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I WAS ACCUSED OF MURDER, PART 3
â€“ Dick Steinborn
April 23, 2008
Today it is hard to look back at the true emotions that I had gone through that night. Over the years Iâ€™ve learned that we are all
controlled by emotions and seasons.
I venture to say any emotional 17 year old accused like I was, in the season of my professional debut, suffered a little more than normal.
The train ride back to New York occasionally brought tears to my eyes as I could not believe I was involved in something like this. I
convinced myself I wouldnâ€™t go back in the ring. I wasnâ€™t giving up anything I hadnâ€™t experienced from the age of 15, when I
was allowed to enter all the dressing rooms of the arenas in New York and New Jersey.
Since the age of 14, I was a catcher on a fast pitch softball team in Queens. Sometimes I pitched and exchanged positions with the
person who was on the mound.
Two weeks before my debut, Billy Arnett, the fastest pitcher in Astoria, Queens, and I were offered jobs at a zipper factory at
Queensborough Plaza. All we had to do was push a broom eight hours a day and show up at the ball field, representing the company. In
the summertime, fast pitch softball outdid baseball in teams and competition, especially on Long Island.
I ran it through my mind that it was either that or continuing with my violin lessons I had been taking for the past six years. I played in the
school orchestra as first violinist. These options were available as long as I didnâ€™t experience anything else like what went on in
My mother was sympathetic when I got home. My dad had called her, telling her what happened. She was consoling and accepted my
decision not to go back. In a way she was smart enough to know that I am to discuss this with my father next.
Wednesday evening I was on the ball field, and when I got home my father, who had arrived earlier, sat me down to tell me this.
The police in Baltimore reported that the person who died was completely drunk. It seems that his drunken buddies were to pay him
$5.00 to throw that shoe in the ring. They were all sitting on the fourth row. He had a record of being a troublemaker. My dad promised
that the boys wouldnâ€™t rib me anymore. Then he added, â€œI have to go back to Baltimore next Monday because when the live TV
went on the air at 9pm, the announcers started praising my debut to their live audience, telling them I would be appearing on television
the following week against another villain, Johnny Heidman.â€� To top that off, I was told that I was being considered to go on a
European tour in three months with former World boxing Champion Primo Carnera. These reasons were too good to turn down.
It didnâ€™t take me long to figure it out. Evidently the poor guy who passed away paid for his evil deeds. My emotions changed back to
what I considered normal. Iâ€™m sure we have all ventured into those dark areas.
I often wondered what I would have done had I have given up the wrestling game. I might have stayed with the softball game because of
the many semi-pro leagues in the northeast area. Then there was my violin playing> Musicians were always valuable in the New York
area. My teacher, who played for the NBC Symphony Orchestra, would have connected me with many outlets for orchestra play.
It was either one of those two or finding me a good looking chick with a lot of money and settling down in Hawaii.