July 23, 2006

Basepath or warpath?

What happened to baseball player Gene Locklear? From All-Baseball.com:

Card CornerLabeled a poor defensive player, Locklear had difficulty shedding that tag. He also drew criticism for not hustling. Some observers felt he had a bad attitude. It didn’t help that he wasn’t well liked his teammates. He also didn’t like to talk about baseball, which hurt his relations with the press.

Yet there was much more to this good-hit, no-field failed star who struggled to conform to baseball’s “good ‘ol boys” network in the 1970s. In some ways, Locklear seemed to have greater causes on his mind. As a Native American—a member of the Lumbee Indian National Tribe—he criticized the way that teams like the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians portrayed Indians in their logos. And then there was his fascination with art.

During his playing days, Locklear dabbled in artistic painting, but he became more serious about his creative efforts in 1980. He once painted the teepee located beyond the center field fence at Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, where he played for the minor league Indianapolis Indians. He also showed an interest in painting western and rural scenes, using what he called an “abstract-realistic” approach.

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