Fritz Peterson Discusses Infamous Family Swap
For a book I was trying to get published, I wrote to a number of players who had done something interesting in their careers (i.e. threw a no-hitter, led the league in homers, etc.), but werenâ€™t Hall of Famers. I wrote to Fritz Peterson about his 20-win season and one All-Star game appearance (in which he faced Willie McCovey). I also asked him about his family swap with teammate and best friend Mike Kekich in 1972; not the why, but how others on the team perceived it. He responded via letter (I also wrote Kekich; he did not respond) and interestingly he didnâ€™t even answer the baseball part of my question.
Peterson: The players were great to us. The management was very nervous. The fans came out of their closets to write nice things, but booed in the stands.
The â€˜60s spilled into the â€˜70s and when we did what we wanted people werenâ€™t quite ready for it.
Had our situation happened today you may not even see it in the media.
[Based on the sensationalism of some media, that seems doubtful. Although there might be a more frank discussion of it in these times.]
Peterson: None of us were Christians at the time and we all thought we could all better our lives changing families.
In retrospect I donâ€™t recommend anyone do what we did, especially when children are involved, but life is gray, or at least was for us then.
[Peterson added this postscript at the bottom of his letter:]
Peterson: â€œP.S. My wife is very sensitive about this subject so I canâ€™t formally speak to you if you donâ€™t mind.â€
[Note: Peterson is still married to the former Mrs. Kekich.]