Greenies In Major League Baseball

1798 Words8 Pages

About the same time that I met Bonnie I was also introduced to an element of major league baseball of which I had heard of, but knew very little about. It became part of the professional game long before I arrived and became more widespread over the course of my career. I am referring to the use of "greenies," tiny green pills, which were the popular PED (performance enhancing drug) of the time. Commonly known as speed or amphetamines, this drug was given to military personnel during World War II to help them work efficiently and stay alert. However, they later showed up in baseball clubhouses and were taken by players to sharpen reflexes and boost energy levels. There were ballplayers who claimed that greenies were good for everything from …show more content…

After establishing themselves as a competitive team in their first year of operation, big things were expected of the Angels in 1962. Shortstop, Jim Fregosi, outfielder, Lee Thomas and pitchers, Dean Chance and Bo Belinsky, four of the hottest young prospects in all of baseball were just a few of the reasons behind the optimism. Starters, Ken McBride and Ted Bowsfield, who won 11 and 12 games respectively in '61, would be returning to Bill Rigney 's rotation and were being counted on to play key roles. And like McBride, I also finished the season with 11 wins, however, my spot on the pitching staff was not nailed down. I pitched very well in spring training, but even as the 1962 season started, my place on the club still wasn 't defined. The only thing that seemed certain was that I was destined to stay in Rigney 's doghouse for a …show more content…

Surprisingly, I got the call to start on Opening Day in Chicago and pitched fairly well, getting pulled in the middle innings of a 1 to 1 game. We went on to lose 2 to 1 in the ninth, but I didn 't get a decision. This would be typical of the way Rigney used me for much of the season. He would often take me out of close, low-scoring games, even if I were pitching effectively and showed no signs of tiring. In one particular situation, while holding a commanding six or seven run lead, I was suspiciously pulled from the game after the fourth inning. As expected, the Angels went on to take the game, but as the starting pitcher, I was ineligible to receive credit for the win, having failed to make the required five-inning minimum. Today, I find it revealing when I check the record books and see that I pitched in 40 games in 1962, starting 29 of them and finishing with a record of 8 wins and 9 loses. For the year, I worked 176 innings, which was the third highest total on Rigney 's pitching staff. Yet, I was allowed to pitch only one complete game the entire season; dubious numbers for a guy who was the number one starter in

Show More
Open Document