As his former teammate Mike Shannon notes in the film, the St. Louis Cardinals don’t win the 1964 World Series without Ron Taylor. The former right-hander 45-43 in 11 big league seasons and besides winning in ’64 with St. Louis, he also won again in 1969 with the New York Mets.
And then Taylor walked away from the game as he had a life-changing experience while on a USO tour in Vietnam. He entered medical school, became a doctor, and eventually spent 35 seasons as the team physician for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Taylor’s story is chronicled in a new documentary, Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball–which will be featured in a free screening at 6pm this Friday, November 9th at Ballpark Village.
“We never saw him play,” shared Drew Taylor, who along with his brother Matthew made the film about their father. “It was something we kind of wanted to put together, one, for ourselves just because we wanted to go and create something to kind of commemorate his career after he just retired from being the doctor for the Blue Jays a year ago and then also to kind of pass that story on to others who haven’t heard the story.”
Besides Shannon, the film also includes Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins, Tim McCarver, and several other former teammates and team personnel from Taylor’s playing and physician days.
“I didn’t really know just how much of an impact that had in his life,” said Matthew of a particularly emotional interview with his father about the Vietnam tour experience. “I knew that he had gone over there, but as we were doing the interviews I saw how emotional he got about it and it really kind of showed me how that was a huge turning point in his life. How that experience brought him to a whole new direction with his career–for someone to come out of that and walk away from baseball to go to med school, that’s quite an impact it had on him.”
The Taylor family, along with McCarver, will be in attendance at the Friday screening.