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Producers’ Pick | Tom Rinaldi

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July 17, 2022 9:00 am

Producers’ Pick | Tom Rinaldi

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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July 17, 2022 9:00 am

Fox Sports’ Tom Rinaldi brings us the story of Wesley Bostock in a new podcast series available now at

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Some of the greats of the game knew how special Lyman Bostock's talent was. Hall of Famers like George Brett and Rod Carew. We could be talking about a Hall of Fame player, a 3,000-int guy, and just one of the greatest players ever to play the game. I would have started worrying about winning batting titles because he told me once, he says, I'm going to catch you.

But Bostock, known by his family and friends as Wesley, never had the chance to reach his true prime or seize the greatness that seemed to lay just ahead. That ended on a fateful corner in a deadly city. Yes, that Lyman Bostock, somebody we're familiar with baseball fans, or probably not the middle name Wesley, but that is the name of the first serialized documentary series from Tom Rinaldi.

It tells the gripping, heartbreaking story of how he was the first player to be killed in season while being along with being one of the best hitters in baseball. Tom Rinaldi joins us now. Tom, congratulations. You're the perfect person to launch this series. Was it your idea?

It was, Brian. Thanks for having me. Always good to hear your voice.

Appreciate it. And I came to the folks at Fox Sports about a year ago. We were talking about the audio content and narrative podcasts and podcasts to tell a story and unfold across episodes. And as you know, Brian, how big that content has become, how much people have become engrossed by hearing a story told across multiple episodes.

And I came to Fox with this story, which I had told in part 14 years ago when I worked at ESPN and they seemed excited about it. And here we are pretty much a year later getting ready to launch this eight part episodic podcast about Lyman Bostock Jr. And it's just audio, right? Just audio, that's correct. And we'll get it on any, you know, you can get on, but can you get it wherever you get your podcast? You can get it, exactly. You can get it on Apple, you can get it on Spotify, wherever you listen to your podcast. The first four episodes, there are eight in total, Brian, launch next Monday, the day before the All-Star game. All right. And so these episodes, how did you decide what to cover?

What are you going to be looking at? So when you take a step back and you consider the length of history of major league baseball, but more than 150 years, and there's only ever been one player to be murdered during a season and that it didn't happen, Brian, a hundred years ago, it happened in the 1970s in 1978. And it happened to a player who you just heard from George Brett and Rod Carew Hall of Famers legends in the game, who believed that this guy could have been a 3000 hit player. He could have been in strong consideration for Cooperstown and yet his life and his career ended through an absolute tragedy and mistake on the very end of the season, his fourth season in 1978, we ask ourselves to a degree, Brian, why don't more people know this story of this remarkable player? The son of a Negro leagues player, a player who Reggie Jackson came out to try to recruit for the Yankees, a player prized by George Steinbrenner, a guy who got in a terrible slump after he signed a big contract. You tell me, Brian, if anyone else comes to mind in any sport who would ever do this and tried to refuse his first month's salary because he felt he hadn't earned it.

And when the team paid it to him, he still gave it away to charity. That's just one of the things that make up the fascinating character that is Lyman Bostock. Tom Rinaldi, our guest, he's host of Wesley Fox Sports' first serialized documentary. Tom, without giving it away, I mean, what do you feel comfortable saying led to this without stopping people from tuning in? Well, there are a number of things that I think as people listen to this, some of the voices that you'll hear, we heard from George Brett, we hear from Rod Carew, we hear from members of Lyman's family, but it also toward the later episodes, Brian, becomes a crime procedural because while it's not the absolute center of Lyman's story, it is a crucial part of his story, his murder, and what becomes of the man who murdered him, who never denies that he raised a gun and fired at point blank range, and who remarkably, in the words of Jack Crawford, the man who prosecuted him, and who breaks down Brian 40 plus years later in tears about what happened, says that Leonard Smith got away with murder.

