Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stars & Baseball [J. Mark English]

Cindy Adams from the New York Post had a great piece today about various celebrities and their interest in baseball. Some highlights:

Mario Cuomo played in the minors for Pittsburgh. Also once socked the catcher who was still wearing his face mask. Mario ended up busting his hand . . . As a kid, Leonardo DiCaprio wanted to play second base for the Mets . . . Michael Bolton owns a softball semi-pro team and occasionally plays their hot corner which, whatever that is, is Yankee A-Rod's position . . . In high school, Carl Bernstein was a catcher . . . R. Redford had a baseball scholarship at the University of Colorado . . . George Clooney tried out - not recently, however - for the Cincinnati Reds . . . Kurt Russell played baseball in the minors as a relief pitcher until he hurt his shoulder . . . They say in '44, everybody's favorite jock Fidel Castro was voted Cuba's best schoolboy athlete. Left-handed pitcher Fidelito wanted to play for the Washington Senators, but was nixed for being "too wild." They say this, but they don't know what they're talking about. It's not true...

Tom Wolfe
never wanted to write best sellers. It was a second choice after his pitching career ended. He says: "I lived for baseball. Nothing compares to being on the mound throwing a shutout. I thought I was really good and tried for the Giants. I saw myself playing next to Willie Mays. First day the coach came over and told me there's no point coming back for the second day of tryouts, that he did not think I had any major-league potential. I was so disillusioned . . . so I had to settle for being a writer."

Woody Allen: "In my Brooklyn neighborhood, the old-timers all thought I'd be a second baseman for the Yankees. I was sure I'd play pro ball. Like many small players, I could actually do well at all infield positions. But as I made plans to hook up with a team, around age 16, I began selling material to TV and radio shows, maybe a joke a day out of nowhere. The joke-selling happened unexpectedly and really swept me up, and I stopped baseball completely. Who knows, maybe I could have made it."