Blackie Schwamb in photos

Eric Stone's biography of Ralph "Blackie" Schwamb, "the greatest prison ballplayer of all time," came out last year. Photos that didn't get in the book will be on display at the Burbank Public Library tonight at 7 pm. Stone will be there talking about the book and Schwamb.

A pitcher for the St. Louis Browns in 1948, invited back after spring training in Burbank in 1949; in the off-season Schwamb was a gangster in Los Angeles. In October 1949 he murdered a man while collecting a debt for a bookie. Sentenced to life, Schwamb had his greatest baseball career in San Quentin and Folsom prisons, playing against teams brought in from the outside. Paroled in 1960, he almost made a comeback. He was signed by the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders.

The Baseball Reliquary also has an exhibition at the library called Sultans, Spacemen and Strangegloves: Baseball Player Nicknames.

October 9, 2006 4:09 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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