Sweet, Awkward Lou Piniella

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Lou Piniella spent all of six games in a Cleveland Indians uniform in 1968, with another four years in the Tribe's minor league system (1962, and 1966-1968), so his newsworthiness here in the Forest City is tangential and minor at best.

Still, when you read some of the things in this book excerpt from "Sweet Lou... Lou Piniella: A Life in Baseball" (by Melissa Isaacson) about his time in Cleveland, it's hard not to pass the tidbits along.

First:

Once, playing Class D ball in Selma, Alabama, for the Cleveland Indians organization, Piniella threw his glove and it landed at the bottom of a giant water barrel that the team used for drinking water. While trying to retrieve it, he slipped, fell in headfirst and nearly drowned before being pulled out.

And second:

Back with Cleveland in a Pacific Coast League game in 1967, Piniella struck out in a critical situation, threw his helmet and his bat as he often did, then sprinted to his spot in left field, where he kicked the eight-foot high outfield fence. Being portable, however, it collapsed under the force of his kick and he once again had to be rescued — this time by the grounds crew from under a pile of planks.

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