Interview With Former Hurler Bob Lacey


1978 Topps

1) 1979 was obviously a horrible year for you and the Athletics as you had bursitis in the heel and the A’s lost 108 games. How did you deal with the difficulties?
I fractured my left thumb on my pitching hand early in the 1979 Spring training in Palm Springs, CA. I know I did because I received in the mail a copy of the bill from the insurance company the diagnosis from the doctor which state I had a probable fracture of the left phalanx. Needless to say I altered my pitching motion which brought on the bursitis in both Achilles tendons especially the right heel. It was a miserable year after having two good prior years.
2) You were once involved in a brawl with Darryl Porter who later called you a “crazy, immature punk.” Can you talk a little more about the situation and how it came to be?
Our team was on a ten or twelve game losing streak, I told my team mates that I was going to start a fight. Darryl Porter hit a grounder to Dave Revering which he took it unassisted. When I saw that Rev was stepping on first I did a George Atkinson on Porter while he was running down the first base line. I did the act in a very discreet manner which didn’t draw any attention to myself. Porter became enraged an attacked me which allowed the whole Royal team to jump on top of me. Needless to say Porter got thrown out, Tony Armas hit a three run homer, and I got out team back on a winning streak.
3) You struck out Reggie Jackson twice in your 4th M.L. appearance. Is it true that he was enraged at the situation, and what was your approach?
​I was a punk, Reggie was classier, after striking him out I yelled a colorful expletive at him which went like this. “Take that MF.” The next day my pal Michael Norris acted as a liaison between me and Reggie.
4) Did you have friction with manager Billy Martin? Why did he refuse to use you in spring training, and is it true that he barred anyone from playing catch with you?
The articles were correct concerning my interactions with Billy Martin. Darryl Porter was correct I was an immature punk and I didn’t handle my interactions with Billy very well. After saying that I will say that Billy was one of the best managers that I ever played for.
5) You are an educator in Arizona today…what do your students think about your playing career past?
They like it, having the opportunity to tell them stories gets their attention. I don’t teach my students’ I promote benefits on being a learner. Once a person realizes that they can do it on their own then I look for more benefits to promote.

5 thoughts on “Interview With Former Hurler Bob Lacey

  1. William Miller

    Very impressed by this interview with Bob Lacey. I don’t even remember him playing, but I appreciate how he has taken responsibility for his behavior when he was a young pitcher, without making any excuses for his behavior. I’m sure, with this attitude, he must be a fine and effective educator.

  2. steve

    Mr. Bob Lacey is an old hero of mine; a mask of infinite minds to censor one’s own angry projections onto other people and digest one’s own misery is to strip the world of false bravado is a good thing I think.

  3. Pingback: The Straw That Stirred the Drink – TALES OF BASEBALL

  4. Anonymous

    My brother and I were at the Oakland Coliseum for Lacey’s first A’s appearance. He came in to relieve another pitcher. Lacy ran full-steam from the bullpen to the mound which was very unusual. He looked like a 17 year old kid. We had never even heard of this guy (they just brought him up from the minors). He struck out the side and the crowd went wild. He had a Mark Fydrich type energy. I predicted great things for Lacey but it didn’t happen. He sure made that game entertaining…


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