The Cocaine Kings of the Pittsburgh Pirates
In the ’80s, an A/C repairman, an unemployed photographer and a Major League mascot became dealers for the city’s sports stars – and changed baseball history along the way.
Photo courtesy F. Carter Smith/Associated Press
Whatever the price, by whatever name, cocaine is becoming the All-American Drug. . . . A snort in each nostril and you’re up and away for 30 minutes or so. Alert, witty, and with it. No hangover. No physical addiction. No lung cancer . . . instead drive, sparkle, energy. —Time Magazine, 1981 “The butterflies have already started,” said Rod Scurry on April 18, 1981, in anticipation of his first major league start the following day in Houston. The season was almost two weeks old, and Scurry had yet to make an appearance on the mound. In fact, he hadn’t pitched more than four innings in a single outing in two years. He was only getting the break now because Pirates ace Jim Bibby was injured; still, Scurry was excited and was hoping not just to start but also to finish his own game. “I’ll be trying to go nine,” he said. Growing up, Rod Scurry never doubted he would play in the majors, if not as a pitcher then as a hitter. In high school he o…
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