Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7th, 1936

Bo Belinsky Born

"If you didn't follow baseball you knew about Bo Belinsky. But I bet you didn't know his real name was Robert. Bo spent six years in the minors...toiling anonymously in leaky--roofed bucolic outposts such as Pensacola and Brunswick, Aberdeen and Amarillo, quaint little mid-American hamlets which, while not totally without their charms, I am sure, were nevertheless not exactly tailor made for the kind of varied and far-reaching social activities that Bo liked to engage in. When he got a shot at L.A., baby, he was ready.

[He was] the originator of poolside spring training press conference for nonroster pitchers. He pitched a no-hitter one of his first times out, was rewarded with a new contract by Angels' owner Gene Autry and was even engaged for a short time [actually, a year--RB] to Mamie Van Doren--no small accomplishment in itself.

It took about a year and a half for pool hustle, chug-a-lug and peppermint [his] way into semiobsolescence. Bo was still active, in more ways than one, I'm sure, as late as 1969 with Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League. What he could have done in baseball had he been serious about the whole thing is entertaining speculation, but since Bo didn't really seem to have cared, why should we?"

~Brendan C. Boyd and Fred Harris, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book

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