50°
Sunny
MON
 67°
 45°
TUE
 66°
 46°
WED
 58°
 43°
THU
 57°
 38°
FRI
 59°
 39°

A memory preserved

Montana didn't see the play. He was on the ground. He heard the noise, the roar of victory winding around the stands, that old house shaking with joy. When Montana came off the field, equipment manager Chico Norton told him, "Boy, your buddy really saved your ass on that one." Montana asked what he was talking about. Norton said, "You threw the ball out of the stadium and he went up and got it."

Above his desk in his house in Santa Cruz, Clark has placed a lithograph Walsh gave him. It is a framed picture of Walsh in his famous pose — wearing a headset on the sideline, chin in his hand. It could be called: Coach in Thought.

On the bottom of the lithograph Walsh diagramed Sprint Right Option, diagrammed it with triangles and squares and O's. Walsh did not use X's. It is neat, a work of art like all Walsh's play drawings. He also wrote out the defense, showed where every player on each team was. The moment preserved.

Candlestick Park Through the Years

X

Every day Clark sees the lithograph Walsh gave him with the diagram of The Catch. Every day, he thinks how the present converges with the past.

"I still haven't erased Bill's name and number out of my phone book," Clark says. "I went to visit him in the hospital and he was getting a blood transfusion. He was there all day. We sat four or five hours telling stories back and forth. I told him, 'On Saturday nights when you would come in with that Styrofoam cup, we knew it was a margarita.'

"Bill says, 'You know what? I'm done here in 10 minutes. Can you give me a ride home?' And I say, 'Yeah.' On the way home, he says, 'Let's go in here.' So we pull into the Village Pub, and he and I have a margarita for old time's sake."

Walsh and Clark reliving their moment. The man who called the right play at the right time. And the man who ripped the ball out of the sky.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.


comments powered by Disqus
© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View