Seth Swirsky is a Beverly Hills sports memorabilia collector who has spent a lifetime writing to baseball players and keeping the many letters and notes sent to him in return. "Every Pitcher Tells A Story" (1999, Time Books) is a compilation of those letters. While many of the athletes are not pitchers, Seth has a special fondness for moundsmen.
"But the tales that pitchers tell stand out above those told by all other players," Swirsky writes. "A pitcher stands alone on the mound…" Swirsky has compiled letters by pitchers in the Hall of Fame, and by pitchers the average baseball fan never heard of. His letters go back as far as Walter Johnson, but also includes such modern non-luminaries as Turk Wendell.
Superstar Steve Carlton writes that he went silent because the press was "breaking the trust that came with their access to the players." Roger Clemens refers to himself as "ROCKET". Cy Young's almost-indiscernible handwritten letter states that baseball cannot be learned "overnight." Cy spent about 30 years in the big leagues, so he ought to know. Bill "Spaceman" Lee probably sprinkled too much marijuana on his pancakes the day he wrote his chicken-scratch letter to Swirsky. Other letters of note include one from Dick Nixon on the Vice President's stationary; a once-classified order from O.S.S. boss "Wild Bill" Donavan directing catcher-turned-spy Moe Berg to capture a Nazi rocket scientist (Berg was later confused by a movie producer with the "Three Stooges" Moe); and self-publicity from "Ball Four" pitcher/author Jim Bouton.
Perhaps the most interesting is the1923 typed correspondence on letterhead saying "BASEBALL," in which Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis crushes banned "Black Sox" star "Shoeless Joe" Jackson's desperate hope for re-instatement.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism