Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lolich's other commitment in 1968

Mickey Lolich struggled during much of the 1968 regular season. His National Guard obligations often kept him away from the ballclub for weeks at a time. Stationed 200 miles north of Detroit, he tried pitching to anybody who would catch him -- high school players, weekend warriors, even a priest. It did little good as Lolich ended up in the Tigers' bullpen. In fact, Lolich's plight was played out on almost every team, where younger players tried to satisfy their military commitment with the Vietnam War at its height by being in the Guard.
"It wasn't the best of situations," said Nolan Ryan, who was also in the Guard at that time.
Of course, Lolich would go on to great success in the '68 World Series, becoming the last pitcher to throw three complete-game victories.

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