Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being Bo Belinsky

The L.A. Times' Keith Thursby continues his walk down L.A. baseball's memory lane, this time with a feature on Bo Belinsky. Belinsky had a no hitter as a rookie in 1962, but then became far more notable for carousing and carrying on with sex kittens like Mamie Van Doren, Ann Margaret, Connie Stevens, and Tina Louise.

Upshot: it was pretty darn good to be Bo Belinsky for a while. But only a while, as his baseball career went down the drain and his life was derailed by alcoholism. Of course, whether I'd willingly trade my health and career for a tumble with a mid-60s era Ann Margaret is a close damn question, so I'm not here to throw any stones at Belinsky's legacy.

Anyway, I knew that there was a good biography about Belinsky out in the 70s, but random Googling reveals that Pat Jordan wrote a really good profile about him for SI back in the early 70s as well. I can't seem to find it. If anyone has it, I'd love to see it.

Update: Thanks to Chadillac for reminding me of the SI Vault. Here's the Pat Jordan story on Belinsky, which is a must-read. It's long, but you get passage after passage like this:

Belinsky turns suddenly, and the room is reflected in miniature in his dark glasses. "You know, I played 15 years of baseball and never made a dime off it. I wasn't that interested in success, that's why. I loved the game, Babe, not success. Do you think Seaver or Harrelson play the game because they love it? You bet they don't. They love what it brings them, Babe. I could never give up enough of myself for success. Len Shecter talked to me about a baseball book long before he ever sniffed out Jim Bouton . I told him I wasn't interested. I couldn't rat on guys I'd played with. That's not my style. I was the last of baseball's true sportsmen. I never stashed baseball. You know what I mean? Stash! Stash! Stash!"
Here is another brief "where are they now" update from 2000.

8 comments:

Chadillac said...

Doesn't SI offer free access to all their back issues now? I thought I read that somewhere.

Craig Calcaterra said...

You're right. I'm an idiot. I'm going to go track that down.

Chadillac said...

For anyone that's interested, it's called the SI Vault:

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/

Craig Calcaterra said...

Thanks Chadillac. I updated the post with links to the Jordan story and a brief update from 2000.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Seriously, the first Carl Pavano?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Pavano wishes. Read the Jordan story. Holy moly, this guy was something.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Okay, fair enough, but we should give Pavano credit for snagging Alyssa Milano and Gia Allemond. Yet, he's not as interesting other than that.

RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

This is nuts - I was looking up Belinsky just this past weekend, having returned from Houston in a heavily nostalgic mood. My first stint in Little League included having my Dad as the team's manager. My one and only assignment to the infield included a throw to home that went sailing over the backstop and into the cars parked behind the bleachers. From that moment on, my Dad referred to me in uniform as, 'Bo Belinsky'. Also, you need to add Gina Lollobrigida to his list of conquests.