Jim Campanis Jr. never made the big leagues. His dad and his grandpa both did, but Jim’s best shot was spoiled by an errant foul tip to the wrist. After his minor-league career ended when he was 28, he spent a few “bitter years” unable to even watch baseball without getting angry. Over time the bitterness faded, and now 20 years later he has written a book about his time in baseball.
Campanis isn’t just any career minor leaguer. His grandfather was Al Campanis, the scout who signed Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax; the man whose first move as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers was to trade his own son to the expansion Kansas City Royals; and the man whose comments in a televised interview in 1987 led to his ignominious resignation and forever changed the public reaction to the name “Campanis.”
Jim Campanis Jr.’s new book is called “Born Into Baseball: Laughter and Heartbreak at the Edge of the Show.” In this episode, Jeff Snider and Nick Hamelin talk with Jim about what led him to write the book and several of the 150 stories contained within its pages.
Jeff and Nick also discuss a few current baseball events, and later they gave their predictions for the National League Central (spoiler: they both think the Chicago Cubs are going to be good).