Apr 7, 2011

Van Lingle Mungo

OK, here is where things get weird.

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!


Dave2 said...

Names don't GET more interesting than "Jarrod Saltalamacchia" - just sayin'

sybil law said...

I'm with Dave! But Van Lingle Mungo sure comes close!
So hysterical, though - that song! Great find.

Verdant Earl said...

Dave2 - Well, someone is gonna have to write a song about him then. You up to the task?

Sybil - Congrats on the Reds, by the way. Wow.

Mrs. Hall said...

AWW!! your show has a theme song?? AND GUESTS!! wow, it's going global baby!


Slyde said...

that doesnt happen anymore?

i call bullshit... i did that last weekend....

Verdant Earl said...

Holly - Now we just have to find a way to play it during the show on Talkshoe.

Slyde - In yer dreams, pansy-boy.

Paticus said...

My favorite baseball name is Cecilio Guante, who I believe played for your New York Yankees(though I first heard of him as a Pirate).

Unknown said...

Everyone knows, it's not a *real* show until you have a bad ass theme song.

Well done.

Verdant Earl said...

Paticus - Guante is Spanish for "glove", and Guante played with a glove that had a giant "G" on it. Ya gotta love that.

Annabelle - It's killing me that it's so difficult to get the music to play on the platform we chose.