Amos Otis, who batted .277 during his 17-year major-league career, said he used a corked bat about half the time.
“It helped me a great deal,” Otis said in a story published Monday in the Mobile Press.
Otis, a Mobile native, will be inducted Thursday into the city’s sports hall of fame. He was with the Kansas City Royals from 1970-83.
“The Mobile Sports Hall of Fame will be my third,” Otis told the newspaper in a telephone interview Saturday from his home in San Diego. “I’m in the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, and I’m also in the hall of shame. That’s when you cheat in the big leagues.”
Otis, 44, said he wasn’t the only one who used a hollowed-out bat filled with cork or other substances. Hitters believe the illegal bats have more spring.
“Back then a lot of people did it, and very seldom did anybody get caught,” he said. “The only people I know who got caught were Graig Nettles and Toby Harrah. They had an idea about me, but I never got caught, so they couldn’t prove it.”
Otis said a friend of his with a wood shop made the corked bats.
“I did it my whole career in the American League,” he said.
Otis is a hitting instructor for the Colorado Rockies, who will begin play in the National League next year, and he works with players on the Rockies’ two minor league teams.