Scrappy, hard-working, aggressive, and baseball instincts: words explaining how at 5’9, 160 Lbs, Wally Backman made such an impact as a player that he is still remembered and appreciated by baseball fans today.
Well, Wally Backman is still pretty much a legend in New York because of the 1986 Mets and he spent 10 years in New York, and he was a loved player because of the way that he played, his scrappy style and everything," says New York Post Sports Reporter Brian Costello.
“He just an integral part of our ’86 team. A competitor, a hard-nosed player, played the game the way that it should be played,” says New York Mets media relations director Jay Horowitz.
“Great teammate, he’s going to be a heck of manager in the Big Leagues one of these days,” says former Mets third baseman Howard Johnson.
Soon Backman began to think of the years ahead of him and the opportunity to stay in the game of baseball.
“I thought about it, as I was playing towards the later part of my career, but I thought about it. That’s why I began to really study the game a little bit more. I had quality managers, especially at the end with Leyland and Lou Pinella. I had two of the best managers who are still in the game," says South Georgia Peanuts manager Wally Backman.
November 1, 2005. Backman’s managerial success at the Little League level rewarded at a press conference in Arizona. He dons the Diamondbacks jersey, and states, “We will make some changes and this team will compete.”
Backman’s reign: 4 days. His previous two arrests and financial struggles are reported. The Diamondbacks refuse to stand by their hire.
“It was a nightmare, I’ve been through it all with HBO and everybody. I try to put it in my past now and move forward. It was an unfortunate situation, and there were a lot of half-truths to some of the things that happened. It’s definitely affected my career,” says Backman.
From the bright lights of the Big Apple, to the Red Clay of Albany, Georgia, Wally Backman seeks redemption and a chance to return to the Big Leagues.