Collected wisdom: Joel Horlen, former OSU baseball player

Interviewed by Berry Tramel, btramel@opubco.com Published: September 10, 2011
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The 1967 pennant race? It was — I'm trying to think of the word — nervous all the time. We had a pretty good club. We just kind of ran out of gas at the end. Our hitting fell off.

Every game is important. You don't go out there and go through the motions. You're fighting for the pennant. Try not to make any mistakes.

We had a good pitching staff. Led the league in four or five different categories. I still didn't get pitcher of the year award.

I faced a bunch of good hitters. Tony Oliva won the batting title every year. That's about the only guy I can remember that I really didn't like facing. I know I gave up enough hits to everybody else. He was by far the best. I tried to hit him one time, right in the neck. He just stepped to the side and hit a double down the left-field line.

With Charlie Finley's Athletics, oh yeah, there were fights amongst guys at times. But nothing really serious. They really played well together. Everybody on that team was an all-star. Man, they were good.

Winning all those different World Series, they're all good. The major league World Series was more boisterous. We poured 100 bottles of Champagne on each other. Then had to get back on the airplane and go back to Oakland. The party continued on the airplane. We got in about 2 o'clock in the morning. Opened a couple of bars for us there, then celebrated some more. Had to be at the park at 8 o'clock in the morning and be ready for the parade. They served cocktails there, too.

When I retired, I got calls to coach, mostly in the minor leagues. I just kind of got away from it for awhile. Played a lot of golf, did some traveling. I've followed baseball a little bit. Still had some friends playing. Just kind of got away from it for awhile.

Ended up coaching in the minors for a number of years. But I always came back to San Antonio. When I finally retired for good, I made sure I was here all year round. Did a lot of hunting, playing golf. Fishing. Just had a good time.



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