Campus News Blog: Author Signs Book About Baseball Legend Paul Richards

October 30, 2009  

Posted by Christine Ricciardi

There’s no baseball field on SMU’s campus, but DeGolyer Library certainly had the ballpark feel Thursday night when Warren Corbett came to introduce his new book The Wizard From Waxahachie. As a former UP Wire Manager and NBC News Reporter, Corbett wrote a biography following the life of one of the biggest baseball legends of this century, Paul Richards.

“Richards’ story was so easy to write because he was always telling it,” said Corbett, “But it was also hard to write because it spanned decades.”
Richards was the legendary team manager with a knack for lost causes, always looking to make something out of nothing. That’s where he found both the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. Using his experimental nature and his “defense and pitching” strategy, Richards created a structural Bible for the Orioles which they still use today. After implementing this system in the 80s, the Orioles became the team with the least amount of losses for two seasons straight.

Joining the lecture was one of Richards’ personal friends and apprentices, Eddie Robinson, who played under Richards on the White Sox in the 1950s.
“Paul was a teacher,” said Robinson. “He could teach you exactly how to be a better player.”

If hearing about baseball’s most epic players from baseball’s most epic players wasn’t enough, the lecture had a tandem reception. A potpourri of elderly folk and SMU faculty mingled among hot dogs, Crackerjacks, popcorn, peanuts and cupcakes decorated like baseballs. Corbett concluded with a book signing and one last quote from Richards about his intensity for the game.

“I never hurt anyone stealing [a base]… unintentionally.”

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