Bill Plummer's eyes have seen a lot of baseball. In fact, fifty-three years of organized ball. From player, to coach, to manager, and to local guru.
Plummer now freely shares his experience with the Redding Colt 45's, and what an experience it has been. The Anderson High graduate was a catcher on the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970's, the world champion Big Red Machine, a coach, and eventual manager of the Seattle Mariners, with countless other stops.
Young Conor Fitzgerald, of Redding, took notice that Plummer didn't get much notice when he retired. Conor is a senior film student at the University of Notre Dame and he's putting together what he hopes will be a feature length documentary on Bill's baseball life, interviewing just a few of the countless people he's touched.
"Bill's one of the top five most influential people in my life. When I look back at how he really gave me a road map to shaping my personality, understanding my relationship with god, and how that fits in sports, and also just, baseball. Really a good mentor, a great knowledgeable guy that really knew the game of baseball." explained former Major League Baseball player and current analyst Harold Reynolds.
"It's almost hard to imagine that when you look back and see how many people you have touched, and you don't really realize when you're going through it, it's part of your job. And the other part of it is, I love what I do. You don't think about it. I think that's probably the thing I miss the most, that's why I enjoy having maybe 2 months out here the last couple of years with the 45's, so I can just be around the game and talk to young kids and try to direct them in the right way." Plummer said.
Financed by his work with the Notre Dame football team, Conor has traveled the country conducting interviews with former players, current coaches, and broadcasters.
Connor says he's found one common thread. "It's a lot about being fair. I've heard four different guys say the exact same sentence; where, it doesn't matter if the guy was a first round pick or if he was the last guy signed out of a small college after the draft, he treated everyone the same. He wouldn't let major "leaguers" dog it, he wouldn't let young guys dog it, and everyone was treated the same way and that's what people loved about him."