thecheappop was in Savannah last week taking in the sights, sounds, and yes, eats in the historical Georgian city. Follow our coverage from now through the end of the month. Here’s one highlight: interviewing Savannah Sand Gnats’ Hamilton Bennett and Darrell Ceciliani in the Grayson Field dugout. Savannah Sand Gnats are a minor league baseball affiliate (A-Level) of the New York Mets in the South Atlantic League. The team was formerly known as the Cardinals in 1984 but changed their name to the Gnats in 1996 when it became an affiliate of the Dodgers. The team was affiliated with the Rangers from 1998-2002, and the Montreal Expos (later the Nationals) from 2003 to 2006. Since then, the Gnats have been Mets country. In any event watch the interviews below with sure-to-be star mustache’d closer Bennett and speedy centerfielder and lead off man Ceciliani.
Long before he started a social network, was sued by friends, had a Golden Globe-winning movie made about him, and became Time magazine’s Person of the Year, Mark Zuckerberg was just an ordinary kid with extraordinary baseball skills. At nine years of age, the eventual Harvard grad smashed 23 hits in just 25 at bats for a little league team in his native Dobbs Ferry, NY. While it’s unclear whatever became of his baseball skills (Aaron Sorkin skipped it in his Social Network screenplay), one man remembers that one magical season.
Allie Tarantino was Zuckerberg’s counselor at a Westchester County day camp the summer after he smashed little league pitching. In an interview last week, Tarantino, now an elementary school teacher, remembered the pre-entrepreneur Zuckerberg as a quirky, fun kid who made a strong connection with him before connecting millions over the world.
“He was one of those kids you remembered,” Tarantino said. He made such a lasting impression on Tarantino back in 1993 that he actually had his then-camper autograph his little league card. He still has it today. “I’m a collector. I hold onto everything,” he explained.
I asked Tarantino if he knew something the rest of the camp didn’t by holding onto the card for some 17-plus years, and asked him if he’s curious about what this rare card is worth. To get down to the latter, I visited a Westchester baseball card store called American Legends to see how much a signed card from the Palo Alto dynamo could be worth today. What would you do with this card? Watch below. Like. Comment. Share.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Major League Baseball made it a prerequisite that every player who signed must have a healthy swing or a solid arm – oh and a mustache. OK that last statement only felt true. Anyways, Tuesday’s upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game will make you long for the past when mustaches ran long and thick (and yes, that’s what she said).
Anyways, the people at the American Mustache Institute are giving some pushbroom love to you to compensate the lack of baseball mustachioed heroes next week. They’re offering tickets to the big game, which will be held in St. Louise.
To participate in their “All-Star ‘Stache Dash,” where a lucky person can score two tickets to the game, sign up to either Facebook (facebook.com/stachedash) and Twitter (twitter.com/stachedash). Good luck, and may your mustaches be thick and juicy like a BK Broiler.
On June 23, celebrities from film, television and the sports world competed in a long drive championship at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Lake of Isles course. “Big Shots Titans at the Tee” paired the top long drivers in the game with celebs and sports stars like Mark Wahlberg, Lawrence Taylor, and Jim Rice. One icon, Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, was also on hand for the charity event, and explained his game.
The retired baseball star, who finally made it into the Hall of Fame last year after waiting way too long, said he signed up for the event because it seemed like it’d be fun. “[Golf] is a great game. It’s the only game left that keeps us really competitive. I’m really looking forward to watching these guys hit the ball,” he explained.
As to what he thought about fellow baseball immortal Jim Rice having to wait 15 years to enter the Hall of Fame (this year), he said bluntly, “The process is something I don’t understand really. Why it took 15 years for him to get in, I’ll never figure out. No one scared me in the game but Jim Rice came the closest,” he said. For more info on the event, visit www.foxwoods.com.
Oh and when asked how it felt to have the best mustache ever, here’s what the HOF’er had to say:
“I don’t know if it’s the best mustache ever. I grew it to get Steinbrenner pissed off, because you couldn’t [grow a mustache] down the sides [of your mouth] That’s kind of how I did it. I went to the Series in 1981 and by time that rolled around I had a Fu Manchu. George didn’t say anything after that.”
