Bill White, former Cardinals first baseman, broadcaster and former President of the National League, has a new autobiography coming out called “Uppity: My Untold Story About The Games People Play.” He sat for an interview with the Cardinals blog Retro Simba. It’s a neat interview, with additional parts to come. My favorite Q&A in the first segment:
Q: In May 1960, you set a career high with 6 RBI in a game at the L.A. Coliseum, hitting two home runs, both off Don Drysdale. Your career batting average against Drysdale was .326 with seven home runs. Why were you so successful against him?
Bill White: Because he threw spitballs. It actually was oil he kept on the back of his hair. And when you loaded the ball up, it sunk. And I was a low-ball hitter. He was throwing to my strength.
That Drysdale threw a spitter is not new information — I’ve read it a bunch of places before — but it’s fun to hear that kind of stuff anyway. Oh, and remember when Drysdale showed up at Greg Brady’s house and told him he could be a bonus baby? And how Greg let it go to his head and even considers dropping out of school? Yeah, that whole thing could have worked if Drysdale showed Greg the secrets of the spitball.
Anyway, while that may be my favorite answer, White’s comments about segregation in the Cardinals’ spring training home of the early 60s and in St. Louis is more significant reading. Check it out.