Tom Rinaldi Presents: Wesley

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In the more than 150 year history of Major League Baseball, only one player has ever been murdered during a season.   That player is Lyman “Wesley” Bostock Jr, a budding star for the Angels in the 70's, who was murdered by a man who whose court case would result in a stunning verdict.  In an 8-part series, Tom Rinaldi explores Lyman's improbable life, his tragic death, and the miscarriage of justice that let his killer go free. Lyman Bostock is described by Hall Of Fame players like Rod Carew and George Brett as a future batting champ and potential Hall Of Famer himself. But he was so much more than a ballplayer, as Rinaldi learns from talking to his widow, Youvene, his teammates, friends, media members who covered him and lawyers involved in his murder trial. Wesley explores the mindset of man who donated a month's salary to charity rather than accept it while in a hitting slump, the motivations of a man who nearly skipped a career in baseball to pursue the fight for social justice in the late 60's, and the motives of the killer who took his life.

Episode Date
S01 Episode 08: The Marker
We make the drive with Yuovene to Inglewood Park Cemetery, to return to Lyman’s grave. She hadn’t allowed herself to visit in more years than she could remember, as she tries to reconcile his loss, and her memories of their time together.    We hear from those Wesley touched, as they consider his life and its legacy. We also return to Gary to see what became of the man who killed Leonard Smith and Tom tries to come to terms with the regrets of his encounter with Leonard. The series finale. 
Aug 08, 2022
S01 Episode 07: Hello...Leonard?
Leonard Smith, the man who admitted to killing Lyman Bostock in a jealous rage, a man arrested more than half a dozen times, receives the jury’s verdict. The decision stuns the courtroom, and the country. And leads to thoughts of vengeance. Years after the verdict, we tried to find Smith, to ask him about his life after the murder. He was living back in Gary, 6 blocks from where he killed Bostock. The encounter still echoes for Tom years later, as he replays that interaction with Smith.
Aug 08, 2022
S01 Episode 06: An Open and Shut Case
Family, friends and all in baseball are in shock over Lyman’s murder. Yet the Angels play their scheduled game the next day. The game includes a moment that brings Carney Lansford and his other teammates to tears. Later that week back in California, players join Yuovene and nearly a thousand other mourners at an emotional funeral in L.A. A young reporter named Skip Bayless covers the funeral, and remains moved to this day by what he witnessed.    Back across the country in Indiana, the case against Lyman’s killer appears to be straightforward. It doesn’t turn out that way. At all. 
Aug 01, 2022
S01 Episode 05: Wrong Place, Wrong Time
By September 1977, Lyman is in the top 10 in the AL in hitting after starting his first season with the Angels in a huge slump. With the Angels in playoff contention during a late season series against the White Sox, he returns to Gary to spend the night with family after a game in Chicago.   Youvene thought about surprising him on the trip, but decided against it.   Visiting Gary was Lyman’s ritual whenever he played in Chicago, but this trip would cost him his life.
Aug 01, 2022
S01 Episode 04: Right Place, Right Time
Bostock breaks out in Minnesota, becoming one of the best hitters in the league. After playing out his contract and betting on himself, he’s recruited by more than half a dozen teams, including Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees. Lyman ultimately lands one of the richest contracts in all of sports when he decides to go home to Southern California to play for the Angels.  He starts his time there in the worst slump of his career, and makes an unprecedented request: he wants to refuse his salary.   Soon after, he proves to be one of the best hitters in baseball…
Jul 25, 2022
S01 Episode 03: Determining My Destiny
Motivated by what he believes are scouts who misjudge him based on his “trouble” in college, Bostock is motivated more than ever to make it. He makes the decision to enter the MLB draft. Selected 595th overall, he rises more rapidly than anyone expects--but there are hard lessons along the way. Especially when it comes to the business of baseball, and how the Minnesota Twins value players. He forms a bond with a veteran teammate, whose influence lasts the rest of his career: Rod Carew.
Jul 25, 2022
S01 Episode 02: Bigger Than Baseball
Bostock spent part of his childhood in Gary, Indiana: the murder capital of the United States.   The city helped shape Bostock, and with his family ties there, its grip lasted throughout his life… with tragic result. Bostock’s other home was California. His first week in college in the San Fernando Valley, he meets his future wife, Youvene. And in his first semester there, his role in a student protest (sparked by a white coach assaulting a Black athlete), would have dire consequences--from arrest, to felony charges, to time in jail.  At a time when peers and classmates were urging him to give up the game and walk away from baseball, Bostock makes a choice, setting a course toward the rest of his life.  
Jul 18, 2022
S01 Episode 01: We Call Him Wesley
To his family, he was simply “Wesley.” But to all in Major League Baseball, Lyman Wesley Bostock Jr. was a master with a bat. A career .311 hitter, greats of the game like George Brett and Rod Carew believed Bostock had the potential for 3,000 hits, and a possible Hall Of Fame career.  Long before signing a massive contract with the Angels, Lyman was born the son of a Negro Leagues player. Father and son had little contact in the boy’s childhood. Bostock would later say, “My father helped teach Willie [Mays] but never taught me.” A star high school player in Los Angeles, Bostock almost never played college baseball. He arrived on campus during the tumult of the late 1960s, a period similar to the early 2020s. For Bostock, the fight for equality and social justice, was more important than baseball. “The cause” almost cost him his career.
Jul 18, 2022
Season 1 Preview
In the more than 150 year history of Major League Baseball, only one player has ever been murdered during a season.   That player is Lyman “Wesley” Bostock Jr, a budding star for the Angels in the 70's, who was murdered by a man who would go free just months later. In an 8-part series, Tom Rinaldi explores Lyman's incredible life, his tragic death, and the miscarriage of justice that let his killer go free.
Jul 01, 2022