Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Athletes may be scumbags, but not Graig Nettles

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Joe P. Tone's story "Signature Scumbags" [August 15] about retired pro athletes selling autographs includes quotes from former Tribe and Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles, which brings back memories of a Friday night Tribe game during the summer of '71 against the Kansas City Royals. My wife and I and another couple attended the game in the old Municipal Stadium. Paul Splittorff was on the mound for K.C. When Splittorff fired one of his pitches toward home plate with Nettles at bat, the third baseman hit a high pop foul that arched right over our heads, and I watched as it zoomed straight down toward us. The ball slammed into a wooden seat in front of me, bounced straight up and as it hung in mid-air in front of my wife's face, I grabbed the ball with my left hand and pushed it tightly against my tummy, as my right hand was holding a camera. A guy in front of me tried to pry my fingers off the ball until I said, "Okay, okay. I've got it." Then he backed off. Ken Nicholas, my co-worker at the old Central National Bank headquarters building at E. 9th and Superior, suggested we walk over to the stadium during our lunch hour the following Monday and try to get Nettles' autograph while the team was practicing. We did, and as Nettles walked toward the dugout, I said, "Are you Graig Nettles?" I showed him the ball and said: "This is a foul ball you hit Friday night. Would you sign it for me?" He jokingly said foul balls were his most common hit and graciously signed the ball -- for free. Louis H. Pumphrey Shaker Heights

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation