You could write a long story, maybe a book, about the baseball career of Glenn Ezell. No, forget that. It should be a movie. “Bull Durham II” and maybe “III.”

Forty-four years on the road: manager of the Niagara Falls Pirates, the Amarillo Gold Sox and, of course, the Toledo Mud Hens. Forty-four years wearing every conceivable uniform: the Tidewater Tides, the Reno Silver Sox and, naturally, the Durham Bulls.

“Nuke” LaLoosh? Ezell can go you one better: He was Nolan Ryan’s catcher for the 1966 Greenville Mets of the Western Carolinas League.

In the spring of 1971, Ezell was the last man cut as the Minnesota Twins broke spring training. He was 26. That’s the closest he ever got, a sniff, of becoming a big-league catcher, a smack of reality that might have broken a lot of men. Instead, it was the start of Ezell’s second life in baseball.

“Well, hoss,” he says now, “that wasn’t the first time I thought my baseball career was over. It’s a pretty amazing story.”


Read about that amazing story in Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star.