The other day I spoke at the opening ceremony/media day for the Orange Empire Baseball Conference. I basically shared my experience as an alumni of the league and how the community college experience impacted my development as a student athlete. Anyway, from that experience came this newspaper article….follow this link to see the action.
I’ve been working on this great big baseball theme puzzle with my son the last few days. It’s kind of a montage of little pictures of the greatest moments in the game. When taken collectively, they add up to make the fabric of baseball history – Willie Mays’ over the shoulder catch, Don Larsen’s perfect game, Bill Mazeroski’s famous homer, etc. Just all kinds of little images of turning points in baseball history. Well, up in the left hand corner is this drawing of George Brett with this big s— eating grin, being hugged by this overly buxom lady during the 1979 All-Star game. Man, that brought back memories for me. I had to explain what this lady with 1970’s hot shorts was doing on George Brett and why this image was on his puzzle. Do you remember Morganna “The Kissing Bandit”?
I did a little research and found an article from 2001 by a reporter named Dan Raley for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Here’s some of the facts I learned about her. A Kentucky native, Morganna was 17 when she attended a 1971 Cincinnati Reds game and a friend dared her to run out on the field at Riverfront Stadium and give Pete Rose a kiss. Rose swore at her for the intrusion, then called her and apologized the next day.
It was the first of nearly two dozen big-league baseball kisses and one of hundreds involving entertainers and other athletes for Morganna, who realized the value of publicity. A Cincinnati sportswriter dubbed her the Kissing Bandit. It was a life of crime she could handle.
Either invited or uninvited, Morganna tried to plant a kiss on someone in each ballpark nationwide. Among her victims were Cal Ripken, Johnny Bench, Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly and Nolan Ryan. Brett got kissed twice. Her Mariners choice for a wet one was former catcher Steve Yeager.
At the ‘79 All-Star game, Morganna waited seven batters before bounding onto the Kingdome field in the first inning and sprinting for Brett. He got a hug and a kiss.
Her kissing vocation was not all laughs and giggles. She was arrested and charged with trespassing nearly 20 times, often spending 12 to 14 hours in jail and paying a $100 fine.
Yet things could get humorous at times. In court once, she had colorful Texas attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes argue the “Gravity Defense” on her behalf, that she had leaned over a rail and been naturally propelled onto the playing field because of her anatomy.
All these years, Morganna bared just about everything except one well-hidden fact. She’s been married to an accountant, Bill Cottrell, for 30 years.
He gets all of the kisses now.
Will spring training hurry up and start already so I have something to write about. Then I can stop putting up weird stuff like this. What in the world is the focus here? Who is IDAK and why does it have a softball?
I just got back from a weekend up north at the Utah Baseball Academy. My father has been helping out there for years and has always spoke highly of the place. This year I tagged along. It was my first clinic/academy experience and I’ve got to say, it was a lot of fun. There was about 15 catchers and they all had decent talent. They were all super Utah polite and looked me in the eye when they spoke or were spoken to. On the downside, it was freezing, snowing, and I was/am super sick with the California Crud (that weird cold/flu hybrid thing). But, the facility was amazing. A huge turfed field house with nets that mechanically drop down from the ceiling to form well over 15 cages. They pull up to reveal open space big enough for a great ground ball infield or bullpens or whatever. It was easily big enough to play a pony league game and you could definitely take live BP in there. Upstairs were classrooms and a few more cages. They also had an amazing weight room (that actually was consistently used by the kids), a bio-mechanics lab, a small equipment store, and a sport rehab business. With this indoor facility, they basically have given Utah kids the same year around baseball opportunity as the kids in the sunny states. Judging by the business this place was doing, I would assume that these type of facilities are all over the United States. I suppose we’ll probably be seeing more grande leaguers out of cold climates like the Dakotas and Wisconsin right? The playing field seems a little more level with these indoor field houses. Maybe the next wave of great players won’t be the sun tanned California kids, but Oregonians or Mormans or cheese heads from Wisconsin.
I wouldn’t mind doing some more of these gigs…maybe one every other month or something. It would be great if I could do some of these deals in places that I’d like to go. Does anybody know anybody in San Fran or New York? Fly me in, put me up, pay me some bones, and I’ll teach your coaches and players how to do it. Just make sure to make the return flight a couple days after I’m done with the clinic so I can get out and see the city a little bit. Deal?
If you’ve been following the blogs, you know that Frank Howard is one of my favorite baseball characters of all time. I think this is the third time he’s popped up here. Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here’s another installment of “The Frank Howard Tales”.
I heard this story from one of his teammates back in the day. I wish I could remember the name of the person who told me this tale, but it slips my mind. Anyway, it goes like this. I guess there was a game where Hondo struck out 4 times in a row and in the ninth inning, he got taken out of the game for defensive reasons. I guess Frank was so dejected that he went straight up to the showers, turned them all on as hot as they could go, and just sat in the steam and water for a while. By the time the game finished, Frank had turned all the showers off and left the stadium to go home (or the bar). And here’s where the story gets kinda funny. I guess when the guys undressed and got into the shower to clean up after the game, nobody could turn the showers on. It seems Frank with his super Of Mice and Men strength had turned the handles off so tightly that the whole team went home dirty that night.
Another classic Hondo story…the legend continues. Oh yeah, I found these photos of Frank and Herman Munster. Were they separated at birth? In all seriousness, I heard somewhere that the creators of this particular Munster episode had Frank in mind when they wrote the script. Can anyone confirm that rumor?