Socrates Red is a real name. He was our neighbor in Spokane, WA. Sock and his wife were in their early to mid twenties when they moved into the house next to ours. They were great with all the kids in our family. They had twin baby girls who were adorable. Sock had a wonderful disposition with kids and we all liked being around him. He always took time to say hello or give us a big wave. He often played with us outdoors.
Sock was a hero to us and he had two of the best jobs in the world. His primary job was playing baseball for the Spokane Indians in the B Northwest league. His other job was working as the Wonder Bread clown all summer long. He loved pitching baseball and he was the perfect person to be a clown for little children. Every day he would drive his Wonder Bread clown truck towing a merry-go-round to a different super market where he would spend the day entertaining and providing rides for the children. He sang, joked, told stories, ran the merry-go-round, and gave away little gifts all day long. We would always go see him when he was working near home.
Sock’s baseball job was much more serious. Most of his ball games were night games. The Spokane Indians were a Cleveland farm team and actually played very respectable baseball despite their B League designation. They had a good fan base and were well followed by the local press. Myself and a friend often accompanied Sock to his ball games. We would be assigned specific areas of the stadium to recover baseballs out of the field of play. We were paid some change for each ball we recovered. We got to see the games for free, mingle with the players, and earn some money which usually was spent on hot dogs or drinks.
It was a great adventure having a professional ball player and a real Wonder Bread clown for a neighbor. If you Google “Socrates Red” the results will lead you to his lifetime baseball statistics. The last year shown is 1955 for the Spokane Indians.
Sock wasn’t the greatest baseball player in the world……….but he’d be at the top of the list if Google listed best neighbor for children statistics.