You all know him as Bill. He happily waves to you from the chair by the window in the Fireside Lounge every day. But did you know that Bill had been a professional baseball player? Bill played professionally for the Philadelphia Phillies as a pitcher. Here is what Bill has to say about his experience.
“Exciting, but you have to be playing ball. It was mainly exciting for the players.” Bill began playing baseball at the age of 17. It became a passion of his. He was inspired by his coach, Mr. Hyde, as he would tell Bill that he was his protégé. Mr. Hyde also helped get Bill his first baseball job as well as his first retirement.
Bill tells me that to be a baseball player, you must be in impeccable physical shape. It took lots of practice. Pitchers were often seen out on the field before anyone else and it included lots of running. This gave him some pretty hardy legs. At the time he was playing, it was not a way to make a living – playing ball. Even though it took so much to play professionally, Bill loved to play.
Bill remembers the women’s team, the Philadelphia Bloomers. It was a group that had played during the war. Specifically, he remembers Edith Houghton who took Bill and another player, Peety Cardomon, down South for practice as well as feeding the two gentlemen. “Edith had been star struck by the ball players,” remembers Bill fondly.
Bill’s advice to fathers is to play ball with your kids. Bill had grown up playing with his dad. In the end, he could pitch forever and pitch every game. He joined a league of 50 and older group in order to build up his arm strength. Bill spent only a couple of years with the team, however, he has created a lifetime of memories from the game.