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Ron Swoboda Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: June 30, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland
Biography | show moreshow less

Baseball Career:
First Game: April 12, 1965; Final Game: September 30, 1973
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 2" Weight: 195

Ron Swoboda
This article was written by Len Pasculli and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

The casual fan of the game might know Ron Swoboda for "The Catch" in the 1969 World Series, or for his home run heroics in a game against Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, or for Casey Stengel's early summation: "He will be great, super, even wonderful. Now if he can only learn to catch a fly ball." The true fan of the man will also know Ron Swoboda for his wit, heart and humility, and for his drive to become the best outfielder he could be.

Ronald Alan Swoboda was born in Baltimore on June 30, 1944 to John and Delores Swoboda. His father was a waist gunner in World War II, a mechanic, salesman and teacher. His mother was a secretary, case manager and supervisor in social services. At Sparrows Point High School, he played three sports. Ron's baseball coach was Andy McDonald. In addition to baseball, Swoboda played basketball and helped take his team to the State title, and soccer where he was the goalkeeper and captain of his team. He played goalkeeper for the freshmen soccer team at the University of Maryland as well.

But of course baseball was his game, and Ron started playing at age 9. He played 15-to-17-year-old amateur baseball for Sterling "Sheriff" Fowble, acclaimed Baltimore City coach and scout for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. When he was 18, Swoboda played on the Dolphin Club. At 19 he played on Leone's Boys' Club, where his coach was Walter Youse, a scout for the Baltimore Orioles. But somehow, Walter let Ron get away. In 1963, the summer following his first year at the University of Maryland, he played in the AAABA tournament in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Following a wonderful performance in that tournament, Swoboda was offered a $35,000 contract to sign with the New York Mets and scout Pete Gebrian, which he did on September 5, 1963.

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