Sorry that my column for last week went amiss and thank all of you who emailed me to see if all was fine. All is fine and now it’s business as usual.
When I was just a kid back in Steubenville, Ohio, growing up in a gambling, steel mill city where there was little or no crime, you could leave your car unlocked and the windows down.
You had just a screen door in the summer, no air conditioning. It was a place where you’d walk in your corner cigar store for a pack of Camels at 25 cents or bet a parlay for 50 cents and go into the back room to make some horse bets.
This time of year back in the 1950’s and 60’s was referred to as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet, a time when we would catch a train at the beautiful Steubenville train station, and for around two bucks, get a round trip ticket to Pittsburgh and take in a game at great Forbes Field.
My fondest memories of those games, when I was probably between 10 and 13 years old, were arriving early for batting practice. That wonderful sound of the ball hitting the bats, it was spring and baseball season.
After batting practice you could go down and get your yearbook signed by the players. Back in those good ole days the players loved it and would actually come over, talk with you and autograph your yearbook. Oh well, as they say, those are bygone days.
I really feel for kids today, they will never be able to experience such great times like 50-cent baseball parlays. The first bet I ever made on baseball was at a corner spot where we lived. My brother Tom and his buds would go to this place located on 7th Street, we lived on 6th street downtown and they would play cards.
I went in one day, 12 or 13 years old, just looking around and saw a parlay sheet sitting on the counter. I asked an old timer what it was. He was probably around 40 years old and a steel worker who looked 60, smoking his big stogie.
He sat me down and for an hour explained to me how betting baseball worked and that is when I became hooked. I got the sports section that was just sitting there and noticed the Pirates had Vernon Law on the hill that night and the Yanks had Whitey Ford going for them.
I added two more picks, what, to this day, I have never been able to remember. It may have been two the old guy gave me. Anyway, I made a round robin, four three’s, for 50 cents away, a total bet of two bucks. The next day I collected around $14 and thought I was rich.
I was wondering why this guy was working in the steel mill? It didn’t take me long to figure out why, especially when his wife and four kids showed up to pick him up.
To this day that has been my favorite bet for baseball. I like to find my best four teams and on some days when it’s a big schedule I will make two round robins by three’s for a total of four bets.
All you need is for three of the four teams to win and you make a profit. If you get all four to win you will be set for the week, or maybe two weeks if you add a dog or two. It will juice up the payoff, especially if you like a team that is +150 or higher.
Playing the teams that are on winning streaks and against the teams that are on losing streaks is probably one of the best ways to catch a lot of winners. If you like betting the best pitchers always remember those first five inning bets, especially early in the season as the game changes when the bullpen comes in.
This weekend I will be doing a seminar at the Great Race Place, Santa Anita Park, on Saturday for the Santa Anita Derby, right from the Paddock with Tom Quigley. You will be able to watch it on the Santa Anita live feed if you are at any of our Las Vegas racebooks.
You can also go to www.calracing.com and click on Santa Anita live feed and watch it on line. We start around 10:50 a.m. due to early post this Saturday, so tune in, we could be walking around lucky and picking few winners.
If you are a horse player or a casual fan Santa Anita is a must-see and only around a 3.5 hour drive from Vegas.