The Legend of Steve Bilko

The legend of Steve Bilko was the topic of the KTLA-TV Morning News program interview with Gaylon White, author of The Bilko Athletic Club.

KTLA Interview

In 1956, Bilko was King Kong of the Pacific Coast League, Paul Bunyan of the Bushes, the Sergeant of Swat. Stout Steve was his name, smashing monster-sized home runs his game. He belted 148 of them in three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of the Coast League, the closest thing to the majors in L.A. until the Dodgers moved into town from Brooklyn in 1958. At the peak of Bilko’s popularity in ’56, he was better known in L.A. than Marilyn Monroe. Bilko was even a bigger household name than Mickey Mantle because of Sgt. Bilko, the TV character played by actor-comedian Phil Silvers. A L.A. Times columnist even suggested that Mantle and Bilko throw their hats into the 1956 U.S. presidential race: “A vote against Mantle and Bilko is a vote against home, mother and bottled beer.” Watch the KTLA interview:



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:

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