“Thank you so much for putting together this extraordinary book,” Dr. Alvin Augustus Jones says to author Gaylon White in wrapping up their 16-minute conversation about White’s book, The Bilko Athletic Club: The Story of the 1956 Los Angeles Angels.
Dr. Alvin features “world leaders and thinkers” on his radio show, which is broadcast on WCBQ-AM and WHNC-AM in Raleigh, North Carolina.
With no major league teams west of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1956, the Pacific Coast League (PCL) was “our own major league,” the Los Angeles-born White tells Dr. Alvin. He goes on to explain that the majors today consist of six teams in five Coast League cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego and Seattle.
White traces the career of Steve Bilko, star of the ’56 Angels, from his hometown of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, to St. Louis, where he broke in with the Cardinals in 1949, to his arrival in Los Angeles in 1955. He walloped 148 home runs for the Angels over the next three seasons.
Bilko had no business being in L.A., White says, citing the slugger’s 21 homers and 84 runs batted in with the Cardinals in 1953, his first full season in the majors. Bilko was traded to the Cubs in 1954 where he languished on the bench most of the year.
The interview can be heard by clicking on the following link:
DrAlvin.Com archives over 9,500 audio and picture files: www.dralvin.com.
- The Bilko Athletic Club is a book published by Rowman & Littlefield about the 1956 Los Angeles Angels, a team of castoffs and kids built around a bulky, beer-loving basher of home runs named Steve Bilko. The book features a delightful foreword by John Schulian, former sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and Philadelphia Daily News and longtime contributor to Sports Illustrated and GQ.
The book can now be ordered by clicking on any of the website links below:
- Rowman & Littlefield
- Vroman’s Book Store
- Sales Spider
- Tower books
- Powell’s Books
- Rakuten.com Shopping
- BetterWorld Books
- The Book Depository
For Baseball Fans Down Under:
For Fans in the UK:
For Fans in Taiwan: