pilots

Cards from the Diamond

by on February 3, 2011

Seattle Pilots Rookie Card | 1969 | Lou Piniella | Marv Staehle | Baseball Card | Baseballisms.com Topps Rookie Card What Game is this? | Baseballisms.com

1969

#Pilots

Each day we feature something from our collection of childhood bubblegum memories.  For those who remember them, these baseball cards have their own stories to tell.

What does this card bring to mind for you? Please share in the comments!

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Major League Bride | Kathleen Lockwood | Baseballisms.comWith great pleasure, we welcome Kathleen Lockwood to the Cover the Bases podcast.  She is the author of Major League Bride: An Inside Look at Life Outside the Ballpark.  The book was published by McFarland & Company in 2010.

Kathleen has been married to former major leaguer Skip Lockwood for over 40 years, the first 12 years of the journey while he pursued a career as a professional baseball player.  The Lockwoods endured six teams, thirty five residences, trade rumors and a career threatening injury in pursuit of this career.  This book  is an inside look at what it means to fall in love, maintain a marriage, and start a family while attending to big league dreams.

There is a positive side to this story that Kathleen felt needed to be told during this era in baseball of steroid related turmoil.  It is a way to shine a light on the positive relationships that she had built up with other families in the same circumstances.  She also had the time available to spend writing after the youngest of five children had finally gone off to high school.

Her method for re-creating many of the stories was to revisit the numerous scrapbooks that she had kept throughout those times, and then used internet resources to locate old friends and capture past memories.

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The book Ball Four is a seminal book on the bookshelves of many baseball fans, particularly fans who are of a certain generation.  During the early to mid-seventies I became a fan of the game.  Key influences included the thousands of pickup games played with my brothers and other kids in the neighborhood, my father and mother who clocked many miles delivering us to and from organized baseball, television and  radio which delivered the sights and sounds of the games taking place in the Major Leagues, and last but not least the many baseball books I gathered that would create images in my imagination.

The Baseball Life of Sandy Koufax, Strange But True Baseball Stories, and books with titles like How To Play Baseball were devoured at every opportunity.  A time came when I needed to graduate to a more grownup level of baseball literature, and the book Ball Four took me there.  The book is published by Wiley.

It is a well known, behind the scenes memoir from author Jim Bouton, who was reinventing himself as a knuckleball pitcher catching on with the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969.  His pull no punches personality, plus considerable arm trouble, had worn out his welcome as a New York Yankee, after having pitched in The Bronx starting as a rookie in 1962.

The book caught fire with many baseball fans as it provided a first person account inside the camaraderie, challenges, exploits, strategies, and business of a major league baseball team. It did not go over so well with some of the main characters or so-called protectors of the game.  Jim was ostracized for many years because of the perceived slights contained within the covers.

Especially with forty years worth of hindsight, the book is not a scandalous tell-all rag intent upon hurting player reputations or the game itself.  It is what it was intended to be ..  a real-life personal diary of one player’s experiences, playing the game at its highest level.

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