|(Courtesy Dave Baldwin, http://www.snakejazz.com/)|
Dave Baldwin only looked like a typical baseball player.
In his delightful memoir Snake Jazz, he includes the confessional chapter “Tormenting Ted.” When Ted Williams took over the Senators in 1969, he claimed that his clueless pitchers couldn’t even explain why a curveball curves.
The hurler from the University of Arizona responded with a short speech on the science behind an off-speed pitch. Upon realizing that this wasn’t a classroom discussion but a rhetorical challenge, Baldwin braced himself for Williams to come unglued. Instead, he won the skipper’s grudging admiration.
Knowing this, I asked Baldwin how he felt about the diverse education of his teammates.Baldwin’s first full year in Washington was highlighted by 58 appearances. He geared up for a 162-game schedule, however.
“About the 1967 Washington bullpen, we had five “go to” guys — Darold Knowles, Casey Cox, Dick Lines, Bob Humphreys and me (a photo of us is in the Photo Gallery at www.snakejazz.com). I was up and throwing nearly every game whether I appeared or not. But then, living in Tucson, I had thrown nearly every day since I was a kid.”
“Regarding teammates with an academic background, I found other college-educated players on all of the teams I played on. Relating to teammates, educated or not was never a problem for me — we all had one interest in common — baseball — and that was enough.”