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Then he met Fitzpatrick and soon found himself alone with the 38-year-old supervisor in a small room off the visitors’ clubhouse.
“He had this thing about wanting you to put him in headlocks,’’ Armstrong said. “He said he wanted to see how strong you were.’’
Armstrong said he was too young to fully understand Fitzpatrick was fondling him.
“He seemed like a good guy because he would give me $5 to put him in a headlock and get him a barbecue sandwich up the street,’’ Armstrong said.
He recalled Sox first baseman George Scott cautioning him about Fitzpatrick.
“I can remember him clearly saying something to the effect of, ‘Stay away from that guy,’ ” Armstrong said.
Scott, reached at his home in Mississippi, said he did not recall the 1967 incident or remember having concerns about Fitzpatrick.
In 1969, Armstrong, at 14, became a paid clubhouse attendant at Municipal Stadium. He said Fitzpatrick’s sexual abuse escalated as he went from fondling to performing oral sex on him in three separate incidents.
According to Armstrong, their final encounter occurred at the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City. He said Fitzpatrick promised him a Sox cap if he visited him at the hotel.
When Fitzpatrick became overly aggressive, Armstrong pushed him away, he recalled. He said there were no witnesses to any of the incidents.
“I was becoming a man and getting to the age where I could defend myself,’’ Armstrong said. “That’s when it ended.’’
After the ’69 season, Armstrong walked away from the Royals.
“Baseball was my dream back then, but Fitzy killed my whole desire for it,’’ he said.
Armstrong said he never reported the incident because he felt powerless, particularly because he was Kansas City’s only African-American clubhouse attendant. He also considered the subject taboo.
“Something like that was not discussed back then, especially in the African-American community,’’ Armstrong said. “If you said someone did something like that to you, you would be considered a homosexual.’’
Armstrong said he began drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana soon after his experience with Fitzpatrick and has spent much of his life battling substance abuse.
“Just as I was becoming a man, Fitzy did that to me and stole my dreams,’’ Armstrong said. “I know I was suppressing the pain.’’
Armstrong said he came forward after he saw recent news reports about Fitzpatrick. The Globe’s policy is to not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, but Armstrong agreed to tell his story publicly.
Like some of Fitzpatrick’s other accusers, Armstrong said that while he is seeking financial damages, he also craves emotional peace.
“There’s nothing the Red Sox can do to go back and make this right,’’ Armstrong said. “Even if they issue an apology, what’s done is done. Nothing is going to erase my memory of it.’’
Bob Hohler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.