MIke Kekich and Fritz Peterson: those were the days
News that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are trying to make a movie about the wife-swapping N.Y. Yankees, Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson brought back memories of that wild period of the late 1960s and early 1970s. That was a time of wild Afros that barely fit under a cap, and pill-popping players who brought new meaning to the phrase "in the zone."
For all the kids out there who are busy Googling the names Kekich and Peterson -- players who swapped wives in 1972 -- there's no better introduction to the era than Jim Bouton's book, "Ball Four." It captured the craziness of our national game, as American society changed radically.
Later, steroids and other drugs would threaten to cripple the game and tarnish some of its greatest stars. But in the Ball Four era, which preceded the Kekich-Peterson deal by a
few years, the players seemed merely eccentric. Wife-swapping -- why not? Pitching while on LSD -- let's give it a shot. Hell, Doc Ellis claims he even pitched a no-hitter while tripping.
It's great reading as spring training begins.