I never used to like this guy, Mr. Thornton. But you got to admit, he knows his baseball. After reading this, he is now my favorite celebrity!! Here is an excerpt from an interview from the great Sports Illustrated from this month.
"SI Associate Editor Richard Deitsch recently interviewed actor Billy Bob Thornton:
SI: Baseball is a big part of your fabric. How did you become a Cardinals fan?
Thornton:The farm club for the Cardinals, the Arkansas Travelers, played in Little Rock, where I grew up. I saw a lot of people coming through there. Keith Hernandez. Jose Cruz. We were just all Cardinals fans because we didn't have a our own major league team, so St. Louis was the closest one to us and our farm club was there. Everybody in Arkansas is a Cardinals fan.
SI: Which means 1982 was a good year for you and '68 was hell, right?
Thornton: Well, '67 was good and '68 was awful. I was talking to Willie Horton in Detroit at the All-Star Game and I told him I get a little bit of a chill being in Detroit because my Cardinals got beat by his guys that year. It was an awful year for me.
SI: How bad was watching last year?
Thornton: What was funny about it is that you can't help but pull for a team that had not won a World Series in that many years, so I always feel bad for the Cubs and the Red Sox, but I felt worse for the Sox because they are not in our division. The way I had to look at, it once they swept us, I thought it was just destiny. They were going to win that thing. When I saw the Cardinals in the dugout during the first game, they didn't have the fire in their eyes the way the Sox did. I know this will sound corny, but I think the Sox's spirit was just stronger. The Cardinals were the better team, I think. But I just think the Sox were meant to win last year.
SI: What has been the best sporting event you've attended because of your celebrity?
Thornton: This year's All-Star Game ranks right up there. I'd also have to say the day I went to Busch Stadium and threw out the ball. It was Jack Buck Day and I got to go up in the booth and sit with him and Mike Shannon for awhile.
SI: Your sons play youth hockey. What kind of sports parent are you? Thornton: I think everybody ought to play Little League. I know it meant a lot to me. I'm not one of those real intense sports dad. I want the kids to have fun. Of course, I want them to win because then they are happy. But I have taught them the "it's not whether you win or lose" thing.
SI: Your list of phobias is odd and famous: antiques, germs, Komodo dragons. Is there anything in baseball you are allergic too?
Thornton: The Yankees (laughs)."
And if you want to read the whole interview, click here.