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Friday, September 11, 2020

The Athletic: ‘There might be a family secret’: Richard Dotson’s real-life fable [$]

Sorry, sub required, but this really is a remarkable story about former MLB Rich Dotson and the father he never knew, MLB pitcher Dick Farrell.

The story behind that story — the improbable tale of how former White Sox pitcher Richard Dotson and his mysterious father, Dick “Turk” Farrell, wound up in this spot, in Section 130-S, row 4, seats 5 and 6 — is a saga right out of a Hollywood movie lot.

A family secret, never revealed … a DNA kit that sat in a drawer for years … a surprise message from a total stranger … a shocking revelation … a son’s pursuit of a never-told story … and a global pandemic that created a kind of connection that could never have happened in any other baseball season in history.

Are we sure this isn’t a movie?

“There’s a lot of this where it feels like that at times,” Dotson says. “And it’s funny because I lived my life. I know what went on. But OK, now here I am, at 60, and it turns out that what you thought you knew isn’t really what you knew.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2020 at 11:26 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: richard dotson

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: September 11, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5975814)
A really remarkable story. Thanks for sharing.
   2. Itchy Row Posted: September 11, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5975827)
I don't have a subscription, so the article may have mentioned this, but Turk Farrell died three days after Dotson was drafted.
   3. asinwreck Posted: September 11, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5975828)
It did. This is Jayson Stark at work, so you know he covered odd details like that as well as the great human interest dimensions.

Father and son cutouts, in uniform, are sitting together at tonight's Sox game.
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 11, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5975829)
Very cool story. The physical resemblance is uncanny.

If his mom knew that his real father was an MLB player, she might have encouraged him to play baseball growing up, so maybe the fact that they both pitched in MLB is less of a coincidence than the article implies. But still really impressive / cool.

I recently did a free trial on and was able to find a lot of cool photos and info about my family that I didn't previously know. This was just from public records -- I didn't do the DNA testing.
   5. Baldrick Posted: September 12, 2020 at 08:12 AM (#5975984)
I tried to read this, got about 1000 words in, and couldn't get past the writing.

I normally find Stark to be just fine as a writer, but there was just something about the intentional obliqueness with which he was unfolding the 'mystery' that grated on me.
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 12, 2020 at 09:02 AM (#5975990)
Yes, the article was in serious need of an editor.
   7. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5976168)
The writing is the thing that caught your attention in that article ?

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