeon all too well. He was the architect of the Padres that beat them in ’84, and took advantage of the 2003 Cubs collapse to lead the Marlins to the World Series Title. We’ll get the story of when he knew the Cubs were beatable. He also talks about his replacement on the Marlins bench, Ozzie Guillen, and his desire to break Connie Mack’s record.
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Sports & Torts: NFL Hall of Famer Carl Eller
Carl Eller was on the front lines of the latest NFL Labor talks, fighting for the retired players. He gives some details on what the older players received, and his disappointment in Gene Upshaw. Then – a look back on the days of the Purple People Eaters, trying to catch Gale Sayers,, and falling short in the Super Bowl.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Jack McKeon
As a player, Jack McKeon, a catcher, spent his entire career in the minor leagues. He managed in the farm system of the original Washington Senators franchise, and its successor, the Minnesota Twins, and scouted for the Twins before joining the Royals in 1968 as skipper of their Class A High Point-Thomasville farm team. Prior to that McKeon had been the manager of the Atlanta Crackers in 1964.[3]He led their AAA affiliate, the Omaha Royals of the American Association, from 1969 through 1972, and won two league championships. McKeon managed the Kansas City Royals from 1973 to 1975, the Oakland Athletics in 1977 and 1978, the San Diego Padres from 1988 to 1990, and the Cincinnati Reds from 1997 to 2000. From 1981 to 1990, he served as general manager of the Padres, forming the team which won the 1984 National League pennant. McKeon was named National League Manager of the Year in 1999 and 2003. The latter award was a result of leading the Marlins, who had a record below .500 when he took the job as their manager during the season, to a World Series victory. With that victory, he became, at 72, the oldest manager to win the World Series, winning against the New York Yankees, against whom he wanted to play his first World Series, having lived in South Amboy, New Jersey and attending Yankee games while a child. On October 2, 2005, just after the Marlins won the last game of the 2005 season, McKeon announced that he would not be returning the following season. McKeon led the Marlins to three of the six winning seasons in franchise history, but there was a consensus within the organization that a managerial change was in order. Players complained that McKeon was too abrasive, and clubhouse tension mounted as the season soured. On June 20, 2011, after manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned, the Florida Marlins held a press conference to announce that McKeon had been named interim manager. "I don't need this job but I love it," McKeon said, in taking over a team that had lost 10 straight and 18 of its last 19. He retired after the conclusion of the 2011 season.



 
Carl Eller
In 1964, Carl Eller, a consensus All-America with the University of Minnesota, was a first-round draft pick of both the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills of the then-rival American Football League. A 6-6, 247-pound defensive stalwart, Eller opted to stay in a familiar environment and signed with the Vikings. For the next 15 years through 1978, he was a fixture in one of pro footballs most effective defensive alignments. He finished his career with one final season with the Seattle Seahawks in 1979, having played in 225 regular season games. During Eller’s career the Vikings enjoyed great success on the field. Starting in 1968, Eller’s fifth campaign, Minnesota won 10 NFL/NFC Central Division titles in the next 11 seasons. The Vikings won the 1969 NFL championship and NFC crowns in 1973, 1974, and 1976 and played in four Super Bowls. A major factor in this long string of successes was a ferocious defensive line often referred to as “The Purple People Eaters.” Eller was the left end of a line that included Jim Marshall at the opposite end and Hall of Famer Alan Page and Gary Larsen at the tackles. Extremely quick and mobile for his size, Carl was an excellent defender against the run and superb as a pass rusher. In one three-string season from 1975 to 1977, he recorded 44 sacks, according to unofficial statistics (sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982). He also was effective in blocking kicks and, during his career he recovered 23 opponents’ fumbles, the third best mark in NFL annals at the time of his retirement. It was Eller who caused the now infamous fumble that led to teammate Jim Marshall’s wrong-way run for a safety in 1964 in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Super-stardom was predicted for Eller from his first day in training camp following the 1964 College All-Star Game. He didn’t disappoint as he went on to become one of the most honored defensive players of his time. He became a regular his rookie season and was named first- or second-team All-Pro every year from 1967 through 1973. He was All-NFL or All-NFC 1968 through 1973 and then All-NFC again in 1975. In 1971, he won the George Halas Award as the NFL’s leading defensive player and was selected to play in six Pro Bowls (1969-1972, 1974, and 1975).

Carl's Hall of Fame Bio