1. I didn’t know about Hank Aaron or Whitey Ford. Willie Mays I knew but when you think about it… geez.

    I was surprised about Aretha Franklin when I thought how *long* her career was how could she only be 76?

  2. Mr. Mays was discussed extenisively recently becaujse he spoke in favor of Barry Bonds.

  3. I knew Aaron and Mays were both alive. I would have been less certain about Ford, but if pressed would have guessed yes as I did not remember him passing away.

  4. I was watching tv with my nephew yesterday and Mays came on to make a few comments about Aretha Franklin, and I said Hey, aren’t you supposed to be dead?

    Which got us looking up the oldest living Hall of Famers.

  5. Am I the only one here who wasn’t familiar with Whitey Ford?

    The other two names ring a bell with me.

  6. Whitey Ford is a fixture in the annual parade through Cooperstown that happens before the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He has appeared riding in a white Ford on several occasions. Seriously.

  7. Red Schoendienst recently passed away this summer at age 94, so Tommy Lasorda is the oldest living Hall of Famer at age 90 (I was surprised that he was that old). Whitey Ford is next at 89. Willie Mays is 86 and Hank Aaron is 83. I guess having a Hall of Fame career lead to an extended life.

    This topic reminds me of an old National Lampoon bit about Bess Truman titled “Forgotten but not gone”

  8. I would not have thought about them in day to day life, but I don’t remember hearing that any of them had died. (Then again, my memory isn’t what it used to be – or so Robert says – I think it is his memory.)

    Aretha Franklin apparently started “living” her life rather young. She had her first child at 12 and her second before she was 15. So she seems to have started her career also to take of her family. Something interesting I heard was that in the early years she and other African-American performers would do a concert and then the white theater owners/managers either would not pay them or would not pay the full amount. She and James Brown started asking for full payment in cash before the performance long before they major name stars. She would put hers in her purse and keep it in sight on stage. As she began to be paid “big” money her purse became a suitcase which would sit under the piano while she performed.

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