Roger Erickson (THE TOPPS COMPANY)

Roger Erickson

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

Roger Erickson (THE TOPPS COMPANY)An aggressive right-hander who threw mostly fastballs, Roger Erickson pitched six years in the majors (1978-1983) for the Twins and Yankees. One of the top rookies of 1978, he bounced back from elbow surgery to enjoy another fine season, but threw his last big-league pitch at age 26 because of shoulder woes.

Roger Farrell Erickson was born on August 30, 1956, in Springfield, Illinois. He was the fourth of Charles and Norma (Schwarberg) Erickson’s five children: three daughters and two sons. They were of Norwegian and German ancestry.1 His father, a World War II Navy veteran and industrial engineer, had been a high school classmate of Robin Roberts, a family friend. In 1958, Roger’s uncle, Don Erickson, was Roberts’s Phillies teammate and saved a win for the Hall of Famer. When Roger was 12, his older brother Bob began a two-year stint as a minor=league infielder with the Cardinals. “My brother was always my baseball idol,” he recalled.2

“As a kid, my friends and I walked through the cemetery where [Abraham] Lincoln is buried on our way to Lincoln Park to play ball all day,” Erickson described.3 He listened to Jack Buck’s radio broadcasts and rooted for the Cardinals. Center fielder Curt Flood was a player that he liked. As Roger advanced through Lou Gehrig Little League, Pony League, Colt League, American Legion, and Connie Mack ball, his father was sometimes his coach. “I was taught the right things,” he reflected. “I liked throwing. I was always playing catch.”

At Lanphier High School, Erickson was a National Honor Society student, ran cross country for three years, and played basketball for two. By his 1974 graduation, however, his focus was on baseball. “I started to grow junior year and throw harder, striking out 14 or 15 a game,” he recalled. When he wasn’t pitching, the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder played first base. It was at that position that he broke his non-pitching, left arm in a collision as a senior. When no professional team drafted him, Erickson — his glove arm still in a cast — pitched for his brother’s summer league team and weighed offers from two local junior colleges. He wound up choosing Springfield College, primarily because his brother coached there.

In the summer of 1975, Erickson was pitching for the Springfield Caps in the Central Illinois Collegiate League when he impressed John Schaive as too talented to be stuck at a local junior college. Schaive, a Lanphier alum and Washington Senators infielder for 114 games from 1958 through 1963, called his friend Ron Maestri at the University of New Orleans. The coach gave Roger a scholarship sight unseen.

The New Orleans Privateers jumped to Division I for the first time in 1976 and enjoyed a winning season. “Our college coach wanted everyone to hustle, even pitchers,” Erickson recalled. “He liked a lot of enthusiasm, too.”4 His teammates once challenged him to “do something goofy.” “I was thinking about talking to the ball like Mark] Fidrych, but I didn’t have much velocity that day and I figured talking to my arm would do more good,” he said. “And you know what? My velocity improved.”5 When New Orleans advanced to the South Central Regional of the NCAA tournament in 1977, Erickson went 8-2 and earned second-team All-South honors.6 His victories included a 1-0 triumph over the Miami Hurricanes, who finished the season ranked ninth in the country.7

He later learned that both Cardinals scout Jim Belz and Birdie Tebbetts of the Yankees had recommended him as a potential first-round pick but, as it happened, the Twins made Erickson their third-round selection in the 1977 June amateur draft. During negotiations, Schaive got on the phone with Minnesota scout Ed Dunn and convinced him to send the 20-year-old straight to Double-A because of the pitcher’s college experience. As a result, Erickson reported to Orlando, Florida after agreeing to his signing bonus. “I think it was like $10,000,” he recalled. “Something like that, 10 or 20.”8

In his first Southern League start, Erickson beat the Chattanooga Lookouts, and his 8-4 overall record helped the Orlando Twins win the East Division.9 Whenever he could, he raked the mound to his liking before he pitched, a habit from his amateur days. “I worked summers for the city. I fixed all the [baseball] fields,” he explained. “I used to help with the field in college, too, but then I drove a tractor. I think some of the scouts thought I was a little flaky.”10

Erickson’s 1.98 ERA was the lowest in the Southern League in 1977, but his innings total was three too few to qualify for the official title as league-leader. Manager Johnny Goryl had yanked Erickson from his final start early so that coach Jim Shellenback could pitch. The Twins wanted a left-handed reliever in September, so the 33-year-old Shellenback was coming out of retirement. Between Erickson’s 89 innings for the University of New Orleans, plus 109 for Orlando, he’d already worked a lot in 1977.11 Nevertheless, he reported to the Florida Instructional League and pitched to a 3.00 ERA while the Twins taught him what he called a “little dinky slider.”

