It’s good to know that there are some actually entertaining local MLB broadcasters out there who don’t spend half an inning complaining about what the visiting team wore during batting practice. I’m glad to find out we have guys like Eck out here keeping things loose in the booth for a change.
Let me give you some context to this video where Eck casually mentions that a close friend of his stole his wife. Before this clip, they were talking about the close relationship that Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has with Yankees pitcher Luis Severino, despite the obvious bitter rivalry between the Yanks and Sox. The dugout reporter tossed it back to the booth with a question basically asking, “who were some close friends you had on rival teams?”. Apparently, Eck saw that as an opportunity to drop the story that one of his teammates actually stole his wife when they were playing together.
Many of you, like me, probably had never heard this story. I have heard of the famous Yankee wife swap story, but a teammate stealing his best friend’s wife is a WILD one. Evidently, this has been out there for like 30 years.
This is from an SI piece from 1988
SI –Despite his flamboyance, Eckersley was going through a searing experience in his personal life. On March 30, 1978, Eck found out that he had been traded to Boston. The same day his first wife, Denise, told him that she didn’t love him anymore. In June, he learned that she and his best friend. Rick Manning, a Cleveland outfielder, were having an affair (they would eventually be married).
“I was hurt at first,” says Eckersley, “but Denise and I were kids when we got married. We were 18 and didn’t know anything. What hurt was being separated from Mandee [his daughter].”
Could you imagine if something like this happened today? I NEED something like this to happen today. In ’88, it’s just casually mentioned in the middle of a Sports Illustrated article. Today, that story would take on a life of its own on social media and it would be glorious.