Archive for August, 2014

West Middlesex, PA will be ready for trouble.

West Middlesex, PA will be ready for trouble.

West Middlesex, Pennsylvania had a population of 929 in the last census, but this small community on the PA-Ohio border is making a big mark on the map as the first town to get an arsenal of nuclear warheads.

“We need the firepower,” said a local police officer who asked to remain anonymous (hint: his initials are R.F. and he drives a blue 2006 Mailbu). He placed his right hand over his eyes and continued talking as he hit his atom’s apple with his left hand to disguise his voice.

“You never know what’s going to happen. Criminal elements could kick up some big trouble, or we could get an invasion from the buckeye state. You don’t know what those kooks over there are going to do once the Ohio State football season starts.”

The undisclosed location of the nuclear warheads silo is part of The Pentagon’s Excess Property Program that has supplied police departments across the U.S. with more than $4.3 billion in military gear since 1997.

“Police departments getting war equipment is great,” said the unnamed officer. “It’s like the Boy Scouts say, ‘be prepared’–– but I’ll just bet those scouts would like a flamethrower or tank to back up those words.”

The carefree days of beer and bikini beaches

The carefree days of beer and bikini beaches

Recently, I was contacted by Dave Infante, senior writer with the excellent website called The Thrillist. If you don’t subscribe, do so, it’s must-read cheese for people who like living.

Dave wanted to write a feature on The Swedish Bikini Team campaign I helped create over 30 years ago. He tracked me down from my blog post about the campaign’s creation here on TLS. We had a great conversation and Dave posted his article today. It’s excellent.

Click here for a nice backgrounder of a famous campaign that lives on in infamy. Enjoy and thanks, Dave.

Get a load of the star power on this ball. Man, ain't that something?

Get a load of the star power on this ball.
Man, ain’t that something?

This is the last installment profiling a priceless ball in my possession. While most baseballs are covered in horsehide, this one is covered in history, stories and legends for the ages. If you missed the first three installments, you can catch them here–– PART ONE, INSTALLMENT DOS, SECTION THREE.

Now, prepare to get all goosebumpy.

When baseball was invented in Cooperstown, New York in 1839, little did anyone suspect that one of the game’s best players would go on to become the nation’s eleventh president. James K. Polk, nicknamed “Lil Jimmy Bang-Bang-Sheboom-Lacka-Woo-Boo-Zippy-Poo-Poo”, was as pure a talent who ever graced a diamond. Baseball historians say no records exist of his accomplishments, but they’ve “heard tell that he was awfully good, maybe the best ever” from ancestors who passed down their eyewitness accounts. “We’ll never know for sure how good Polk was,” said Buddy Morsetin, a noted baseball historian, “because you have to remember, this was thirty, maybe forty years before baseball was televised.”

There’s no debate, however, as to the greatness of the twenty-eighth president, Woodrow Wilson. Before he was elected to the oval office, “The Woodman” played the hot corner for three seasons on the St. Paul Apostles. His career batting average was an astounding .838, and perhaps most amazing, every hit was a bunt that he ran out. Wilson’s speed was incredible. In fact, his manager Skip Lewis once told a reporter, “Woody is fast as all get out!” You think, Lewis? Criminy, could you be any more obvious?! Wilson retired because he ran the numbers and determined that he would never have a career average of 1.000. “I’ll settle to being president of Princeton or maybe these United States,” he said at his retirement party.

Porn star Ron Jeremy signed the ball after throwing out the first pitch in the XXX classic “Spherical Object Lovin’ Lasses“. The pitch went wild.

Sammy Davis, Jr. was short and had a glass eye, but that didn’t stop him from being a giant talent when he played center field for the Cincinnati Reds on August 5, 1985. He had five at bats and hit five grand slams. His twenty-five RBIs in a single game is a record that stands today. After the game an exuberant Davis said, “I got rhythm, who could ask for anything more–– except maybe a gold Rolex, a fifth of Jack and a busty brunette.”

When most people think of Larry Bird, they think of his days playing basketball for the Boston Celtics, but LB also appeared as a pinch hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers on June 28, 1988. He struck out on three pitches, two of which were in the dirt. Unbelievable.

Tina Fey is known for her comedy writing skills and ability to make delicious creamy milkshakes without milk, but she is also known for her abilities with a first baseman’s mitt. Fey played six seasons for the San Diego Padres, from 1992-97. In 8,748 innings played, Fey did not have a single error. “That girl had a magnet for a mitt,” said first base coach Wilson Harbinger. “Of course, leather doesn’t attract metal and balls aren’t metal so I guess that’s a dumb metaphor. God, I’m dumb,” he said as he pounded a bat against his head.

Folksy Burl Ives had one major league appearance for the Chicago White Sox as a starting pitcher on July 4, 1958. It was part of a publicity stunt for the release of his album “Feel The Folk”, and Ives set a record promoting his record walking sixty-four consecutive batters. “I had to pull him,” said Manager Al Lopez. “Burl just didn’t seem to have his stuff.” Ives was nonplussed by his performance on the mound. “Seems to me that Lopez and the rest of the White Sox are a bunch of whiners. I was just starting to find my groove.”

If you would like to bid on this priceless baseball, please let me know. Thanks.

Play ball!