Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Leo Durocher Biography - Hardscrabble Childhood, Early Career, Captain Of Gashouse Gang, Becomes Player-manager, Creates Controversy - SELECTED WRITINGS BY DUROCHER:

Leo Durocher - Hardscrabble Childhood

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Leo Ernest Durocher was born on July 25, 1905 in West Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of George Durocher, a railroad worker. Durocher stopped attending school regularly when he was around age twelve and spent a lot of time as a youth hanging out in local pool halls, becoming a consummate pool player and local pool hall hustler. Durocher claimed in his autobiography, Nice Guys Finish Last, that he forfeited a college scholarship because of an incident in which he punched a high school teacher. His biographer, Gerald Eskenazi, states, however, that "it is unlikely he even attended high school, and if he did, it wasn't for long."

Leo Durocher

Durocher played baseball and football for amateur teams in West Springfield and later played for a baseball team sponsored by the Wico Electric Company, where he worked as a mechanic in his teens. Durocher's father was employed intermittently and the family eked out a living, with Durocher's mother, Clara, taking in boarders and earning money by stitching baseballs for Spalding, a manufacturer of baseballs in the nearby town of Chicopee.

Leo Durocher - Early Career [next]

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