Lyman Bostock

Sep 23, 2013 | On this Day

Most Used Tags

Phillies (96)White Sox (40)Dodgers (21)Pirates (18)Cardinals (15)Legacy Card Project (13)Hall of Fame (13)Athletics (12)Mike Schmidt (12)Friends (12)Wallpaper Wednesday (10)Cubs (10)Roberto Clemente (8)Willie Mays (7)Tony Taylor (7)Braves (7)Astros (7)Family (6)Ernie Banks (6)Teammates (6)Ed Herrmann (6)Giants (6)World Series (6)Yankees (5)Reds (5)Hank Aaron (5)Jim Bunning (5)Charlie Manuel (5)Wampum (5)Willie Stargell (5)Larry Bowa (4)JR Richard (4)Jackie Robinson (4)All Star Game (4)Greg Luzinski (4)Fun stuff (4)Angels (4)Goose Gossage (3)NLBM (3)Topps (3)Twins (3)Garry Maddox (3)Hank Allen (3)Mets (3)Lou Brock (3)HallofGame (3)Ryan Howard (3)Dave Cash (2)Steve Carlton (2)Brewers (2)Tony Perez (2)Robin Roberts (2)Jay Johnstone (2)Fergie Jenkins (2)Chase Utley (2)Bob Gibson (2)Eddie Murray (2)Roy Halladay (2)Spring Training (2)Negro League (2)website (2)Indians (2)Ryne Sandberg (2)Horse Racing (2)Dallas Green (2)Lyman Bostock (2)Bill Buckner (2)Larry Hisle (2)Comiskey Park (2)Jim Bibby (1)Rangers (1)Dave Parker (1)Larry Shenk (1)Cards (1)Nationals (1)Newark Eagles (1)Johnny Callison (1)Cookie Rojas (1)Rookie of the Year (1)Pete Rose (1)Carlos May (1)Bill Melton (1)Jimmy Rollins (1)Sadaharu Oh (1)Connie Mack Stadium (1)Larry Doby (1)Satchel Paige (1)Reggie Jackson (1)Joe Torre (1)Babe Ruth (1)Blue Jays (1)helmets (1)Manny Sanguillen (1)Pat Corrales (1)JT Realmuto (1)Carlton Fisk (1)Dock Ellis (1)Keith Moreland (1)Thurman Munson (1)Jerry Reuss (1)Tony Armas (1)George Scott (1)Steve Stone (1)Rod Carew (1)Tom Seaver (1)Fun (1)Little League (1)Jackie Robinson West (1)Joe Morgan (1)Chris Short (1)NLDS (1)Sparky Lyle (1)Pat Burrell (1)Jimmy Wynn (1)Willie Montanez (1)Vida Blue (1)Richie Ashburn (1)Andrew McCutchen (1)Rick Wise (1)Jim Rooker (1)Von Hayes (1)Steve Jeltz (1)Bob Watson (1)John Herrnstein (1)Bart Johnson (1)Tommy Hutton (1)Jim Lonborg (1)Frank Robinson (1)Al Kaline (1)Tigers (1)Sandy Koufax (1)Don Drysdale (1)Don Sutton (1)John Kennedy (1)John Olerud (1)Wilbur Wood (1)Jim Kaat (1)Minors (1)Jose Abreu (1)Bob Kendrick (1)Ozzie Smith (1)Kenny Lofton (1)Interviews (1)Coy Allen (1)Tony Gwynn (1)Padres (1)Williamsport (1)Ron Allen (1)Dennis Eckersley (1)Kirk Gibson (1)Red Sox (1)Shea Stadium (1)Tug McGraw (1)Harry Caray (1)Saratoga (1)Johnny Velazquez (1)Harry Kalas (1)Ed Spiezio (1)Richie Zisk (1)Matt Stairs (1)Roland Hemond (1)Harold Baines (1)Wes Covington (1)Bob Uecker (1)Todd Radom (1)Rhys Hoskins (1)Jorge Orta (1)Ron Guidry (1)Monte Irvin (1)Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame (1)Royals (1)basketball (1)Wilt Chamberlain (1)video (1)Johnny Oates (1)Opening Day (1)Manny Mota (1)2008 NLCS (1)Johnny Briggs (1)VOTE (1)
Show More Show Less
35 years ago today Lyman Bostock was shot sitting in a car at the intersection of Fifth and Jackson in Gary, Indiana. If you don’t know his story, check out this great article on ESPN written by Jeff Pearlman.
The son of Annie, and Lyman Sr., Lyman Wesley Bostock was born on November 22nd 1950 in Birmingham Alabama. His father was a retired Negro League first baseman that played before WWII for the Brooklyn Royal Giants and the Birmingham Black Barons. His whole life, Lyman Sr. dreamed of playing in the major leagues, but he had to wait until April 8th, 1975 to see his name in a big league box score.
etick_bostock16_412His parents divorced when he was a young child. In 1959, Lyman and his mother moved to California and he went on to become a star at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. He didn’t play baseball his first two years in college, joining the team at San Fernando Valley State College (now know as Cal State Northridge) in his junior year. After two all-conference seasons with the Matadors, he was drafted in the 26th round by the Minnesota Twins in 1972.
In 1977 with the Twins, he hit .336 — but this impressive performance was overshadowed by teammate Rod Carew and his memorable run at .400 that season. After that season, Bostock became one of baseball’s earliest big money free agents and signed with the California Angels for five years and a total of $2.5 million. Almost immediately after he signed, he donated some money to a church in his native Birmingham that had been destroyed by fire.
As the 1978 baseball season began, the suddenly high profile and highly paid Bostock struggled. Obviously pressing to produce for the generous owner of the Angels (Gene Autry) and his expectant fans, Lyman’s batting average sank to .150 in the month of April. Embarrassed by his performance, Bostock called Gene Autry and offered to return his first months pay check to the club! Autry refused, but Lyman donated the money to a local charity. When asked why he would give up part of his salary, he simply said, “If I can’t play up to my capabilities, I don’t want to get paid for it.” As the season progressed, he returned to his normal excellent form and was batting .296 on September 23rd, 1978.
The Angels were in the midst of a pennant race for the first time in the history of the franchise and on their last road-trip of the season. Lyman Bostock collected two hits, including a signature line drive in his last at bat in a 5-4 loss to the White Sox at Comiskey Park.
Following the game, as he regularly did when his team played in Chicago, Bostock met up with his uncle, Thomas Turner. Turner lived in nearby Gary, Indiana. After eating a meal with a group of relatives at Turner’s home, Bostock and his uncle went to visit Joan Hawkins, a woman Lyman had tutored as a teenager, but had not seen for several years.
After the visit, Turner agreed to give Hawkins and her sister, Barbara Smith, a ride to another house in Gary. Turner drove the vehicle, with Hawkins seated in the front passenger’s seat. Bostock and Smith rode in the vehicle’s back seat. As the vehicle crossed the intersection of 5th and Jackson streets, a car pulled up along side them. The driver got out and fired a shotgun into the back seat where Bostock was sitting. The shooter, Leonard Smith, did not even know Lyman Bostock. The shot was intended for Barbara Smith, his estranged wife. Lyman had known the Barbara for a total of twenty minutes.
For murdering Lyman Bostock, Leonard Smith spent less than two years in jail. There were two trials and he was eventually found NOT guilty by reason of insanity. He was sent to a mental hospital and was determined to no longer be “insane” after just a few months of “treatment”. Leonard Smith has been a free man since 1980.


Dick Allen on Twitter

Dick Allen Pinterest