I got the opportunity to sit down with Rodney “Pitt” Baylis, 62, and talk about sports here at the prison and some of his favorite teams and players. He was sitting in his chair on the side of the Education B Building where he can usually be found.
He expressed his love for education along with his passion for giving back and helping other incarcerated people with their studies. Baylis graduated with an AA degree from the college program here. He also is one of the founders of an education program here called APEP, an academic program for those who are deficient in their studies.
When Baylis is not spending his time educating others, he is watching the San Quentin sports programs — that is until COVID-19. He also spends time with his 15-inch television in his cell.
Tim Hicks (TH): What do you think of sports since COVID-19 hit?
Rodney Baylis (RB): They made sports boring during COVID-19, with the bubble and quarantines. It used to be good here [at The Q] when we could see guys like ATL, Austin, T-Tone and Brandon. Sports is always something to look forward to and pass time. Most of all, it gives the youngsters around here something to do other than getting into trouble. You take sports away from us; it’s pretty much nothing else.
TH: Yeah, I agree. Those guys made the games interesting to watch. There are other guys here now that are promising. Your spot has the best view to watch baseball. Do you like any basketball teams and did you watch sports on TV when there were none happening here at The Q?
RB: Well, yeah I used to watch the games on TV, but I don’t have a favorite team at the moment. Sports on TV are not like they used to be either. All the rules have changed. Football is too soft and basketball is too. It’s not like when Michael Jordan, Carl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Dominique Wilkins played. Or Jack Tatum, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell or Marcus Allen did their thing on the football field. It’s not the same.
TH: Those dudes you mentioned were some of my favorite ones too.
RB: Yeah, I don’t have a favorite team. I just have favorite players.
TH: Who are your favorite players these days?
RB: I like Lebron James, but he do cry too much sometimes. I like Curry, Durant and Jah Morant. I like that the Warriors won the championship again and got to represent the Bay for me. I would of love to be at the parade. Nowadays, I gravitate towards the women competitions. They’re more exciting to me.
TH: What do you think about the Raiders?
RB: I think they are going to crash if they keep Carr as the quarterback.
TH: Ouch! Have you ever played any sports?
RB: I played football, baseball and ran track in my younger years. And I say this: Although sports are back at The Q and on the outside, they are not the same, but I’m still a sports fan.