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The rise of Shiloh Park: a recreational sports Mecca

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Famed Virginia Major League Baseball catcher Foiles signs books at Colonial Beach

Hank Foiles, a Virginia native who was a major league baseball all-star catcher for legendary pitchers Hoyt Wilhelm and Herb Score, will be present Thursday, July 31, at Colonial Beach’s Masonic Lodge #199 to sign copies of his book, A Pirate’s Journey.

Foiles, a Mason, will also talk with fans about his days in the major leagues in addition to signing copies of his book, which relates in detail his adventures in the Bigs. Foiles played for the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburg Pirates.

A star three-sport athlete at Granby High School in Norfolk, Foiles played for the University of Virginia before signing with Cincinnati as a 23-year-old rookie in 1953. Foiles, who had a .243 batting average and a .321 on base percentage for his career, was named to the National League All-Star Team while catching for the Pirates.

“Baseball was different during my career,” said Foiles. “The business dealings, as well as the game itself, were nothing like they are today.” Although he played for several teams before his career ended in 1964, Foiles said his fondest memories were of his days with the Pirates.

The book, an autobiography, follows his journey from the sandlots of Norfolk to his days as an all-star catcher with the Pirates. But two of the greatest pitchers he caught were working the mound for the Indians.

Foiles calls Indians pitcher Wilhelm the greatest knuckleballer of them all and also recalls his days trying to instill confidence in the talented young Indians fastball pitcher Score.

Foiles’ Thursday book signing begins at 7 p.m. at the CB Masonic Lodge, located at 500 Washington Ave.
Baseball fans and those who want to know more about Foiles can get further information at hankfoiles.com.

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