June 25, 2018

Fritz Peterson Discusses Infamous Family Swap

September 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

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 weren’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 didn’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 ‘60s spilled into the ‘70s and when we did what we wanted people weren’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 don’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: “P.S. My wife is very sensitive about this subject so I can’t formally speak to you if you don’t mind.”

[Note: Peterson is still married to the former Mrs. Kekich.]


One Response to “Fritz Peterson Discusses Infamous Family Swap”
  1. Dave,
    Nice job on the article.
    I’ll send you some articles if you want.

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