David Justice on life after baseball, his love for basketball

Posted Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Former major league outfielder David Justice made a name for himself by winning two World Series rings, earning two Silver Slugger awards, receiving three All-Star nods and claiming the 1990 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

In today’s world, Justice might be as well known to a younger generation for his portrayal in the 2011 movie Moneyball as a egotistical veteran on his way out with the Oakland A’s in 2002, his final season.

Justice recently visited the Metroplex to manage Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki’s team in the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game.

How’s life after baseball and what pursuits and hobbies do you have now? My wife and I, we have three kids. I have a 13-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. My whole life is really just raising our family. My kids play sports, so I’m running around with them. I do a lot of charity work and I still go to spring training with the [Atlanta] Braves. I’m doing some stuff like that. I stay active.

Do you miss the game or are there parts you really don’t miss? I guess I would say I don’t miss it, but if I see a highlight of me hitting home runs or making great catches, then you always miss those great moments. Other than that, I had a long career and it was a very gratifying career. Having said that, I don’t look back and say I wish I did this, that or the other because I accomplished a lot.

Did you play much basketball growing up? Did I? I’m known for basketball. I was the leading scorer in northern Kentucky in my senior year in high school. I averaged 26.5 points per game. Basketball is my No. 1 sport, so I know a lot about basketball.

How do you think you could fare against some of the basketball players in the charity game? Listen, I’d be a great backup point guard for about two minutes. So whoever the starting guard is for Dallas, when he needs a two-minute break to get some water, I can get on the court for two minutes. Not a second longer.

Do you feel that you were portrayed accurately in the move Moneyball? Well, none of my scenes actually happened. That tells you right there. I was a leader on that team from the first day I showed up in spring training. I was trying to lead my team from my second year. Why would I wait to my 14th year to have to be convinced to lead my team? Plus, a lot of those guys were in their very early 20s. They grew up watching me.

How impressed were you with the A’s 20-game winning streak in [2002]? I was very impressed. When we won the 20th game, I gave a team speech, telling those guys that I’ve been a part of some great teams in my career and none of them accomplished what you just accomplished. It was one of my best speeches. I wish I would have taped it. Unfortunately, we lost the next night and the guys were like, why did you give us a speech?

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