By Jared Stamm
Steve Trout is a former major league baseball pitcher who played during the 1980s with the Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners.
The son of former MLB pitcher Paul “Dizzy” Trout, Steve is now an author in addition to the inventor of a pitching plate training system. We talked on the phone a few weeks ago.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Detroit for the first eight years of my life, but then my father moved to South Holland, Illinois, to work for Bill Veeck and the Chicago White Sox.
When did you know that you had a good arm? I was the ninth of ten children. As a boy, I played baseball all the time with my six brothers. When I was 12, I was throwing the ball at a picnic. The ball was popping the pitcher’s glove, and I heard my dad say “Someone get Pearl (my mother). We’ve found the one who can throw the darn ball!” He was waiting. I was number 9.
How you were drafted into the major leagues? I was in the June draft of 1976. I had just graduated high school and was going to go to Montana State in Bozeman to become a forest ranger. I was in Montana visiting my brother and hiking, and when we came down, there was a neighbor who said “The White Sox are trying to reach you.” I was chosen in the first round that year. I was the eighth pick.
What did it feel like playing for the White Sox? It was great. The great Bill Veeck was asked if choosing me had been a sentimental pick, and he said, “I don’t think so.”
How long did you play for the major leagues? I played from 1976 until 1989. If you can last 10 years in the big leagues, you’re doing something right. I made a comeback seven years later pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was 39 at the time and throwing 93 mph.
How did you get involved in writing? My brother, a retired English professor, said: “You write good letters. You might not know where the commas are supposed to go, but you write how you feel.” And he told me to just write, don’t read, don’t stop writing because of worrying about things like commas and semicolons that can be easily fixed. And that encouraged me.
We’re looking forward to serializing your stories about Buddy the baseball. My stories are about gaining confidence. It’s so important to have confidence in whatever you do. The stories about the magic baseball are meant to help kids become more confident in themselves. I hope they like them. I’ve also written a story about the life of a baseball from the baseball’s perspective.