When he returned to Orlando for Twins spring training in 1978, the local front office insisted to Minnesota manager Gene Mauch that Erickson could help the major league club. “There’s no punk kid with two months experience, just out of college, that’s going to pitch on my team,” Erickson heard the skipper say. “Not gonna happen!” It took what the pitcher described as a “magical spring training” to change Mauch’s mind.

Erickson didn’t allow a run in his first seven outings, walked only three batters in 29 1/3 exhibition innings, and pitched to a 1.55 ERA. “I’ve never seen a kid that young with so little experience come into a camp and throw with such control,” Mauch raved. “He has such a nice, easy motion, he looks like he could throw forever.” pitching coach Camilo Pascual observed, “He has a sinking fastball and a rising fastball and a slider, and he throws hard. His control is what is so amazing.”12 When one of the coaches forgot how to execute a new drill, Erickson stepped forward to demonstrate it. “Gene then said about me, ‘I can’t keep him out of the major leagues, he does everything right!’” Erickson recalled.13 The rookie didn’t simply make the Opening Day roster. The Twins’ advertising firm ran ads in Minnesota newspapers comparing him to Baltimore star Jim Palmer. It was a lot of pressure for a 21-year-old who still traveled with hundreds of comic books in the trunk of his car. “All he wanted to be was a pitcher. Roger didn’t want to be a folk hero,” Mauch reflected later. “There was no way he could have lived up to the expectations the media created for him.”14

On April 6 at the Seattle Kingdome, Erickson pitched into the seventh inning to win his major league debut. He and 22-year-old catcher Butch Wynegar formed the majors’ youngest battery.15 Five nights later, he hurled a complete-game victory in Anaheim. On April 22 in Minnesota, he lost a rematch against the Angels but earned the enduring respect of his teammates. After California’s Frank Tanana plunked the Twins’ Bombo Rivera in the bottom of the third, Erickson sparked a bench-clearing brawl by throwing behind Bobby Grich in the top of the fourth. When Grich charged the mound, Erickson exchanged punches with the Angels’ All-Star until other players raced into the fray. “Roger showed me something,” remarked Minnesota first baseman Rod Carew. “He showed us all something. When Grich went to the mound, Roger didn’t try to run away.”16 Though Erickson insisted the message pitch was an accident at the time, in 2020 he admitted that he was following orders. “I think the statute of limitations is kind of over with,” he said. Grich was ejected, but Erickson pitched eight innings, permitting only one unearned run after the incident despite cutting his index finger in the scuffle. His father and brother were there to witness it. “I’m sure they were proud of him,” Mauch said. “I know I was.”17

The ’78 Twins were a sub-.500 team from mid-April through the end of the season, but Erickson’s record improved to 13-7 on August 17 when he went 10 innings to beat the first-place Royals. Two weeks later, he struck out a career-high nine against the Indians. Despite pitching to a 2.80 ERA in his last nine starts — and brawling again with the Angels — he dropped six of seven decisions and finished his rookie season 14-13 with a 3.96 ERA. His 14 complete games, 265 2/3 innings, and 37 starts each led the team, and he broke Bert Blyleven’s club mark for victories by a true, first-year pitcher.18 Opposing base stealers succeeded on only five of 20 attempts against him, and Erickson set a Minnesota record with 10 pickoffs.19 As of 2020, it remains the franchise’s highest total by a right-handed pitcher.20 The Twins reportedly doubled his major league minimum salary.21

In his first start of 1979, Erickson tossed nine innings of four-hit ball in Oakland, but his second season unraveled quickly. He’d felt a twinge in his arm late in ’78, and the pain in his elbow was worsening. Though some observers blamed his injury on his toll of innings, he blamed the slider forced on him in the 1977 Instructional League. “They didn’t want me to throw a curve and slurve that I used to throw,” he explained. “I think it was just taught to me a little wrong.”22

“When you signaled for a breaking pitch, Roger would shake it off and throw the fastball,” noted Wynegar. “A lot of those fastballs became line drives.”23 On June 9 at Fenway Park, Erickson allowed three home runs for the only time in the majors — to Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, and Jim Rice — and his record sank to 0-6 with a 7.23 ERA. After one bullpen appearance, he was demoted to Triple A. “I just never saw the fastball he had last year,” Mauch said.24 Erickson spent time on the disabled list and made five International League starts for the Toledo Mud Hens. When he returned to the majors in August, he’d scrapped the troublesome slider. On August 20 at Metropolitan Stadium, he beat the Red Sox to snap a franchise-record nine-game losing streak dating back to late 1978.25 At the conclusion of a disappointing, 3-10, 5.63 ERA season, he underwent surgery on his right elbow to relieve pressure on the ulna nerve.26

In spring training 1980, Erickson hit safely against both Nolan Ryan and J.R. Richard, Astros right-handers who threw over 100 mph. His unlikely feat made some teammates forget about the time he’d “singled” in his first spring training, only to be thrown out at first base by the Expos strong-armed right fielder, Ellis Valentine. The Twins played in the American League with the designated hitter, however, so his ability to pitch was much more concerning. “My elbow is fine. I’m throwing the curve I used to throw as a kid,” he insisted. “Beyond that, I’m not talking to reporters.”27

“He finally seems aware that he needs a breaking ball,” said Mauch.28 Wynegar, on the other hand, observed, “Roger wasn’t throwing well in spring training. The fastball still wasn’t there.”29 Erickson was winless with more relief appearances than starts as of Memorial Day, but he returned to the rotation and excelled. By the end of the season, his 3.25 ERA ranked eighth in the circuit. It was under 3.00 until his last two starts against the pennant-winning Royals. The more he pitched, the better he got,” said Wynegar. “The zip is back on Roger’s fastball.” Erickson’s record was a deceptively poor 7-13, however, as the Twins scored a grand total of 18 runs in his defeats. “When he pitches, we just don’t hit,” remarked Pascual.30 “To me, that was my best year,” recalled Erickson. “How I adjusted to things and how I was in every ballgame.”

His record was 2-6 for last-place Minnesota when major league players went on strike in June 1981. During the stoppage, the Twins mostly worked out and played basketball, and Erickson assisted Jerry Koosman with his player rep duties. He assumed the job full-time after Koosman was dealt at the trade deadline. Erickson’s season ended shortly after play resumed in August. On August 18, he caught a second-inning liner off Kirk Gibson’s bat in Detroit, but the ball smashed into his pitching thumb as he gloved it. Incredibly, he continued to pitch shutout ball into the sixth, but he woke up with swelling the next day and x-rays confirmed that the thumb was broken.

Erickson won a big raise heading in 1982, as the arbitrator awarded him the $165,000 that he requested instead of the $105,000 offered by the Twins.31 By May 10, his record was 4-3 while the rest of the Twins’ staff were a combined 6-19. Two days later, when Minnesota traded away their third former All-Star since Opening Day, he was dealt to the Yankees with Wynegar for infielder Larry Milbourne and pitchers Pete Filson and John Pacella. “It’s going to be hectic for anybody,” Erickson said. “You’ve got to relocate and get accustomed to another place and new fans and all.”32

The environment of the 1982 Yankees was especially hectic. Despite winning five AL East titles, four pennants, and two World Series in the last six years, the club was already on its third pitching coach of the season when Erickson arrived.33 When he pitched out of a jam in relief his first night after loosening up quickly with just six tosses, his new team speculated that he could be valuable in the bullpen. Three nights later, he lost his first start when New York was shut out.

As Erickson ran the steps at Yankee Stadium one afternoon, he met Joe DiMaggio. When he returned to the dugout, coach Yogi Berra sent him to the bullpen to work with pitching coach Stan Williams, who assured Erickson he’d have him “throwing harder than Goose [Gossage]” if he’d adopt the drop-and-drive philosophy and add a few ticks to his 95-mph heater. It was an unforgettable day because, when it was time to run with the other pitchers, Williams accidentally conked Erickson in the head with the football that he threw to lead the pack. After being told to rest, he wound up pitching emergency relief that night. Before Erickson had been a Yankee for a month, however, the team changed pitching coaches again, replacing Williams with Clyde King.34