Mets manager wouldn’t read a book about mustaches? But he had one back in the day !
Rocker on Selig, steroids, and being misunderstood
By Jon Chattman
APRIL 2008—J.R. Ewing. Lindsay Lohan crotch shots. Avocados. There are some things in life we love to hate, and if you were a New York sports fan – especially a Mets fan like me – in 1999 and the early 2000s, there was no one you hated more than John Rocker.
First off, he is not related to her! But if he were..it just goes to show you what fine genes would run in that side of the family. The rookie sensation has made a strong name for himself as a member of the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. The 23-year-old third baseman has had an unbelievable year..even prompting his namesake to send him a bottle of champagne. After all..he did sign a six year, $17.5 million dollar contract (that’s a lot of self adheasive ‘staches!!). What started off as a call up from Triple-A Durham landed him the top vote getter in the AL Final Fan Vote for this year’s All-Star Game. He started his playing career in school, did the junior college route, and wound up playing for Long Beach State. Evan’s ending his remarkable season bating .273 and a chance to help get his team their first World Series. Not bad for the 2008 Sporting News Rookie of the Year. And so far, he hasn’t been linked to Madonna.
In the midst of the annual Fall Classic, I’m taking the time to honor the men of the respective teams playing. For the Philadelphia Phillies, Jayson Werth is nothing short of an athletic legend. His stepdad played for both the Royals and the Yankees; his grandpop played for the 1960 World Series Champions Pittsburgh Pirates; and his uncle played for the Mets as well as the ’93 Toronto Blue Jays (another World Series title). The 29-year-old right fielder definitely has his work cut out for him: could another title make it home to this family? Before signing with the Phillies in December ’07, Jayson played for such teams as the Dodgers and (keeping it in the family) the Blue Jays. His mom also ran track and field in the US Olympic Trials back in the day. This has been a banner year for Jayson and as the Series continues, I’m hoping to see more of Jayson’s dazzling abilities on the turf and trust me when I say he will be sticking around the City of Brotherly Love.
It was 20 years ago this month that Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson went yard and blasted his heroic pinch-hit 9th inning homerun in the 1988 World Series against my beloved Oakland Athletics. Gibson’s dramatic Game One shot is arguably one of the finest moments in Major League history. As the image of a hobbled hero along with his clutch mustache are forever etched in my memory, I will always ask myself this one simple question: “why in the world did Eckersley and the A’s pitch to the MVP when they could have walked him and had Steve Sax in the batter’s box ?!?”
For many years, the New York Mets have called Shea Stadium home. Next spring, the team will be playing at Citifield and to celebrate the move to the new ballpark, thecheappop salutes Shea’s sweetest ‘staches… in a word, they were all Metsmerizing! Continue reading
As the MLB Playoffs begin, many stories dominated the 2008 season. Minus the farewells of Shea and Yankee Stadiums; the retiring of Mike Piazza; the amazing story of Josh Hamilton was the one I felt stood out from the rest. For those of you who did not follow his storybook season, the 27-year old North Continue reading
Joshua Jackson filmed scenes for the new television series Fringe yesterday in Queens. In this pivotal episode, Jackson’s character investigates odd occurances happening to the Flushing-based New York Mets. Our insiders say the episode centers on a team haunted by the demons of last September. The end of the episode supposedly finds the team finishing in second place and their fans taking their own lives. Myself included.
Probably Black Jack Lanza. He wrestled with Black Jack Mulligan. The Iron Sheik also had a great mustache.
Well it started out as a good black mustache but I’m sure at some point he started putting shoe polish on there to help keep it a little more on the dark side. I’ll tell you who has an interesting mustache… Goose Gossage, the recently inducted Hall of Fame pitcher for the Yankees. I have one myself. It’s a little on the grey side. I’ve put on mustaches and beards from time to time but one day your shaving and you say ‘ sayonara baby.’
Check Mike Johnson’s full interview with the wrestling legend later this week!