Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports

Most baseball fans know Dusty Baker from either his playing days, where he was a solid all-around player for the Braves and the Dodgers, or from his managerial days with the Cubs, Giants and Reds. What you probably don’t know about the oft-criticized player turned manager, is that baseball wasn’t his first love.

According to an article from the New YorkerBaker was inspired at a young age by musicians like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison and wanted to be a writer. Channeling that childhood dream, Baker has recently written a soon-to-be-published memoir of Baker’s experience at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival titled “Kiss The Sky.”

One of the experiences he discusses in detail is watching Jimi Hendrix play on the final day of the festival.

From the New Yorker:

“I knew what I was hearing and that was a guy who could give his music a crackle and growl and scream, could detonate it like a stack of dynamite, but do it all in the music, in the groove, true to the integrity of his musical sources,” Baker writes of Hendrix. “And best of all, he was having himself one heck of a great time.”

Baker also went on to recount meeting Hendrix on the street in San Francisco. According to the articleBaker didn’t recall much of the conversation that the two had, but he did remember one thing: Smoking a joint with the legendary musician.

Baker also mentioned that he had agreed to a “no grass” policy with fellow teammates before that incident, but had “abandoned” the self-imposed rule before meeting Hendrix.

Just a guess, but Baker probably would have abandoned it either way for a chance to spark one up with a guy like Jimi anyway.

Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.

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