Friday, July 01, 2005

The Wrong Side of the Wall

I just finished reading The Wrong Side of the Wall, which is a biography of Blackie Schwamb, who had a promising career in major league baseball--until he killed someone.

That's right. The guy who some people claimed threw as hard as Bob Feller wound up in San Quentin. And Folsom. And while he was there, he had a remarkable career as a pitcher. In the early 1950's, baseball was played at a high level in the prison system, and prison teams were members of national class semipro leagues, competing against teams that often had major leaguers or high level minor-league players on their rosters.

How Schwamb destroyed his life at every turn makes for compelling reading, and just as compelling is the wide-ranging description of life in Los Angeles in the 1940's. Author Eric Stone manages to combine all of this with a deft hand and it makes for excellent book.

Site Meter