Most-fascinating athletes for a sports fanatic in his impressionable teenage years: football players Jim Brown and Bobby Lee Bell, baseball player Willie Mays, boxer Muhammad Ali and golfer Arnold Palmer.
Years later, these excellent happenings took place for a longtime sportswriter:
• Waited several days for a call from Brown for an interview on an upcoming documentary when the phone rang one night at 10, and he talked for well over an hour. Fantastic.
• Several encounters with Bell, the greatest gridiron Gopher of all, including at a Twins exhibition game in Fort Myers, Fla., when I was able to go to the home dugout and say to instructors Rod Carew and Tony Oliva, “Bobby Bell’s up there and wants to say hello.