Lions welcome author’s discussion on ‘spitballs’

Mike Lackey, Lima resident and author of “Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing,” spoke to the Lions Club of Wapakoneta at its semimonthly meeting on Tuesday at Astro Lanes.

Lackey, a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist, has contributed to the Dictionary of Literary Biography, “NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture” and the book, “Deadball Stars of the National League.” He is also a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. He has lived in Lima since 1975.

In 1997, Lackey became interested in former Wapakoneta resident and Cincinnati Reds pitcher  Bob Ewing after he moved to Lima and learned that he was now living 15 miles from where Ewing was born in New Hampshire, Ohio.

“At that point I was curious about him, and I felt almost obligated to find out about him,” Lackey said.

In that same year, Lackey started researching Ewing by sifting through old newspapers and reading as much as he could about him. Lackey said he spent years traveling to Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Boston and Arkansas to find original sources who wrote about Ewing during his playing days in the early 1900s.

“The good part was that in this era, people were crazy about baseball, especially in Cincinnati,” Lackey said. “The (Cincinnati) Enquirer ran yards and yards of baseball coverage. Not much happened that didn’t get reported, especially since there were four newspapers in Cincinnati at that time.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, March 12 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.