CHICAGO—Saying that he refused to become just another statistic, local man Frank Campbell disclosed Thursday that he keeps a baseball bat within easy reach of his bed in case any Major League pitchers tried to break in. “It’s all about peace of mind—I’d rather have it and never use it than not have it and get caught looking on a backdoor slider,” said Campbell, who purchased the traditional 34-inch ash Louisville Slugger last May after reading about a horrific 2007 home invasion in nearby Bucktown, during which Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, then with the Mets, allegedly came out of the bullpen, crept through an open window, and mowed down a family of three in a masterful 13-pitch performance. “Let’s not forget that Chicago has two baseball teams, putting me at twice the risk of someone in Kansas City of facing a 12 to 6 curve at three in the morning, and in the middle of the night, the DH isn’t coming to save you even if you believe in that sort of thing. If a pitcher shows up in my house, I don’t care if he’s a leftie, middle reliever, or some journeyman leaning on the off-speed stuff, I’m ready to protect my zone. If I go down, you can sure as hell bet I’m going down swinging. Listen, I don’t want to use it, but if, say, R.A. Dickey thinks he’s going to come into my house and fool me with the knuckler, I won’t think twice about sitting back and ripping it to the opposite field or even legging out a bunt single. I got that grit.” Campbell, who emphasized he was not normally an offensive threat, hypothesized he could go two for four if everything was really on the line.
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