On the Fourth of July in Cleveland, Erickson earned his only career save, completing a perfect bottom of the ninth with fewer than 10 pitches. It happened while he was in the midst of four straight winning starts, featuring a tighter curveball. “Stan Williams wanted me to change the way I threw my curve, but it wasn’t meshing well,” he explained. “Then Clyde King said, ‘I remember the way you used to throw a couple of years ago. Why don’t you go back to that?’ I tried to compromise between what I did and what I was doing.”35 Before Erickson’s streak was over, King moved back to the front office, and Sammy Ellis became the club’s fifth pitching coach of the season.36

Ellis tried to adjust the position of Erickson’s left arm on his delivery because King said it bothered some members of the Yankees’ brass. “Probably because I played catch with a cast on when I was in high school,” Erickson speculated. “I was kind of dropping that arm, but I was still using the front shoulder correctly and still throwing strikes. But he had me try something weird the next game out and, all of a sudden, my shoulder started hurting.”37 On August 3, Erickson didn’t survive the fourth inning in his final appearance of the season. The Yankees lost, 14-2, and fired manager Gene Michael after the game. King took over as skipper and shut Erickson down for the rest of the year. He wasn’t permitted to throw at all, and the team insisted that he try an oddball variety of exercises.

As a Yankee, Erickson lived in the New York Sheraton, where he received a phone call from Marvin Miller, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Miller asked him to become the Yankees players’ representative, but he figured he was too new to the club to be the right man for the job. On the contrary, Miller replied, assuring Erickson that the way he’d stood up for his teammates since his rookie-season brawls had the other Yankees convinced that he was the type of advocate they wanted. In 1983, he had to take a stand for himself. With the pitching staff full at the end of spring training, the Yankees offered him a five-figure payment to agree to start the season in Triple-A, with a promise to recall him after 10 days. “They made the same offer to Dave LaRoche and Rick Reuschel,” he said. “Our lockers were right next to each other.” It was implausible that all three veterans would rejoin the team so quickly, so a suspicious Erickson denied the club permission to demote him.38

When Ron Guidry was knocked out early on Opening Day in Seattle, Erickson relieved him in the third inning and worked into the seventh as the Yankees rallied to tie. Though he was charged with a loss after another reliever, George Frazier, allowed an inherited runner to score, his strong performance made the team’s desire to farm him out look unwise. Nevertheless, he was demoted to the Columbus Clippers eight days later when New York’s front office discovered that he was 39 days short of the necessary service time to block the move.39

Though the Yankees told him was still a part of their future, rather than report to the International League, Erickson went home to Orlando. “I told them I don’t want to be in their future. It’s bad enough being in their present,” he said.40 He was suspended, and lost more than $1,000 of salary daily until he relented and joined Columbus 12 days later. “I was trying to push them into a trade, but it didn’t work,” he explained “I could ruin my career.”41

Before dealing for John Montefusco in late August, the Yankees did not have an effective right-handed starter in 1983. Winless Doyle Alexander was released at the end of May. Veteran Matt Keough pitched to a 5.44 ERA in his first 11 starts after arriving in a June trade. Jay Howell, a future reliever, won once in 11 starts before going on the disabled list. Meanwhile, in Triple A, “All I did was stagnate down there,” Erickson said. “They kept telling me, ‘Put together two or three good games and we’ll bring you back up’.”42 With the Clippers, he won nine times but posted a 6.04 ERA. “It was my fault for having a bad attitude,” he reflected in 2020. Other teams were also watching, Columbus manager Johnny Oates kept reminding him. After Erickson beat the Tidewater Tides in a playoff game, Oates called the Yankees to endorse him.

Erickson returned to the majors on September 11 with 7 1/3 innings of three-hit, shutout relief against the Orioles. Afterwards, Yankees manager Billy Martin sought out the right-hander and said, “I told [Yankees owner George] Steinbrenner you can pitch.” Following Erickson’s strong effort, however, the owner did not want him to start. “It embarrassed Steinbrenner and the Yankees because I’d been sitting down there in Triple-A,” the pitcher explained.43 “They’re putting the screws to you,” Martin told him. “They don’t want me to pitch you. I’m trying to get you out of here.”44 “He introduced me to Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford and told them both that I could have played with them in their era,” Erickson recalled. “Billy Martin liked and respected me that much; he always tried to help me because Steinbrenner was mad at me.”45 Erickson’s last two Yankees appearances, both in relief, were against the last-place Indians. The first, on September 18, came on a muddy mound in Cleveland; the second, was a 2 1/3 inning stint on September 26 in New York.

On December 8, Erickson and slugger Steve Balboni were traded to Kansas City for reliever Mike Armstrong and a minor league catcher. Years later, he learned that Martin had tried to help him escape the “Bronx Zoo” by including him in the deal. Unfortunately, the Royals released Erickson after barely giving him a look in spring training. The club intended to go with young pitchers, KC manager Dick Howser explained to the 26-year-old. Tigers GM Bill Lajoie recalled Erickson’s valiant effort with a broken thumb against Detroit in 1981 and signed him to pitch for the Triple-A Evansville Triplets in the American Association. Erickson went 7-4 with a 3.24 ERA in 19 appearances (14 starts) in 1984, but his shoulder hurt constantly. Later, he discovered through a chiropractor that he’d thrown his back out of alignment trying to compensate for his initial shoulder pain which, in turn, put new pressure on the shoulder. It had all started in 1982 when the Yankees fiddled with the lead arm on his delivery. “I shouldn’t have listened to some people,” he said.

Erickson tried to come back in 1986 but was released by the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. He started 1987 with the Ganaderos de Tabasco in the Mexican League and finished it in the Single-A California League with the San Jose Bees. In 1988, it was back to Mexico with the Leones de Yucatan, then off to the Italian League, where he struck out 14 batters in his debut. League rules prohibited players who had played professionally in another country during the same year, however, so he spent the rest of his summer in Italy pitching batting practice.46

At the beginning of 1989, Erickson was throwing well enough to earn an invitation to spring training from St. Louis Cardinals GM Ted Simmons. Before reporting to camp, however, Erickson tried to install a replacement bumper on his Chevy van and nearly tore the tip off the little finger of his pitching hand struggling with the last bolt. He found a way to release the ball well enough to pitch to a 3.59 ERA for the Triple-A Louisville Redbirds, but whatever he did to compensate for the injured finger aggravated his shoulder pain.

Erickson spent 1990 and 1991 in the Single-A Midwest League as the pitching coach for the Springfield Cardinals. They played their home games at Lanphier Park, where he’d assisted his brother with groundskeeping duties as a teen.47 The homecoming lasted only two years, however, before the Cardinals let him go without an explanation. In the fall of 1991, the 35-year-old joined the San Bernardino Pride of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, but the circuit collapsed in mid-season.

In 1992, Erickson was inducted into the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame. After baseball, he tried the sporting goods business, then opened a batting cage. He also married Polly Ann Pretzer and moved to Georgia and worked at a winery for more than a decade. Five years after a bite from a black widow spider threw his heart out of rhythm, he opened the Erickson Baseball School in Clarkesville, Georgia, in 2015. Baseball was not a big deal in the area, though, so the school only lasted a few years. As of 2021, he is divorced and lives in nearby Helen, a small mountain town famed for its Bavarian-style buildings in the northeast corner of the Peach State.

Over six big-league seasons, Erickson’s record was 35-53 with a 4.13 ERA in just under 800 innings. Looking back, he admits he probably should have relied more on his excellent sinker or featured more change-ups. “I grew up throwing hard and challenging everybody and they said you can’t do that in the big leagues, but I did it,” he said. “If I wasn’t traded to the Yankees, I might’ve stayed in Minnesota for 20 years.”48

Last revised: February 17, 2021 (ghw)

 

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Roger Erickson (telephone interview with Malcolm Allen on November 30, 2020). All uncited quotes in the essay are from said interview.

This biography was reviewed by Bill Nowlin and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Alan Cohen.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted www.ancestry.com, www.baseball-reference.com, and www.retrosheet.org.

 

Notes

1 Roger Erickson, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss, January 7, 1978.

2 Unless otherwise cited, all Roger Erickson quotes come from a telephone interview with Malcolm Allen, November 30, 2020.

3 Wolfman Shapiro, “Interview with Roger Erickson,” http://www.ultimatestratbaseball.com/USBN-3-2016/RogerErickson-March2016.htm (last accessed December 6, 2020).

