A One-Poem Chapbook
Red Shuttleworth's Joe Sprinz is published by Bunchgrass Press in a limited (44 copies) edition.
Joe Sprinz played twenty-three years of professional baseball, including three partial Major League seasons with the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Cardinals. A longtime catcher and then coach for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League, Joe Sprinz bought a house in the Sunset District of San Francisco and later, after baseball, worked as in investigator of the San Francisco District Attorney. Every Saturday for years, Sprinz held baseball workouts at the Triangle (backstop) at Big Rec in Golden Gate Park... attended by handfuls of his former Seals teammates. Sprinz would let young boys, like me, shag balls in the outfield in exchange for a couple of batting practice swings. When I first met Sprinz in the summer of 1957, I was working out in Keds. Sprinz noticed, said for me take the N-Judah streetcar to his home... and he gave me my first pair of spikes... the last spikes he wore in pro ball. Sprinz's spikes were way too big for me, so I stuffed the toes with wads of newspaper sheets... and wore them for a couple of years.
Joe Sprinz was famous for having caught a ball dropped from a blimp by Lefty O'Doul at the World's Fair in San Francisco. The ball went right through the rawhide string web of Sprinz's catcher's glove, seriously injuring his mouth.
A baseball fan favorite in San Francisco, a wonderful teammate for his fellow Seals, Joe Sprinz was honored by the Seals in 1940 with a Joe Sprinz Day.
Joe Sprinz Day
Red Shuttleworth is a 2017 Tanne Foundation Award Recipient. His latest full length play, Tumbledown, received a complex stage reading this past March at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. Shuttleworth won the 2016 Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Poetry Book for Woe to the Land Shadowing (Blue Horse Press). He is the recipient of three Western Writers of America Spur Awards for Poetry. In 2007 True West magazine named Shuttleworth "Best Living Western Poet."
Red Shuttleworth, 1996,
Big Bend C.C. Vikings, Assistant Coach
For those who are San Francisco Seals fans, commemorative Seals caps and sweatshirts are available from Ebbets Field Flannels in Seattle.