Happy Birthday, Don Lock

Don LockHappy Birthday to Don Lock, an outfielder who came up through the Yankee farm system and played MLB for the Senators, Phillies and Red Sox in the 1960’s.  The Yankees traded him to the Senators in 1962 for Dale Long and he made his MLB for Washington that season.  I faced Don twice in my career, both times in my rookie season.  On July 8, 1966, we were playing the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.  I remember the game largely because of how badly it started.  It was also the day I learned what a great baseball mind Gil Hodges, the Senators’ manager, had.   Fred Valentine led off the first inning with a bunt to me and made it safely to first.   Then Ken Hamlin bunted again to me; I got him out at first but now had a runner on second.  I’m already in a jam.  Ken Harrelson hit an RBI double, followed by Frank Howard’s RBI triple.  Don was the next batter; I got him and Ken McMullen out.

The second inning went poorly too.  Ed Brinkman singled and moved to second when I walked Jim Hannan, the pitcher; he scored on Hamlin’s double.  Hannan scored when I threw a wild pitch.  Now we are down 4-0.   Lock came up again the third inning and singled to Joe Pepitone in right.  With two outs, Don took a big lead off first and I picked him off – threw it to Ray Barker at first, who threw it to Bobby Richardson at second, and then back to Ray, who easily tagged Don to end the inning.   The Yankees came back, incrementally, starting with Mickey Mantle’s Home Run in the bottom of the third.  We won the game 8-5.  I pitched a complete game for the eighth win of my fledgling baseball career.

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