FROM SHEA TO THE AIRSTRIP: A NIGHT IN HELL

Salamander Q and others recall great posting days at a previous forum.

FROM SHEA TO THE AIRSTRIP: A NIGHT IN HELL

Postby Johnny Dickshot » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:09 am

User avatar
Johnny Dickshot
3) Dwight Gooden, SP, RP, 1984-1994

Posts: 10093
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:36 pm
If you're seeing this for the first time you need to know that this message is the only surviving entry from "Big Al" who posted at the old MOFO where several of us met many years ago. This of course was written the day after the game of Sept. 28, 1999 (note the timestamp) and even more incredibly, this wasn't even Big Al's best work, IMO. Just the only one anyone saved. Stupidly.

Enjoy:


FROM SHEA TO THE AIRSTRIP: A NIGHT IN HELL
Submitted by: Big Al on September 29,1999 12:47:29 PM

I knew it was a bad sign when my ex called me at work to tell me my boy wouldn't be coming down to the city to go to the game with me. She says he had a math test in the morning and she didn't want him getting home at midnight. I razzed her about that it was only one test, the Mets had their backs against the wall, it would be a good night for him and me, and on and freakin' on and then she just comes out and, blammo, hits me with the whole thing. She doesn't want the boy hanging around with me anymore after what he saw last time in the city, which was this girl who lives downstairs from me flopping on the couch. Also she said I was a drunk and I said doesn't going into N.A. and A.A. count for shit with you? But when I went into the rehab again that just set off all kind of alarm bells with her. She had forgotten that I had a problem I guess and it worried her that the boy would be hanging around with a man always on the verge of heading over a cliff. I said Come on! I haven't touched even a freakin beer in three months. But forget it. My son would not be going to the ballgame with me.

You know I am not like these season ticket holders. I am in a "share" and go to a few ballgames a summer. I thought I was being cagey as hell, back in the winter, when I selected this Sept. 26 Atlanta game as one of my nights as Shea. For the last month or so I'd been staring at the ticket and thinking I was some kind of freakin genius. You and I, we were made for each other! That was my attitude. Even two weeks ago, I thought I was going to be present for the climax of the pennant race. But it turned out a whole hell of a lot different. And not only was creaky old Hershiser on the mound for a game that was just a backs against the wall game instead of a true pennant fight game, but my kid couldn't go with me... and my new boss at this new freakin place where I have been on my "best freakin behavior" for two months was holding me back, keeping me at work until almost 8 freakin o'clock.

Christ, I hit the N and took it to Queensborough Plaza, switched to the 7 train there. Read that free paper, New York Press, on the way. That rag always depresses me. I was also listening to the game on the FAN. Down 5 nothing. Didn't bother me. I thought, "I will be there when we make our comeback." I had almost that same thought one Sunday night earlier this summer when I was helping the junkie girl through a bad time, and the Mets were down 5 zip to the Phils in the 8th and I nearly turned the radio off but something told me NO and we rocked Schilling for 5 runs in the ninth. What a ballgame that was. But that's a long freakin time ago now.

Anyways, there was Shea. First thing I tell myself is, "I will not get a beer tonight. I will not get a beer." Because that could start the whole slide all over again. A losing streak of my own.

I go in gate B with my two tickets and right away hit the Italian sausage cart. The line was long and I swear the guy was makin us wait for no good reason. You always see a lot of funny guys at Shea, guys who really make you laugh, and the guy in front of the sausage line was watching the guy turn over the onions and green peppers with his spatula and searing the meat until it had black stripes on both sides, and the guy was saying, he said, "I'm gettin' delirious here! I'm having a hallucination, I'm so hungry. Finish cooking it already!" But the cook kept taking his damn time. I guess that was the one power the cook had over other people, making them wait for their freakin sausage, and he was going to take every advantage of it that he could. I do the same kind of bastardish things at my job, too, I guess. Because who wants to be a freakin worker, an employee, a cog? Nobody. We were all kids once. Nobody aspired to be middle management or to stand at a hot sausage cart. Christ. So I said to myself, "Christ. This world is fucked up, get me a beer." And I paid the freakin $5.50 for a 16 ounce can of Bud poured agonizingly slowly into a cup.

Got to my seat. I saw Weissman seated a few rows ahead of me and to the left. I wished my life were simple like Weissman's. Belief in God. Belief in a team. No alimony payments. No woes beyond what Valentine did or did not do.

The girl sitting right in front of me was just a peach. Man, she looked like a young Stockard Channing. I always liked Stockard Channing. I have a thing for her. My wife used to say, my ex wife, I mean, used to say, "What do you see in her? She looks like a puppy dog! With you it's her and Swoozie what's her name. Why can't you be normal and like Christy Brinkley and those kinds of girls," and I would say, "Stockard and Swoozie just kind of do it for me, what can I say?" She secretly liked it, that I wasn't into the supermodel types.

I quaffed down the beer. God it tasted good. It felt good too. I immediately kept my ear open for the beer man but now they got those bonehead waiters by the field and the beer man never comes.

This Stockard Channing girl was damn smart and she knew it. Her boyfriend was a bonehead. He says to the other guy they were with, "She was a classics major. Do you even know what a classics major is?" And the guy goes, "Sure, Roman and Greek." As the girl starts talking about studying at Oxford and tra la la la di da, I did something I don't usually do. I started just winking at her blatantly and smiling and making goofy faces. Her boyfriend couldn't see me. He was directly in front of me. She was to the side. She smiled at me and gleamed up her eye for me and met my
eye a couple time. God she was great.

On the field the Mets were in hell. Cook couldn't get it over the plate. I felt funny from the beer and guilty. When Cook came out of the game and started giving it to the umpire, a weird thing happened to me. I started feeling all jittery. I was WITH Cook. You know what I mean? I know what it's like to be squeezed by an ump and it's freakin frustrating. I thought of all the calls I didn't get, maybe, and I stood and clapped like hell with everybody else. When Cook started covering the outer half of
the plate with dirt, I tried to shout something, but my voice caught and I realized I was crying. Not like blubbering, but really tearing up and they were running down my face. I told myself this was not good. But I was really so touched by Cook and his frustration and the whole damn losing streak and my son not being there and paying that freakin much for the tickets and getting to the game late and the beer and the pretty girl it just sprung out of my eyes or something and I thought it was very
beautiful, what Cook was doing on the field, and sad, too. And even as I was crying a little I wanted to kill the ump, too, and I mean really kill him. Chase him with torches through Queens.

The Stockard Channing girl turned around to me. "Are you all right?" "Yeah, yeah," I go. "It's just... boy they were squeezing Cookie out there." She goes, like, "Whatever." Probably didn't know what "squeezing" or "Cookie" meant. I wiped my face. She still had the gleam. The boyfriend, a handsome soft guy, turns around and gives me the fish eye. "What are you looking at?" I go. He does the classic, "You two know each other?" I go, "Not yet." That was all. He didn't want a piece of Big Al.

The bottom of the eighth inning was one of those beautiful baseball moments. The fans really got up and cheered, even before Henderson's single. It was loud, World Series loud, and everyone was following the counts and it was great. But then Piazza hit the ground out and Alfonzo had that soft, soft fly ball his second terrible swing of the night. I've never seen his swing the bat with such lack of authority. He is messed up right now. Either hitting sixth does not suit him anymore or he is in a
radical slump and needs a night on the bench.

All the "good" people filed out after that, including the Stockard Channing girl, who would not look at me now, after my little altercation with her beauty boy, and it was only the rabble left. I went behind home plate because I thought I saw an old friend of mine there, but it was someone else. A guy was wearing a Yankee jacket and a funny guy started giving him the business from a few rows away. "Yankees suck dick!" the guy shouted. The usher told him to can the profanity. And the guy said, "I
said a bad thing. I'm sorry." Then he said things that were almost profane but not quite after that. Another guy started yelling at Rickey in the on deck circle. "You're old, Rickey! You can't do it anymore. Hall of Famers don't run, right, Rickey? Hall of Famers don't run!" Rickey shook his head and smiled. It got uglier thought when another heckler called him "boy." I wanted to kill that guy. That guy would have been cheering RIckey like crazy if things were going better, so why the "boy" crap? Why bring this racial shit into it? Man. Even in the field seats, the Mets fans can get freakin ugly. I mean, I will boo and yell, but not like that.

After the ragged ninth inning, everybody left, but I noticed these two hot girls sitting with some guy. I mean, these women were incredible, one in tight leather pants with humongous cha chas under a tight sweater. "What's going on here?" I said to myself and waited for them to leave their seats. I followed them into the parking lot, and I was right. These were not usual fans. They were strippers from this place called the Airstrip and outside they and some other girls started passing out fliers to people. I took one. Christ.

I got in a cab with some drunk fellows, Wall Street guys, who were going to check the place out. We got there and it was... you know. It's in the zone where you can legally have a strip club in New York. A "waitress" asked me what I wanted. I said Scotch, God help me.

You know when Chris Rock does that routine, something about the girls don't do it in the Champagne room? Well, they do it, friends, they do it.
I left there at about 5 A.M., much poorer both financially and spiritually. I was drunk, too, and couldn't find a cab. I walked out to the water. There was trash in it. What a losing streak. What a night. I had for some reason a pack of cigarettes in my pocket. I smoked one there. A guy was waking up by the dock. The planes started coming in from Europe overhead. The dirty seagulls and pigeons were battling it out as usual. I started walking until eventually I found the Jackson Heights subway stop and rode the 7 back to Manhattan. I stopped by my place for a shave and shower, slugged down a hell of a lot of coffee, went to work. And here I am at my desk, still looped a little bit, and the boss has been giving me kind of a cold look. I must look the way I feel. Hungover. This far from being a bum. But if that guy could have seen me when I was 17, 18, when my arm was at full strength, and you had the scouts and everything... ahh, Christ, what's the use. What's the use?
Last edited by Johnny Dickshot on Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Postby Johnny Dickshot » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:23 am

User avatar
Johnny Dickshot
3) Dwight Gooden, SP, RP, 1984-1994

Posts: 10093
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:36 pm
Image

Postby Edgy MD » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:51 pm

User avatar
Edgy MD
Rube Walker — Pitching Coach, 1968–1981

Posts: 90208
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Baltimore
Valentine in stiruups.

Great save.

I have long had a mind to submit that for publication.
I'll be your patron saint of heartbreak.

Postby MFS62 » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:09 pm

User avatar
MFS62
Brian Cole, Outfield Prospect, 1978-2001

Posts: 21722
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:59 pm
Location: Connecticut
That was great.
Thank you for saving it.

Since I didn't frequent MOFO, was Big Al the person with the same name (Big Al From Brooklyn) who used to call Steve Somers on WFAN a lot? That person had been a Brooklyn fan and now roots for the Mets. But from listening to him, I'm not sure he is as erudite as the writer.
Anyone know if they're the same person?

Later
I'm smarter than you think you are.

Postby Johnny Dickshot » Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:29 pm

User avatar
Johnny Dickshot
3) Dwight Gooden, SP, RP, 1984-1994

Posts: 10093
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:36 pm
I'd say the chances of that are extremely slim.

Postby Frayed Knot » Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:27 pm

User avatar
Frayed Knot
Jeff Torborg. Mets Manager, 1992-93

Posts: 42350
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:05 pm
Location: Out in Leftfield
"Anyone know if they're the same person?"

First of all I think you're thinking of Short Al from Brooklyn, not Big Al.
And even if you're not, I highly doubt Al was a regular FAN caller.

This Al - or at least the persona he created - was a 40-ish divorced, Manhattan living, alcoholic and often angry ex-pro pitcher (lefty I think) who washed out in AAA due to arm troubles.
There's no independent means of verifying any of that of course and, as I recall, he was very deft at side-stepping inquiries seeking more details. But he was a terrific writer, a helluva storyteller, and for a while on the old MoFo represented a very welcome 'adult' presence in the midst of a bunch of screaming kiddies.
Would that i'twere so simple

Postby Edgy MD » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:02 pm

User avatar
Edgy MD
Rube Walker — Pitching Coach, 1968–1981

Posts: 90208
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Baltimore
Possible destinatons:

<a href=http://www.bigal.com/tools_articles.cfm?AID=446 target=blank>Big Al's Sportsline</a>

<a href=http://www.footballfanatics.com/HTMLPages/root/COLLEGE/AlabamaCrimsonTide/Accessories/AlabamaCrimsonTide99970.html target=blank><i>Hello, Big Al!</i></a>

<a href=http://www.richmond.com/sports/output.aspx?Article_ID=1318208&Vertical_ID=2&tier=1&position=11 target=blank>SportsNet with Big Al Coleman</a>

<a href=http://www.bigalanderson.com/bigalanderson/index.asp target=blank>Big Al Anderson</a> of NRBQ

<a href=http://www.sportsanimaltulsa.com/ target=blank>Big Al Jenkins</a> of Sports Animal Tulsa

<a href=http://www.angelfire.com/mi/coasterclub/ target=blank>Big Al's Coaster Club</a> (I think the link is broken. They're apparently a Christian ska act.)

Big Al defined in the <a href=http://www.nysportsday.com/themofo/faq.php target=blank>MOFo glossory</a>:

<b>Big Al:</b> Forumite who had a minor league pitching career, and later serious substance abuse problems. Often posted long stories about his experiences watching Mets games that made one wonder if he were really a Pulitzer prize winning author in disguise. Two examples are the story of taking his son to a Mets game and another about a miserable Mets game that led him to fall off the temperance wagon and go to a strip club. Big Al last posted about a year ago saying he was going on a rehab retreat somewhere out west and bringing bats, balls and gloves so that he and the other "drunks" could play ball in the desert.
Last edited by Edgy MD on Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Postby Elster88 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:02 pm

User avatar
Elster88
KEVIN ELSTER

Posts: 13609
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:13 pm
Location: Connecticut
Oh my god that's fucking hilarious. Even got the "What the hell are you laughing at" question.

Re: FROM SHEA TO THE AIRSTRIP: A NIGHT IN HELL

Postby Farmer Ted » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:35 am

Farmer Ted
307) Manny Acosta, RP, 2010-2012

Posts: 1994
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:41 am
BUMPING THIS NOW!!

Re: FROM SHEA TO THE AIRSTRIP: A NIGHT IN HELL

Postby Farmer Ted » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:26 am

Farmer Ted
307) Manny Acosta, RP, 2010-2012

Posts: 1994
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:41 am
A gratuitous opening day bump. LGM!!


Return to MOFo Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest