Thu 20 May 2010
This is the ONLY known baseball signed by a solar system of diverse luminaries including: Vic Tayback (Mel in “Alice”) who threw an 18-hitter for the Pirates against the Reds in ’84. His breaking balls weren’t breaking so well.
Tommy Smothers (Dickie’s little brother) had an unassisted triple play for the Mariners in a ’77 game against the Angels. Smothers didn’t even wear a glove and smoked a pipe of Cherry Blend tobacco throughout the entire game–– even when batting!
Mr. Ed, who in 1964 became the only horse to every steal home plate in a game the Tigers played against the Orioles. He almost trampled O’s catcher John Orsino to death. Orsino ironically had the nickname “horse” and laughed about the incident from his hospital bed. Well, some say it wasn’t laughter so much as moans of agonizing pain and suffering, but the story is still classic. Mr. Ed rarely gave autographs, making this baseball an invaluable sports relic.
Dan Rather hit six home runs playing for the Indians against the Yankees in ’92 (he weighed 278 at the time and looked like the Michelin Man, but it was never proven the newscaster took anabolic steroids– so there!)
Kate Hepburn lept 13 feet over the centerfield wall for the Dodgers to rob Hank Aaron of a home run in ’81 (allegedly, Aaron hasn’t watched any of her movies since!)
Keith Moon. The madman drummer of The Who in 1976 played two innings at shortstop for the Kansas City Royals and compiled nine errors and hurled sick on two umpires. Moon was ejected from the game and immediately bought a tray of ice cold beers.
Paul Lynde, “Mr. Middle” of Hollywood Squares fame pitched six games for the San Francisco Giants in 1973 with an incredible ERA of 0.62. The management of the Giants begged Lynde to join the roster, but he declined. “If I’m going to play games, I’ll play Squares, thank you very much,” he said flippantly adding his trademark cackle. Those fans who saw Lynde pitch said he was an incredible hurler with heat, precision and balls that broke like nobody’s business.
Cher, the woman who defines diva, was the designated hitter for the Yankees in a game against the Royals in ’89. The singer had four at bats with a long drive to left center that was caught, a triple down the right field line, a ground rule double over the centerfield wall and a towering home run into the left field bleachers. “If I weren’t such an incredibly talented singer and gifted natural actor,” she told reporters after the game, “I might just wear some pin stripes full time. They’re slimming on the butt. Hey, Mattingly– buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, ’cause I don’t care if I never get back!”
Those are just a few of the autographs on this priceless item I now own. I will not disclose how much I paid for this baseball, but let’s just say it was a king’s ransom and a queen’s 401-K. But, I am a tough negotiator– I got the seller to throw in some magic beans. Later I’ll give you a peek at some other famous names on this baseball.