Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Rebel Puberty Incident

Ok, this has nothing to do with baseball, but it seems fitting that today, on the anniversary of Rich’s birth, we celebrate the time he seemingly went through puberty right in the middle of the Draft.

First, a little background … after the 1991 season, Bald Eagle owner and defending CFCL Champion Bob Monroe announced he was withdrawing from the CFCL. Bob’s job had taken him out of town, and in 1992 the CFCL hadn’t yet made the transition to the Internet. Long-distance ownership was a non-starter.

Bob’s departure led to two new features at the 1992 Draft:
  • We knew we’d miss having Bob around, so to take his place at the Draft, we placed a helium-filled balloon at the corner of the draft table. To ensure everyone recognized him, Rich used a marker to draw a fringe of hair around the bare top, glasses, and a beard … the splitting image of Bob.
  • Bob made it clear he was going to miss being at the Draft too. After hearing him bemoan the fact that he’d miss out on the fun of Draft Day, we decided to video tape the whole Draft and send it to him. It was the first Draft we recorded, something we did for the next 15 years or so.
 So what does this have to do with Rich’s puberty?

At one point in the Draft, I got up to fill in an acquisition on the big Draft Tracker on the wall. Since Bob’s head was nearby, I gave it a vigorous spin on its string. At the same time I was doing this, Rich was finishing up a pretzel rod, stuffing the last half of it in his mouth at once.

He noticed Bob’s Linda Blair act and – showing great restraint and respect for the owners sitting across the table from him – tried to laugh without spewing half chewed pretzel across the room. What emanated from him wasn’t a laugh so much as on odd squeak.

This caught the attention of David’s Ruffins owner, Dave Holian, who wondered if Rich was “going through that change thing”. That comment set us off on what would prove to be the first of many digressions into 1970s television that we enjoyed over the years.

Before we go to the film, just one quick note about 1992. Between the Ramon Martinez Incident, the Bret Barberie Incident (listen for him being nominated at the end of this clip), the Origin of the Ruffin Privilege, light hearted moments such as this, plus a number of others to be shared later, 1992 is far and away the most entertaining Draft we recorded.

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