We had the great pleasure of spending a day with Scipio Spinks on Saturday May 8, 2010. He generated super footage and soundbites in a formal interview on the field of Dell Diamond, home of the Triple-A Astros affiliate Round Rock Express. We also watched Scipio at work as a scout for the ‘stros, and then later spent some off-the-record time just hanging and pulling old stories out of the man. The Express were gracious hosts and made our jobs so much easier. Plus the team won the game in dramatic fashion.
Jeffrey Radice (Director) -- Scipio Spinks -- Mike Blizzard (Producer)
Scipio Spinks is awesome, and he was really fun to interview. As Scipio stated when we first reached out to him, he and Dock were “intimate friends”, and it is now clear why. In addition to being black pitchers in the National League around the same age in the early 1970s, they just seem to have similar personalities. Although we never had the pleasure to hang with Dock, Scipio is clearly cut from the same cloth — cool, friendly, dynamic, charismatic, intelligent … would love to have been a fly on the wall back in 1972 – 1973 when they got together.
It is also clear that Scipio deeply loves the game of baseball, and that he is genuinely concerned about where it fits into the lives of young black men today. Within the African-American community, there has been a generational shift away from baseball since the 1970s. For men like Scipio and Dave Winfield who grew up in awe of greats like Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, and the racial battles they fought, to see those legacies fade in such a short period of time has to be disconcerting. It is a shame that a rare genuine athletic role model such as Curt Flood can be so easily forgotten by the entitled millionaire athletes his selfless actions most benefited.
Scipio personally had a profound impact on one of the greats of the game today —
I was a football player as a kid. Football was my life where I grew up. But people like Scipio Spinks, who pitched in the Major Leagues and saw me play, and my grandfather were able to convince me that I could have a long career in baseball and not tear up my body. I am grateful I listened to them and followed this path. Now I’m dedicated to spreading the word to other young kids.
We’re going to hold back on what Scipio had to say about Dock for now, but we asked Scipio about his relationship with Torii Hunter and it is shared below.
I knew Scipio as a young boy into adulthood. He loved sports, was a Blue Ribbon horseman as well as a baseball player. It was wonderful to see him recognized by his sports colleagues.
I now live so far from him in Las Vegas that it was good to see his smiling face (as always) and remember when he was a kid with my daughter in school. Looking good, Scipio!
One of the great ambassadors ot the game of baseball is Scipio Spinks. NOBODY has a relationship with players like he does. They gravitate to him like no other person i have ever seen. I am proud to call him a mentor and dear friend.
MY identical twin sister and I were candy stripers in St.Louis.Mo. in the early 1970s at a local hospital and we met Scipio Spinks…What a blessing..God bless you..