Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mothers' Day to your mothers and queens

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! Especially to the mom of my kids, Debby, and the mother of my granddaughter, Kim. 

When you think of great mom's, who springs to mind first?  Why, Queen Elizabeth of course! 

In 1991 I was a rookie play-by-play announcer for the Baltimore Orioles. I kept a daily journal that year and sold it as a book. "It's Gone!...No, wait a minute"(my classic home run call unfortunately) was published by Villard and released in ’93. It’s available on Amazon or on a remainder table near you.  Her Majesty attended an Orioles game.  Here is certainly the only Queen Elizabeth baseball story you'll ever read: 
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 1991, BALTIMORE
A typical day really, except that the queen of England and the president of the United States attended the game. They saw the A’s win 6-3, although Randy Milligan hit his first home run of the year and then his second.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip are visiting the United States and wanted to view something that represented the “epitome of America”. That meant either the Shopping Channel or baseball. So our little ol’ ballpark on Thirty-third Street got the nod. The weather was glorious, the traffic horrendous, and the crowd merely moderate (32,501) to see this historic occasion (The queen was not as big a draw as free wristbands.)
The entourage arrived at 6:30 via motorcade and were whisked into a private reception hosted by club owner Eli S. Jacobs (whom I have yet to meet, by the way). The VIP party, which also included Mrs. Bush, baseball commish Fay Vincent (who told me before the game that the role of the commissioner in affairs such as these is “to be seen and then leave”), Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, Mrs. Secretary of Defense, the Governor of Maryland, the British Foreign Secretary, and a number of the queen’s personal valets, secretaries, and foot stools. They all dined on crab cakes and hot dogs. (What, no crumpets and nachos??).
Everyone lingered over dinner for fifteen minutes, and then the royal party moved on to the Orioles dugout to greet the players of both teams.
I did not get to meet the queen. Jon Miller and I were on the air describing the proceedings. At 7:20 a receiving line of players was rushed through (viewed by the crowd on DiamondVision), and to the horror of the Secret Service, the president escorted Queen Elizabeth (or “Sausage” as Prince Philip calls her) up the top step into the on-deck area in full view of the masses. Personally, I feel Harold Baines would be in greater danger than the queen, but the Secret Service men held their breath just the same. The crowd roared its approval.
From there the royal party repaired back to Mr. Jacobs’ sky box on the mezzanine level just to the left of the press box. They sat comfortably behind bulletproof glass as a high school chorus mangled “God Save the Queen” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” over a sound system wracked by feedback.
They stayed for two whole innings, and I sort of felt bad because they were two very boring innings. Five walks, little action. Really, Your Highness, baseball is not that dull! I wanted her to stay longer, but by 8:45 the motorcade had shuttled her away. I also was hoping to have her stop by our booth and possibly read the “Esskay Meats Out-of-Town Scoreboard,” but that was not to be. See if I vote for her in the next election!
All in all it was a very exciting night. In three previous years in the minors the most important dignitary I ever saw attend a game was the Phillie Phanatic.

15 comments :

VP81955 said...

This wasn't the queen's first brush with American sport (using the English singular) -- and the other example also came in Maryland. In October 1957, she attended a football game at College Park between Maryland and North Carolina. She sat in a front-row box as the Terrapins won 21-7.

Not that the queen cared (nor likely you all these years later), but the game also marked the return of coach Jim Tatum to College Park after he had guided Maryland to national prominence -- a national title, three unbeaten regular seasons, a Sugar Bowl upset of top-ranked Tennessee. He left for UNC following the 1955 season.

Stephen Marks said...

Why wouldn't she go see the KC Royals? At Royal Stadium? Which PR guy was beheaded over this? So let's look at the mothers involved in Ken's shows:

Sam Malone's mother - Never existed. Never mentioned. Guy's nickname was Mayday and he never acknowleged this May day.

Shelly Long - Remember? Rich mother, kinda bitchy. Ended up marrying her driver.

Frasier - Tom Hank's wife? WTF?

Cliff - Best known mother of all shows. Popular actress, seen in alot of shows. Treated Cliff like a mama's boy, which he was.

Hawkeye - Mentioned his mother and sis once then never again. I guess they died in that tornado that whipped through Crab Apple Cove, who knows.

B.J. - Never mentioned I think. They had that party where all the parents of the people in Korea got togather in New York but I think B.J.s wife went. Maybe someone can correct me on this one.

Ros - Mother was someone high up in politics in Wisconsin. Came to Seattle once and wanted to hang with Martin but he wanted none of it.

Daphnie - Old English bag who came to visit and never left. Great actress who played her like, well, an old English bag.

Big Dave's Wave - No mothers! No fathers! No kids! No sex?

Norm - Like his wife, mentioned but not seen

Rebecca Howe - Never talked about her mother, always her father who was some big Navy guy.

Stephen Marks - My mother owes me money!



Glenn said...

Did Vincent Ludwig brainwash Reggie Jackson into an assassination attempt?

Anonymous said...

Re Daphne's mom
That was Millicent Martin, who gained worldwide fame in the early 1960's as the beautiful and talented female performer on the groundbreaking topical British show That Was The Week That Was (David Frost also made his name there). There was an American version for a little while back around the JFK assassination.
Check out some tapes of TWTWTW and you'l' see what an amazing performer Gertrude Moon was.
(and for my money, Daphne's dad was a better Hannibal Lector than Anthony Hopkins).

Peter said...

So, have you received your invitation to Harry and Meghan's wedding?

Peter said...

I believe that in Compton it's known as Motherfucker's Day.

Ba-dum tsss!

Thank you, I'm here all week, try the lobster.

Mike Bloodworth said...

For baseball "boring" is a relative term. That is, there is extremely boring and slightly less boring. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
M.B.

Scott said...

My mother died 30 years ago but to this day I remember a quote from TAXI where Louie's mother tells her son "I'm the only one in this family who hasn't put a curse on you". I keep that in mind.

Cap'n Bob said...

When Hawkeye obsessed on what BJ's initials meant and was teased all through the show about it, Honeycutt finally said he was named after his father Jay and his mother Bea. So she was mentioned once.

Max Clarke said...



I saw a young Queen Elizabeth when I was a kid.

We lived in Newfoundland at the time, and we all heard Her Majesty was visiting Canada. She would even visit our island. This was part of a tour of the Commonwealth. She was only a few years into her reign.

We stood by a road and watched her black Rolls Royce approach. She was sitting on our side of the Queens Road and wearing a white glove. She waved a bit. Later, she made a downtown appearance, and Prince Philip was there as well.

For being about five years old, it made quite an impression.

Anonymous said...

This just barely touches on today's blog, but I recently came across your ex-partner Jon Miller's impression of Vin Scully. Pitch perfect, so to speak. And Miller does Vinny doing a Farmer John commercial in Spanish. Ole my gosh!

Did Vin like people doing him? Famous people can be a little thin skinned about that sort of thing. I know Carson didn't like Rich Little too-accurate version of Johnny

-30-

Jack said...

I found a copy of "It's Gone!... No, Wait a Minute" a couple of years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Xmastime said...

Luckily there's some footage of her visit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U19BeZEWNZs

Buttermilk Sky said...

Her Majesty has a major scheduling conflict this Saturday -- Harry's wedding or the Preakness. We know she's more interested in horses than people. I picture her at the reception, peering down at her phone.

Nicholas Hodgson said...

Found this footage on You Tube from the time. Thanks for a fascinating look back to a kinder gentler time Ken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaugcfHUrZs