Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

The Web's Original Shaggy Dog Story Archive


Journalist’s Pitch

Category: Rated G

I received this from Steve Brown. Very nice.


Not many of you realize that, just after graduating from NMSU, I had a short stint in the minor leagues as a pitcher (although, those of you who have been on the receiving end of one of my snowballs may have suspected that).

But, this one memory of an otherwise-unillustrious career does come to mind.

In my first start for the New Mexico Tumbleweeds (just barely semi-pro), the leadoff batter, Billy Rand, lined a curveball just past the first baseman for a single. Now, Rand was legendary for his prowess at base-stealing, leading the league for three years in a row, and he could read pitchers like a book, having studied their moves ever since Little League.

As he took a challenging lead off first base, I went into my stretch, determined not to fall victim to Rand’s larceny. Suddenly I was struck by something I learned back in journalism school. I turned and look straight at him and yelled, “Stop the presses!”

He stood straight up, dumbfounded, and I quickly hurled the ball to the first baseman, who tagged the slow-to-react baserunner a foot from the bag.

When I got back to the dugout, the coach cornered me and asked me how I came up with such a screwball tactic. I answered, “I learned all about newspaper magnates when I was in college.”

“Huh?” he answered.

“Easy,” I said. “I knew a crisis like that would help me pick William Rand off first.”

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