4 Bob Fowler, “Twins Flap Over Erickson as New Bird,” The Sporting News, April 22, 1978: 9.

5 Fowler, “Twins Flap Over Erickson as New Bird.”

6 Roger Erickson, 1980 Topps Baseball Card.

7 “Oliver Clouts Beat Demons,” Monroe-News Star (Monroe, Louisiana), March 10, 1977: 26.

8 John Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview,” https://twinstrivia.com/interview-archives/roger-erickson-interview/ (last accessed December 6, 2020).

9 “Firsts for Rookies,” The Sporting News, July 16, 1977: 42.

10 Fowler, “Twins Flap Over Erickson as New Bird.”

11 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

12 Fowler, “Twins Flap Over Erickson as New Bird.”

13 Shapiro, “Interview with Roger Erickson.”

14 Patrick Reusse, “Ex-Twins Hero Erickson on Thin Edge,” The Sporting News, April 2, 1980: 35.

15 “A.L. Flashes,” The Sporting News, May 6, 1978:28

16 Bob Fowler, “Twins Hope to Get Going After Fight,” The Sporting News, May 13, 1978: 18.

17 Fowler, “Twins Hope to Get Going After Fight.”

18 Bob Fowler, “Twins,” The Sporting News, August 26, 1978: 18. Jim Hughes, who made two appearances in 1974, retained the record for Twins’ rookies with his 16 wins in 1975.

19 “Twin Tales,” The Sporting News, September 2, 1978: 30.

20 Two lefties, Jerry Koosman (14 in 1979) and Mark Guthrie (11 in 1990), have surpassed Erickson’s Twins pickoff record.

21 “Twin Tales,” The Sporting News, December 30, 1978: 39.

22 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

23 Patrick Reusse, “Ex-Twins Hero Erickson on Thin Edge,” The Sporting News, April 26, 1980: 35.

24 Bob Fowler, “Will Goltz Be Next to Head for Twins Exit?” The Sporting News, July 7, 1979: 12.

25 Bob Fowler, “Twins Nominate Castino for Rookie Honors,” The Sporting News, September 8, 1979: 33.

26 Bob Fowler, “Righty Slugger Big Twins’ Need,” The Sporting News, November 10, 1979: 50.

27 Reusse, “Ex-Twins Hero Erickson on Thin Edge.”

28 Patrick Reusse, “Ex-Twins Hero Erickson on Thin Edge,” The Sporting News, April 26, 1980: 35.

29 Patrick Reusse, “Unlucky Roger Erickson Turns on Heater for Twins,” The Sporting News, September 27, 1980: 32.

30 Reusse, “Unlucky Roger Erickson Turns on Heater for Twins.”

31 Patrick Reusse, “Doubletakes,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1982: 48.

32 “Erickson’s Record Changes with Feelings,” Baltimore Sun, July 18, 1982: C2.

33 Jerry Walker and Jeff Torborg began the 1982 season as co-pitching coaches under manager Bob Lemon. When Lemon was fired in late-April, Torborg moved into a bullpen coach role and Stan Williams became the pitching coach under new skipper Gene Michael.

34 Murray Chass, “Yankees Again Replace Williams With King,” New York Times, June 12, 1982: 39.

35 Helene Elliott, “Erickson Follows Yankees’ Lead,” Newsday (Long Island, New York), July 17, 1982: 28.

36 “Yanks Name Ellis to Coach Pitchers,” New York Times, July 20, 1982: B7.

37 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

38 Moss Klein, “A.L. East,” The Sporting News, April 18, 1983: 23.

39 Joe Donnelly, “Yankees’ Erickson Quits on Bitter Note,” Newsday, April 14, 1983: 148.

40 Stan Isle, “Erickson Draws Line on Yanks,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1983: 12.

41 Moss Klein, “Yankee Doodles,” The Sporting News, May 16, 1983: 23.

42 Claire Smith, “Erickson Returns with Same Outlook,” Hartford (Connecticut) Courant, September 9, 1983: E5.

43 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

44 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

45 Shapiro, “Interview with Roger Erickson.”

46 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

47 After hosting a Three-I League team most years between 1928 and 1949, minor-league baseball returned to Lanphier Park (re-named Robin Roberts Stadium in 1976) 1978-2001.

48 Swol, “Roger Erickson Interview.”

Full Name

Roger Farrell Erickson

Born

August 30, 1956 at Springfield, IL (USA)

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