Bill White Slams Autographs

Say it ain’t so, Bill.

I searched his memoir Uppity for insights about why he stopped accepting fan mail, choosing the “Return to Sender” route. Was he becoming baseball’s Greta Garbo? Had Dr. Mike Marshall influenced him with talk of autographs and real heroes?

Instead, he clings to the old, simplistic notion of everyone being a greedy dealer. He writes:

“When I was a player we never thought twice about giving some kid an autograph, or handing out signed baseballs…These days, of course, a lot of the big-name players have six-figure contracts with agents to market their autographs, and professional dealers have squeezed out the kids. If you give somebody an autographed baseball these days, you can probably expect to see it on eBay a week later.”

White endured years of racism and prejudice. He writes with restrained clarity, offering compassionate reviews of loudmouths like Cincinnati owner Marge Schott. Books that I’ve read by Frank Robinson and Bob Gibson boil over with an anger tsunami at bigotry. White is detailed but measured in his criticisms.

How I would have loved even one extra page detailing his views on fan mail.

Ernie Broglio, Beyond Lou Brock


Ernie Broglio is more than just a trivia question. Today’s fans often hear, “Who did the Cubs get in return for future Hall of Famer Lou Brock?”

Finger-pointers seek scapegoats. The teams staged a three-for-three swap. Bobby Shantz and Doug Clemens accompanied Broglio to Wrigley Field on June 15, 1964.

Broglio had been traded before. He was part of a five-player deal in October, 1958. He wrote:

“The Giants traded me to St. Louis. I was really surprised because I had two really good years in the Giants minor leagues.”

Broglio notched consecutive 17-win seasons in 1957-58, first in Double-A then graduating to AAA the next year. He unveiled his full potential in Class C ball in 1955, winning 20 games.

As a Cardinal, Broglio enjoyed two years of glory. His 21 wins led the National League in 1960. The righty followed that with 18 victories in 1963. Surprisingly, the triumphs offset a career-worst 13 wild pitches. Broglio noted:

“I don’t believe there was that much difference between the two years, except in 1960, I either won 7 or 9 games in relief. The wild pitches were caused from a shoulder problem. I eventually took 16 or 18 (cortisone) shots in the shoulder.”

Before he left St. Louis, Broglio enjoyed a ringside seat for the evolution of Cardinals hurler Bob Gibson. When did Broglio know Gibby might be Cooperstown bound?

“There was never a doubt about him getting to the Hall of Fame. He had the instinct of getting you out from the time he started pitching.”

Broglio earned the attention of Sports Illustrated twice, first with a 1961 cover and later with this bittersweet 2000 article in which he reveals the inscription of his autographed photo from Lou Brock.

Bobby Shantz: Gold Gloves and "Mister" Mack



Pitcher Bobby Shantz’s career spanned 1949-64. His credits are eye-popping:

8 Gold Gloves
3-time All-Star
1952 MVP Award

Shantz reinvented himself from starter to reliever. In addition to his 119 career wins, 78 complete games and 15 shutouts, Shantz threw in 48 saves.

Two books pay special tribute to Shantz, Athletics Album: A Photo History of the Philadelphia Athletics and The Story of Bobby Shantz..

The Pennsylvania-born moundsman’s career began under the care of Athletics owner-manager Connie Mack. Shantz described the grand old man of the game:

“I only played two years under Mr. Mack and enough to tell you he was a very special person. Very quiet most of the time and never wore a baseball uniform as far as I know, while managing.

A lot of players said he was tough getting money from when it came to contract time. Maybe so, because when I won 24 games in 1952, I was making $12,000 and I thought I was overpaid. He did double my salary for 1953, so that was pretty nice.”

Shantz hedged on describing his defensive artistry. Why did glove work come easy?

“I really can’t compare my fielding with other pitchers. Because I was only 5-foot-6 tall, I maybe was a little quicker getting to bunts down the line. there were quite a few good fielding pitchers when I played, namely Bob Gibson, Bob Lemon, Warren Spahn and Harvey Haddix.”

Shantz may believe he was “only” 5-foot-6. I believe he was, and is, a giant in the eyes of fans and collectors.

Bobby Shantz: Gold Gloves and “Mister” Mack

Pitcher Bobby Shantz’s career spanned 1949-64. His credits are eye-popping:

8 Gold Gloves
3-time All-Star
1952 MVP Award

Shantz reinvented himself from starter to reliever. In addition to his 119 career wins, 78 complete games and 15 shutouts, Shantz threw in 48 saves.

Two books pay special tribute to Shantz, Athletics Album: A Photo History of the Philadelphia Athletics and The Story of Bobby Shantz..

The Pennsylvania-born moundsman’s career began under the care of Athletics owner-manager Connie Mack. Shantz described the grand old man of the game:

“I only played two years under Mr. Mack and enough to tell you he was a very special person. Very quiet most of the time and never wore a baseball uniform as far as I know, while managing.

A lot of players said he was tough getting money from when it came to contract time. Maybe so, because when I won 24 games in 1952, I was making $12,000 and I thought I was overpaid. He did double my salary for 1953, so that was pretty nice.”

Shantz hedged on describing his defensive artistry. Why did glove work come easy?

“I really can’t compare my fielding with other pitchers. Because I was only 5-foot-6 tall, I maybe was a little quicker getting to bunts down the line. there were quite a few good fielding pitchers when I played, namely Bob Gibson, Bob Lemon, Warren Spahn and Harvey Haddix.”

Shantz may believe he was “only” 5-foot-6. I believe he was, and is, a giant in the eyes of fans and collectors.

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