In 1936 Bill Salkeld was a young catcher with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League when he suffered a severe spike injury to his right knee as he dove to tag a base runner in a run down play and his knee got caught in the runner’s spikes. An infection set in and he was hospitalized for three months. For a time there was concern about his leg having to be amputated, and he was told his playing days were over. Bill was out of baseball for over two years and selling furniture when he returned to play.
After six years in the minors, five with the San Diego Padres he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates and hit .311 with 15 home runs as a 28 year old rookie. In a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 4, 1945, he hit for the cycle. After two more years with Pittsburgh, Bill was traded to the Boston Braves and shared receiving duties with Phil Masi for the 1948 National League champions. Although the Cleveland Indians won the 1948 World Series in six games, Salkeld would appear in five of the six, and homer off of Bob Feller in game five.
Bill would remain with the Braves in 1949, hit for a .255 average with 5 home runs, but on September 26, 1949 he was sold by the Braves to the Chicago White Sox. Bill appeared in only one game for the White Sox in 1950 and finished up his major league run with a .273 average with 132 RBIs and 31 home runs. Salkeld would spend three more seasons in active baseball, all in the minors, and finish up a 13 year minor league run with a career .257 average and 77 home runs.
As ballplayers often do Bill spent two years in managing, one in 1939 with the Tucson Cowboys of the Arizona-Texas League where along with Mike Simon the club finished last with a 49-80 record. Bill tried it again in 1953 with the Stockton Ports of the California League where the team finished third with a 70-68 record. After baseball Bill became a sales representative for a steel company in Los Angeles, CA, where he died on April 22,1967, at age 50.
Salkeld’s grandson, Roger Salkeld, who was a first round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in 1989, pitched in the majors in the mid 1990s, first with the Mariners and then later with the Cincinnati Reds.
His grandson didn’t have the same luck. The Mariners gave up on him and traded him to the Reds. After he washed out there, he tried to make it with the Astros, Marlins and Indians. But, he was toast by the time he was 29-years old.