Can't let this day pass without acknowledging that it's the 38th anniversary of Cleveland's jaw-droppingly ill-conceived "Ten Cent Beer Night" promotion, when the Indians organization invited fans to drink their fill of Stroh's at a dime a pop on a Tuesday night at the "Mistake by the Lake". Over 25,000 fans took them up on it, and a notable percentage of them wound up either drunk, naked, in a pitched battle with both Rangers and Indians players, or all of the above. Indians reliever Tom Hilgendorf (above) took a folding chair to the head, and the always-up-for-a-fight Rangers manager Billy Martin told his players and coaches to arm themselves with bats. It's kinda surprising that no one was killed in the melee.
For a few more hours, you can celebrate that iconic and emblematic 70s baseball event by taking advantage of the HOMAGE website's deal on "Ten Cent Beer Night" cups, koozies and t-shirts. I have no affiliation or financial stake in these folks, but I commend them for doing God's work. (I also bought THIS t-shirt, which you Pirates/Dave Parker fans will surely appreciate.)
But there's sad news out of Ohio tonight, too — Pedro Borbón, the iron-armed reliever for the Big Red Machine of the 1970s, has passed away from cancer at the age of 65. Borbón is best known today for being referenced in the movie Airplane!, for chewing up Buzz Capra's cap following the infamous Pete Rose-Bud Harrelson brawl in the 1973 NLCS, and for allegedly placing a voodoo curse on the Reds after they traded him to the Giants in 1979. But he was also a formidable (and seemingly indefatigable) competitor, who anchored the Reds' bullpen from 1972 up until that aforementioned 1979 deal. From 1972 through 1977, Borbon pitched over 121 innings per season, appearing in four different NLCS and three World Series in the process, including the 1975 and 1976 ones that the Reds won. He was well-loved in Cincinnati, where he was elected to the Reds Hall of Fame in 2010. (His son, Pedro Jr., pitched in the 90s and 00s for several teams; given Pedro Sr.'s alleged penchant for voodoo, I initially thought there might be some kind of Marie Lavieux thing going on...) Rest in peace, Señor Borbón...
In other news, I have nailed down a date for a Big Hair & Plastic Grass paperback publication celebration in Chicago: It will take place Friday, July 20 at Liars Club, and will be a reprise of the immensely successful "AOR Demolition Night" event we held there in 2010. (I don't generally like to repeat myself; but that was so nice, I just gotta do it twice!) Might even be a few special guests this time... more information to come — but if you're gonna be in Chicago that weekend, by all means save the date!
And yes, the Big Hair & Plastic Grass paperback comes out tomorrow, which I'm incredibly excited about — and I'm just as stoked for next week's reading/signing/selling event, which happens 6:30-9 pm at Manitoba's in NYC on Tuesday, June 12. Some folks have asked if there will be books for sale at the event, so let me reiterate — YES, there will indeed be books for sale! And if you can't make the scene, but would still like a signed, personalized copy of Big Hair & Plastic Grass, all you've gotta do is email your contact information (before 12 noon on Sunday, June 10) to Harriet at email@example.com. She will email or call you back regarding personalization (let her know if you have a favorite team or player from the era), payment and shipping. The price for each signed copy, which includes the book and tax ($17.00) plus shipping ($5.25) will total $22.25. I will sign the book for you on June 12 at Manitoba's, and Harriet will wing it to you forthwith!
Okay, that's all for now. I'm off to drink my fill of Stroh's, and maybe fling a few folding chairs around.