Now I know you've been either listening in live to Just Talking to the Cornfield or downloading our show from iTunes. Right? Well, this past Sunday I mentioned how I was a fan of Clayton Kershaw's Opening Day start for the Dodgers because he struck out 9 batters, tying him for third on the Dodger's all-time Opening Day strikeout list (I know, I know...).
Well, I was a fan because ESPN pointed out that the name of the guy that he tied with his 9 K's was Van Lingle Mungo. And I love baseball players with odd names. Van Lingle Mungo was surely one of the oddest I had ever heard. So I looked up a few things about him. He was actually a pretty good pitcher for the Dodgers in the 1930's. He even led the NL in strikeouts in 1936, so the guy could throw.
But I liked him for his name and his reputation as a drinker and hothead. One time, during a club visit to Cuba, Mungo was caught fooling around with another man's wife. After punching the husband in the eye, the husband grabbed a big knife or machete and went after Mungo. The Dodger's pitching coach had to sneak Mungo out of the hotel and onto a seaplane using a laundry cart. This shit just doesn't happen anymore! I love it!
Then yesterday, my co-host came through with the holiest of holies. A song from 1969, written and performed by Dave Frishberg, called...wait for it...VAN LINGLE MUNGO!
It's true! It's a bit of a novelty song with a bossa nova beat where Frishberg sings the names of various ballplayers from Mungo's era. But "Van Lingle Mungoooooo" is the obvious refrain in the song. Absolutely brilliant! And he even got to perform it life for Van Lingle Mungo himself the year it came out on The Dick Cavett Show. Twice as brilliant!!!
You see what kind of great stuff you can learn by listening in?
Boys and girls, I believe our little radio show has found its theme song.
Speaking of Just Talking to the Cornfield, we have a pair of actual guests for this upcoming episode on Sunday, April 10th at 9PM EST. Russ Cohen and former major leaguer Rikco Niesgo chat with us about their book "Strike Three!" - A Player's Journey Through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994. It's gonna be a hoot!