A Gold Canyon resident who is an artist with an in-home studio had a career as a professional baseball player on teams such as the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees.
One favorite memory Gene Locklear has as a baseball player was when he was introduced alongside Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion.
When he was with the New York Yankees, Billy Martin was the manager and Yogi Berra was the coach. Teammates included Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers, Roy White, Catfish Hunter and Lou Piniella.
Name: Gene Locklear
Occupation: Professional fine artist
Hometown: Pembroke, North Carolina
Family: Susan T. Locklear, spouse
When did you first decide to be an artist and why? When I was 8 years old I saw an older student in school drawing. I thought it was so cool to be able to do that, I decided then that’s what I wanted to do.
Where can your artworks be viewed? Artwork can be viewed at my in-home studio 6978 E. Hacienda La Colorada Drive, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118 by appointment.
What is your website? www.genelocklear.com
When did you first decide to be a professional baseball player and why? I decided at a very young age I wanted to be an artist and play professional baseball. My first year in high school I was hooked. I had some natural ability and I worked very hard and loved every minute of it. I played all four years of high school, I even played with older guys in an organized league. It was the best, I learned so much. I set my sights then on playing in “The Show.“
What is your favorite memory from playing for the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres or New York Yankees? Cincinnati Reds favorite memory, there are so many, I guess when I was introduced alongside Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion. Man I made it; still a fabulous memory.
San Diego Padres: I was traded from the Reds for Fred Norman, the No. 1 pitcher for the Padres. I was there for four years then traded to the New York Yankees where it was quite an experience. Billy Martin was the manager. Yogi Berra was the coach. I could tell you some stories. Some of my teammates, Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers, Roy White, Catfish Hunter, Lou Piniella. I was there for two years; in 1976 we won the American League Championship; amazing memories.
When did you move to Gold Canyon and why? Moved to Gold Canyon in January 2000. My wife is from Arizona. She and I both wanted to be close to family. My relatives, cousins, etc., live in North Carolina; both my mom and dad are deceased. I lost the toss.
What is something many people don’t know about you? I’m very spiritual. I read my Bible every day, I have read the Bible in its entirety.
What’s your favorite sport and team? Phoenix Suns basketball and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
How are you involved in the local community? I’m actually not; for the first two years I had some serious health issues which took up a lot of my time. Really enjoying our community and getting to know folks.
What’s your favorite local restaurant, and what would you recommend off the menu? Rosati’s Pizza favorite, The Monster. Gold Stallion favorite, the wings.
What is your most quirky talent? I like all my cowboy boots lined up; I’m a clothes hoarder.