Mickey Owens is one of a long line of fantastic defensive minded catchers to wear Dodger Blue, and if not for a bungled play during the 1941 World Series he might be considered the best ever. Nevertheless, his miscue that Fall did little to sully his reputation. He would go on to be an All-Star four times -- even though he would only slash .257/.316/.310/.627 during those season.
Which brings me to the letter shown above. Featured is correspondence written by Mickey from 1991 to a fan named Jim Forrest. (eBay Auction Link) In it he writes:
I am in the eleventh year of my retirement. When I retired in 1980 my wife had to handle all the check writing so I have no personal checks.That is certainly some good advice.
The clipping you sent me were right. I paid $2500.00. And I learned a lesson. After retirement from Baseball I was elected sheriff of Greene Co., Missouri in the Ozark Mountains. Served 16 years. During those years I was stabbed and shot at by some of Missouri's meanest criminals.
When in danger act quickly and give no quarter. It may save you from serious injury or your life.
I am not quite sure what the $2500 is in reference to, and it was common in these days for fans/collectors to request a cancelled signed check from retired ball players (that's what the personal check comment is all about).
I was surprised to find out, though, that he went into law enforcement after his playing days. Although, in retrospect, it makes an awful lot of sense. After all, what better job for a player like Owens after Baseball than as a policeman? Their job is to defend, so naturally as a great defensive catcher he would gravitate towards that. Even more interestingly, I've discovered that three of his relatives worked in law enforcement as Greene County sheriff's -- the same place he was elected sheriff.
So it seems that defense has always been in his blood.
Go here to check out all of my past blog post featuring letters written by former Dodger players.
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