This is a very down-to-earth book. Most powerful baseball books are written by the stars or about them. Lockwood was a journeyman in baseball for 12 successful seasons and he delivers atmosphere in and around the game.
One thing about Skip Lockwood that players knew about him was his eyesight wasn’t very good. He wore really thick glasses that had a knack for steaming up in hot weather. It didn’t matter to Lockwood as he pitched anyway. Sometimes the pitch almost hit the bat boy and other times it went behind the batter. He was known as “effectively wild.”
However, before he got to the part of his life he enduring a painful accident that almost severed his arm. At that time he had little interest in playing baseball. But his father thought it best for him to rehab that arm continually so he bought himself a catchers mitt and a glove for Skip and they continually played catch to strengthen his arm. The results worked.
After breezing through Little League and high school, he signed a major league contract. He was known as a power pitcher with a good cross-seam fastball but not much of a breaking ball.
He tells the story of meeting Casey Stengel on the mound in a close game for the first time. He had just been traded to the Mets and was thrust into the game right away. Casey asked him his name and heard him say “Chip” and for the rest of the game, he was cheered on by that name.
One of Lockwood’s best friends in baseball turned out to be Tom Seaver. He tells a load of stories about the Hall of Fame pitcher that is enjoyable to baseball fans. He tells stories about Jerry Koosman and some of the interesting things they got into.
It doesn’t matter what team you cheer for when reading this book as you will become a Skip Lockwood fam. This is a delightful book and should be on every baseball fans bookshelf.