Can you guess which guy in this picture is me?
Here is my story that aired last night on KABC 790 as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:
When I was a youngster we played teams from all around the area. I was picked to the local All-Star team. There was a team called the Connie Mack All-Star team, and they would travel around and play you for a $100 fee. We couldn’t afford that, but the Norristown News Herald put up the $100 and brought them to Norristown to play us, and I was going to pitch.
We beat them 4-1, and I drove in three or four runs. After the game they came over to me and said they would like me to come down to 44th and Parkside tomorrow and try out for a team that is going to Baltimore for a big tournament.
I didn’t know how I was going to get to Philadelphia. Our coach borrowed the People’s Cleaners panel truck to drive me down there. When I got there Bobby Shantz was just finishing pitching, so I had to get in there real quick.
I pitched the last three innings and I struck out eight of the nine guys I faced. After that performance they told me they were selecting me to go to Baltimore.
That gave me the opportunity to pitch before scouts. A scout saw me pitch and came to my house and wanted to sign me to a contract.
And of course I signed my first contract when I was 16 years old.