Mickey Rivers, aka "Mick the Quick" came on board with the Yankees in 1976, and was a very key member for the Yankees Championship teams in 1977 and 1978. He was able to get on base many times with his speed to set up the power from Reggie Jackson and Chris Chambliss.
Fortunately, with a little luck, we were able to contact Mr. Rivers and get an exclusive interview with him. He was very nice to take some time and answer a few questions, and we're very appreciative of that.
(Photo: Topps 1973 Card)
BYB: You were drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1969, but played five years with the California Angels from 1970 to '75. What was your reaction when you got traded to the Yanks before the 1976 season?
Mickey Rivers: My initial reaction was shock. I didn't know too much about New York, but after talking to my wife, she convinced me it would be alright.
BYB: 1976 was a great year for you; A .312 average, 43 stolen bases, 95 runs scored and you made the All-Star team for the first time. How important was it to get off to a great start in your first year as a New York Yankee?
Mickey Rivers: It was very important because you want to show your teammates that you belonged.(In Photo: Oscar Gamble)
BYB: Which New York Yankee were you closest to on the 1970's teams and why?
Mickey Rivers: Oscar Gamble, Roy White, Catfish Hunter, Chris Chambliss, Thurman Munson, and Ken Holtzman. But in all fairness, I can probably name 10 more because I was close to the whole team.
BYB: In 1977, the Yankees signed Reggie Jackson and you two were teammates from '77 until midway through the 1979 season. What was it like playing with him? And what was it like playing for Billy Martin considering a lot of the turmoil of "The Bronx Zoo" as it was called?
Mickey Rivers: Reggie was a great player. I admired him because he liked to help the young kids on the team. As far as Billy Martin, I loved playing for him. He was a players manager. He always got my back and I liked that a lot. It made you play even harder for him.BYB: What is it like playing in Yankee Stadium as a truly dominant team in the 70's?
Mickey Rivers: The tradition was amazing. I really enjoy seeing all the old-timers and talking to all the legends.
BYB: In 1977, you won the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. What was it like winning that World Series considering you guys got swept in 1976?
Mickey Rivers: 1976 was a great experience, and because of that it gave us more confidence in 1977.
BYB: In 1978, the Yankees were at one time 14 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox, but came back to make the playoffs, and eventually win the World Series, again against the Dodgers. Which wins felt sweeter, the Sox or Dodgers and why?
Mickey Rivers: I would have to say the Red Sox. That was just truly amazing, and a memory I will never forget.
BYB: Who is your favorite Yankee of all time and why?
Mickey Rivers: I would have to say Thurman Munson. I never saw anyone play the game like he did. He just played the game hard and wanted to win. He taught me a lot.BYB: Years later, are you still involved in baseball and the Yankees family? If so, in what capacity?
Mickey Rivers: I do public relations work with the Yankees. They will always be considered my family.
BYB: Can you tell us about your website Mick the Quick?
Mickey Rivers: That's my website that I've been wanting to do for years. So many of my fans want to know how to meet me and if you go on Mick the Quick, it details meeting me in person, getting my autograph, or just finding out more information about me. My fans have been great to me over the years and I really appreciate that. What's even better is when you purchase an autograph of me on this site, it not only comes with a mickthequick.com hologram, but all my autographs include Mick the Quick, which is rare. Plus we will be having contests coming very soon.
BYB: Do you ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue?
Mickey Rivers: I've never read Bleeding Yankee Blue, but I will definitely check it out now.
It was most certainly an honor to interview Mr. Mickey Rivers. We appreciate him answering all of our questions, and be sure to check out his website www.mickthequick.com.
Mickey, You were a critical member of the Yanks during the mid-late 1970's Championship teams and we salute you for your efforts on the field for the Yankees. We wish you the best!
--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer
Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.