KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On the eve of the Royals’ home opener, FOX 4’s Carey Wickersham had the opportunity to interview a special former Royal, her dad Dave. He had two stints in Kansas City as a major league pitcher, first with the Kansas City Athletics from 1960-1963 and then again in 1969 as a member the inaugural Royals team.
Wickersham appeared in 34 games for the Royals in 1969 posting an ERA of 3.96 with a record of 2-3. His best year in the majors came as a member of the Detroit Tigers in 1964 when he won 19 games and had his chance at 20 wins impeded by a wacky ejection. The Tigers trailed the Yankees 2-1, when a controversial play ensued and while Tigers’ first baseman Norm Cash argued with an umpire, Wickersham attempted to call time by tapping umpire Bill Valentine on the shoulder. Valentine immediately ejected Wickersham and though the Tigers went on to win the game 4-2, he left while they were trailing and did not get credit for the win.
Years later Wickersham wrote a letter to Valentine telling him that he got the controversial play right and that he hoped he was well. Valentine told an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist that the letter relieved of him of long regret; he said he always felt that he was too impulsive when he ejected Wickersham.