When John Kruk Was Quiet, Slender And Attacked By A Grandma

From SABR member Austin Gisriel at Seamheads.com on July 21:

John Kruk was a skinny kid out of Keyser, West Virginia in the summer of 1981, but he had already attracted the attention of several scouts.

“A great guy . . . a natural athlete,” remembers Preston Douglas, the head coach that season of the New Market Rebels, the collegiate summer team with whom Kruk played. The Rebels were, and still are, part of Virginia’s Valley Baseball League. Also on the Rebels’ roster was a left-hander by the name of Tom Browning.

Then, as now, Valley League players stay with host families, and Kruk, who would play for 10 seasons in the majors primarily with San Diego and Philadelphia, stayed with Elizabeth Tidler. She was Bruce Alger’s grandmother, and Alger, then 28, was serving as New Market’s General Manager. He has served the Rebels continuously in one capacity or another for 46 years and is once again the Rebels’ General Manager as well as its President.

“Back then, Johnny was half the size he is now, but he was quiet,” recalls Alger. “He was quiet and shy, and just built like a young stud. I mean no fat on him at all, but quiet. My grandmother got him to talk a little bit, especially when she got the broomstick after him.

Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2011/07/21/when-john-kruk-was-quiet-slender-and-attacked-by-a-grandma/

Originally published: July 22, 2011. Last Updated: July 22, 2011.