He got away with it. This tells you the story of how that happened, how that led to an almost immediate change in the laws criminally in the state of Indiana. All the things that came from this huge sensational story, which remarkably has largely been forgotten through time. And of course, Lyman Bostock got there just in time for free agency, so you'll be able to experience some of that. But you have some great hitters in this era. You got George Brett, you got Rod Carew, both on record, outside Pete Rose, probably the two best, maybe Rod Carew the best ever, but the great, just great, all-time great time hitters. How hard was it to get them to talk about this?

Very easy, Brian. And one of the things that connects George Brett to this story is that Brett's brother was a teammate of Lyman's. And in what we believe is a very gripping moment in one of the later episodes, at Lyman's funeral, which was back in Los Angeles, Lyman was murdered in Gary, Indiana. A few days later, the team went back to mourn him, along with a thousand plus others in a church in Vermont Square, that neighborhood in Los Angeles. Young manager, first year manager, Jim Fragosi, was supposed to be the person who spoke on behalf of the team, but was so overcome by his own emotion that he turned without any prompting to George's brother, Ken, a pitcher on the team, Brian, and asked Ken, without any preparation or advance warning, to stand up at the pulpit and speak for him. And on behalf of the team, you hear some of that audio from that eulogy, and you hear George become emotional, thinking about what his brother went through in eulogizing his teammate. You hear Rod Carew, Rod Carew, who was a clear mentor to Lyman, and who could see this young player's incredible appetite for the game, his desire to learn from an older, more established veteran who was clearly on his way to the Hall of Fame. Some of the other teammates we hear from, Kenny Landro, Carney Lanceford. Carney Lanceford, this team, the Angels, Brian, played a game later the same day. Lyman died very early the morning of September 24th. The Angels played an afternoon game that day.

That's inconceivable to think about happening today. And in his first at-bat, his rookie teammate, Carney Lanceford, batting in Lyman's slot in the batting order, what do you think he did in his first at-bat? He had a home run. Just some of the small parts that make up the greater mosaic of this podcast and Lyman's story. All right, and it opens up July 18th. You'll have four episodes immediately available all across the major podcast platforms, Apple and Spotify and, as well as the Fox Sports app. So we'll look forward to that, Tom. And what other series do you have queued up?

What are you thinking about? So we just want to let people know, Brian, you get the first four episodes, the day of launch, July 18th. A week later, Episode 5 and 6.

And a week after that, Episode 7 and the finale, Episode 8. We're going to have a feature with Aaron Judge coming up for all-star game coverage. We're super excited about the Field of Dreams. I know how much you love that. Baseball fans loved that incredible event last summer. We're back for that again this summer. And then, of course, it's a fall to remember as we roll into college football, the NFL and the World Cup. So it'll be a busy time. We love it.

Absolutely. The other area of your expertise is golf. You know this controversy now with this live tour, as well as the PGA.

And I've got the British Open. They told Greg Norman, stay home even though you won it twice because we're upset that you started this live tour that's financed by the Sally Wealth Fund. First off, Tom, as a purist as you are, as much as you know golf and the golfers personally and the great features you've done, how do you feel about it? How do you feel about these two tours? I think it's been really interesting to see the emergence, Brian, of some of the golfers who have clearly become lead voices, like Rory McIlroy, who has become a staunch defender of the PGA Tour, softened his stance for just one moment in one interview with the BBC, and now has sort of doubled down again. Tiger addressed the media just today.

In fact, I'm paraphrasing him. He essentially felt like players are turning their back on the tour that made them. It will be so interesting to see how these two tours ultimately shake out. The PGA Tour is so deeply established, of course, but the live tour has gotten huge players, major winners, top 15 players in the world to come over. We'll have to see how it ultimately manifests, and world ranking points will be a big part of that, Brian.

And will they get points for playing and winning those tournaments, and will the majors allow the live players to play? Because that's when the rubber could hit the road. Tom, congratulations on your new series. You're the host of Wesley, the first episode, Fox Sports' first serialized documentary series. It's a podcast, and go to wherever you get podcasts. It begins, it drops, so to speak, July 18th. Tom Rinaldi, thanks so much.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 05:32:07 / 2023-02-15 05:36:35 / 4

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