Eddie Bockman spent parts of four seasons in the big leagues.
His impact on the game, however, covered decades.
Bockman, who made a name for himself as a scout, died Thursday. He was 91.
Bockman was best known for his efforts in signing Larry Bowa for the Philadelphia Phillies. Bowa had been unable to make his high school baseball team, but did play at Sacramento City College. He, however, wasn’t selected in baseball’s first amateur draft, in 1965.
Bockman, however, saw something in Bowa, even if the first time he went to scout Bowa the most distinguishing thing he saw was Bowa ejected in both games of the doubleheader. Bockman, however, didn't back off, even if Bowa did have a reputation as ``a hand grenard that’s had the pin pulled.’’
Bockman was so committed to Bowa that in the fall of 1965, he drove from Sacramento to Los Angeles, where Phillies execs were attending the World Series, borrowed a projector from the hotel, and showed films of Bowa to his bosses, using a sheet as the screen.
Finally, he was given $2,000 to offer Bowa, who snapped up the offer, and started his trek to the major leagues.
Bockman was a third baseman, who played for the Yankees in 1946, Cleveland in 1947 and Pittsburgh in 1948-49. Bockman was traded, along with Joe Gordon, frm the Yankees to Cleveland for Allie Reynolds.