Tuesday, December 7, 2010
My Pro Career
In 1953 I was recruited to go to Wynyard, Saskatchewan as a baseball pitcher for their ball team! Since it was my summer job I needed the money for school in the fall. The team had the desire for a winning team, but they had neither the money, nor a pitcher! A philanthropic business man in Wynyard, who owned a service station, came to their rescue and paid me 250 dollars a month to pump gas and be a go-fer in his business so that I could be at the behest of the ball team. 250 dollars was too generous for the job I did for the business owner, Mindy Halldorson, but it was expeditious to his town's ball team. I,of course, was flattered that they wanted me. My pro career, since I was the only pitcher, included providing this service 3 days a week at local sports days around the area, and usually,since we often won,generally pitched three short games a day. My job on the field was also to carry the equipment, bags and bats, to our next venue since I was the only "paid " player.The team felt that was a reasonable request since I was only 19 and I couldn't go with them to the beer parlor in between games. A real source of discontent for me. Predictably, half way through the season, pitching without respite, and having no brains to pace myself, I developed a severe rotator cuff tendinitis in my pitching arm! It was so bad I had trouble lifting the bag of jelly doughnuts I brought to the garage mechanics for coffee break twice a day, when I was working the go-fer shift! The black day came when the ball team manager took me aside and told me the team was not making enough money to pay me anything further. I of course, couldn't pitch for them because of my arm, but never thought to question why I was fired, since Mindy Halldorson was paying for me, not the ball team. I was of no further use. Used up! I did see the local doctor but he was a quack and gave me some talcum powder to rub on my shoulder! My pro career ended and I went back to the track at the CNR for the remainder of the summer! Oh, brief fling of greatness dashed!