Just thought I'd tell you about the local radio station's (99X) celebrity softball match this past Sunday. Some of those playing were Ryan Klesko, Tom Glavine, and John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves, Altanta mayor Bill Campbell, tennis pro Luke Jensen, Will Turpin of Collective Soul (who is quite the softball player, btw) and of course Ernest the Cat Miller and Da Man, Goldberg... It was DJ vs DJ, the Barn Stormers vs Jimmy's Hittin' Shack (Barnes vs Jimmy, for those of you who know the Morning X) with the Cat on the Hittin' Shack and Goldberg on the Stormers, both at third base.
Out of all those playing, Goldberg by far got the biggest pop from the crowd, even more so than the local heroes from the Braves (though Rocker's reactions came close...apparently the chicks dig him). And even better, NOBODY gave ANY reaction to the Cat when he was first introduced...I felt sorry for the guy (especially since he had his young son there with him) and gave him a couple of encouraging cheers, which a group of kids picked up on. After that, the Cat catered to that one group of kids the rest of the game. But Goldberg REALLY got the pop for this: The game is a charity event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, with all proceeds donated to that worthy cause. And representing the need was a young boy of about 10 or 12 who threw out the first pitch. He came out, helped by his parents as he could barely walk, but nobody came out immediately to catch. The announcer called for a catcher, and the mayor was on his way when Goldberg caught him and took over. The kid must be a wrestling fan, because he obviously knew who Goldberg was and got SOOOO excited. There was no way he could throw the ball from the mound, so again with the help of his parents he walked to within about 3 feet of Goldberg and tossed the ball. He (the kid) loved it and started clapping and jumping up and down, and the crowed cheered him like crazy, which he also loved, bless his heart. But what really made his day was Goldberg scooping him up like the little bit of nothing that he was, (compared to Goldberg) and hoisting him to shoulder height. The kid just went nuts for this, and Goldberg walked him up to the crowd and to the other players, who gave him pats on the back and high-fives. Well, lemme tell you, this poor kid was having the time of his life. Judging from his parents' reaction, he's probably never been that happy in his life. After, his father was shaking Goldberg's hand and obviously thanking him profusely, and his mother was hugging her boy and crying...The whole scene, in all seriousness, brought a tear to my eye, too. And the fans cheered. Whether for Goldberg, or more likely for the boy, I can't say for certain, but it was the biggest crowd pop of the day.
It was a good game, close score, dramatic near-comeback ending. All the stuff you need for a good game. During the pregame warm-ups, Klesko was crushing the ball...He put a couple over the fence, and a few foul balls WAY over the fence. And Goldberg...poor muscle-bound Goldberg struck out swinging during practice! The fans were giving him some good-natured jeers and taunts, which he played up to nicely. After his three whiffs, he planted a couple to the wall, but not over. During the game he played well...he bobbled a couple of balls for tanked plays, but he also came through on a couple of impressive plays to first. As for hitting, I believe he went 2-for-5. Not bad. The one was a single, nothing impressive. But the other...! It's tied 5-5 in the 7th, two men on, when big Bill comes to the plate. After going 1-for-4 at this point, and after witnessing his pre-game practice, I don't think people were expecting much of him. But he showed us all who the man is, by cranking one WAY over the right field wall, for the the game winning, and only, home run of the game. Even the mighty Klesko failed to put one out during the game.
The Cat also played well. I think he also had two hits, one a single and one I think he turned into a double. He drove the single past Goldberg at 3rd, and taunted him on it for the next inning. He also had a couple of good fielding plays, but for all his muscle he's definitely not a power hitter.
So, final score: Goldberg's Stormers 8. The Cat's Shack 7. Good game, for a good cause. Both Goldberg and the Cat were fun to watch. Until the next time I have something to worthy of note...
I'm listening to the local sports radio and they are shilling for an event here in St. Louis honoring 50 years of local sports heroes, and Lou Thesz calls in. Lovely man. Cites Pat O'Connor, Gene Kininski and John Paul Henning as some of his favorite "real" wrestlers. Thesz is asked about Hogan and he points out that with his (Hogan's) cardio vascular condition so poor, he can only "perform" for a few minutes. Refers to current wrestling as "controlled tumbling", then tells of meeting Hogan when Thesz was still a "young 72", and challenging him to 15 minutes in the ring.
He told the Hulkster©, "You can go easy on me. I'm an old man." He said Hogan looked him up and down, and then waved his hand and said "Later..."
And one more aside, can Berlyn be any whiter? And if he was gonna get a major push, shouldnąt he at least have done some sit ups or something before coming back?