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Since it is playoff season I’d like to talk about Blackie Schwamb, the greatest pitcher in prison history. Born in LA in 1926 Blackie grew up tall (6’5”), hard drinking, and volatile. He joined the navy during WW2 but spent most of his time in the brig for being AWOL.

After the war he worked as an enforcer for mobster Micky Cohen and pitched semipro ball on the side.  At scout noticed his raw talent and he was acquired by the St.Louis Browns. In his short major league stint his occasional brilliance was overshadowed by his constant drinking and the Browns let him go. 

He drifted back to LA, to small time stick ups and other minor league mayhem until he helped beat a man to death in a holdup gone bad. Sentenced to life in San Quentin he quickly became the ace of the San Quentin Pirates pitching staff. With a 100 mph fastball and a wicked curve he was an overpowering pitcher.

In a 10-year career he compiled a 131-35 record, often against top professional competition.  He once pitched a perfect game against a team with 5 major leaguers.  He was paroled in 1960 and had a stint with the Hawaiian Islanders, the LA Angels top farm team, but the smoke had left his fastball and his baseball career was over.



 


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Old photos scare me big time. Everything looked like ghosts. Well some are still ghosts and I am sure some have reincarnated already. Still their pictures give me the creeps. I am glad the story of this one is interesting. He does not deserve to be in prison I think. Well he sure made a worthwhile life still.

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02/24/2016 12:43am

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04/22/2016 6:24am

What a hot-tempered guy was Blackie Schwamb, really dangerous one...
Thank you for this interesting and informative post, I didn't know this story.

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Was he really paroled in 1960 and had a stint with the Hawaiian Islanders, the LA Angels top farm team, but the smoke had left his fastball and his baseball career was over?

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This is a sad conclusion of his career!

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