January 29, 2009

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.

Case dismissed.

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.

8 Responses to “Morganna”

  1. Chunkin Badens says:

    Hey great theme puzzle idea, maybe you could also do one with some of the greatest baseball quotes…. Stuff from Bera etc… K. Reese, I saw you on the blog. I assume you are Kyle Reese who went to North Cobb HS in Cobb County, GA? I remember when your club came to our park and your coach had you bang metal bats on trees making some kind of “tribal” noise…. Reese, I remember you specifically because it was a cloudy overcast day and you had on eye black! Hey Brent, I work with a guy named Shane Flores, a former college teamate of yours. I told Shane about the site, but I think he forgot to check it out. Shane works in our Anaheim office, great guy, had wonderful things to say about you and your dad. Thought you might want to give Shane a little shout out. Ok, back to you Reese, you did not intimidate me with that eye black pal!

  2. K Reese says:

    Hey, we were the WARRIORS! Coach Cochran had us do some crazy things but always had us ready to play, I remeber that day! He’s still coaching, this is his 39th year. Thanks for the recall Chunkin Badens and hey if you coach or work with players you need to get The Art of Catching by Brent Mayne it’s worth every peso!
    p.s. I could’ve sworn the eye black was what got me drafted?

  3. K Reese says:

    p.s.s. Morganna would be sent to Guantanamo these days for terroristic actions…not as many characters as there used to be, but I still love the game and what a joy it was to be Maynerd’s caddy in Memphis!

  4. Royce the Cherokee says:

    K Reese, saw you play in a split squad game in BB City late 80’s or early 90’s; I’ve seen better arms on a chair. Saw you sling that pus deluxe to second one night in Huntsville too.

  5. K Reese says:

    Hey, we were the Warriors! I remeber that day, Coach Cochran had us do some crazy things but always had us ready to play. This is his 39th season.
    Thanks for the recall Chunkin Badens (what is chunkin badens). Chunkin if you coach or work with players you need to get The Art of Catching by Brent Mayne, it’s worth every peso !
    p.s. Morganna would be sent to Guantanamo these days for terroristic actions;just not as many colorful characters as back in the day, but I still love the game and there was nothing better than being Maynerds caddy back in the Foxworthy League !

  6. K Reese says:

    I thought the eye black was what got me drafted.

  7. Chunkin Badens says:

    Cherokee, you crack me up….come on now, I thought K Reese had quite the gun. One of my fondest memories was riding around one sping in Kennesaw, GA in his “Sky Blue” volvo. It reminded me of the Nick Nolte/Eddie Murphy movie, but it was a caddy in the flick.

  8. Dan Raley says:

    While I never spoke to Morganna, in the end forced to write two stories on her from research, other interviews and a detailed voice-mail message she left when she knew I wouldn’t be at work (explaining why she didn’t do interviews anymore), I actually chatted up Brent Mayne a couple times in the clubhouse when he played for the Seattle Mariners ( I was the tall guy, mustache, laidback). He was/is an interesting guy, discussing politics and a lot of other stuff, not just baseball. …

    Dan Raley
    formerly of the Seatle Post-Intelligencer (1980-2009)
    now of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2010-present)

Leave a Reply