Clint Tried Salt-water Heel Cure
By Frank T. Blair
IF YOU'RE A BALL PLAYER AND COME UP with a bad heel, you're due for trouble. Ask Joe DiMaggio of the Yanks who has had the most noted ailing heel in baseball and missed a flock of games as a result. Or ask Clint Cameron, the former Hollywood catcher, who will spend a few weeks in Long Beach before joining the Wenatchee club of the Western International League for spring training.
Cameron, who played with the Long Beach Service Stars during several of the war years, coming up from San Diego with his Navy pal, Eddie Bockman, for some Sunday games at Recreation Park, was going well with the Hollywood Stars several years ago when he suffered a heel injury. He reinjured the heel several times and submitted to operations. But he never did fully shake off the .in jury which played a part in his eventual release by the Stars.
Clint is going to spend some time on the local beach each day for the next few weeks in the hopes that the salt water will do things—all of them good—for his touchy heel. He played first base and the outfield for Wenatchee last year and clouted the ball for a gaudy .380 to lead the Western International League batters. With one exception, Cameron's .380 average was the highest registered in 1949 in the minors from Class AAA to Class B, inclusive.
Cameron, a left-handed batter, is a fine natural hitter, as Hollywood fans know. Even on the days when he wasn't catching for the Stars several years ago, he was used frequently as a pinch hitter. Clint is one of my favorite ball players, a swell guy who always has a good word to say for his fellow players.
Pitcher Bill Caplinger of this city was one of Clint's Wenatchee teammates last season. “Bill was one of the toughest guys to hit in the league,” reports Cameron. “The boys on the other teams said that ‘Cap’ and his screwball were really rough. He got a shoulder injury a couple of months before the close of the season and had to leave our club.”
Another Cameron teammate at Wenatchee was Hal Rhyne Jr., whose father played shortstop for Bill Feistner's local Shell Oil teams more than 20 years ago. The elder Rhyne, who was sold by the Seals to the Pittsburgh Pirates, is now employed at
Folsom Prison and lives in a home just outside the prison walls.
“Young Hal hit at about a .500 clip for a couple of months last season,” said Cameron, who is high in praise of the youthful infielder, who will be given a trial at first base by the Sacramento Solons this spring. Rhyne's .360 gave him fourth place in league averages.
- Long Beach Press-Telegram, Wed., Feb. 8, 1950