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10 Feared Drowned in River; Ballplayer Hopes for Comeback, January 22, 1969

January 22, 2009 | 12:00 pm

1969_0122_meyers Here's a weird story about a baseball player I never heard of.

Lee Meyers was making a comeback, hoping to get a job with the first-year Kansas City Royals. This was news, apparently, because Meyers was a local kid who was potentially rich and previously married to actress Mamie Van Doren. She was no stranger to seeing her name in the paper associated with an athlete, such as former Angel Bo Belinsky.

Meyers and Van Doren were married in 1966 and divorced by 1969. By then, Meyers had quit the Cubs and the Giants. As for the money, he told writers he would inherit $1 million on his 21st birthday and another $1 million when he turned 30.

John Weibusch's story in The Times let Meyers talk and talk and he was a pretty good talker. Here's a favorite quote: "Listen, I've just been misunderstood in the past. I got a lot of bad publicity. Well some of it was good--but most of it was bad. You wanna hear my life story?"

I tried to find a later reference to Meyers in 1969 editions of The Times and came up with only one story. He was mentioned in a feature on Boston's Tony Conigliaro, because Conigliaro was then dating Van Doren.

--Keith Thursby