cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well
jones_casey

  • Music:

this happened

yet another reason to love wiki/the internets:

as the dead milkmen toured extensively behind their records, they began to accrue increasing attention, which often came through unconventional routes. in 1987, major league baseball player jim walewander, a detroit tigers rookie, became a vocal fan of the band; this was noted on his baseball card, which described the group as "an obscure punk-rock band". walewander invited the band to tiger stadium to see a game in which he hit his first and only major league home run, and the milkmen had a short conversation with tigers manager sparky anderson.



the wiki article even has a photo of the band with sparky.


walewander himself states that his fervour for the band was mostly a media myth, and the other, christian, players hassled him about the [satirically] satanist group, to the point he felt it was a detriment to his career.

and he didn't think much of the home run coincidence:

cm: you hit your first [and only] major league homer the same day that the milkmen came out to visit you at tiger stadium. do you think the milkmen being there had anything to do with it?

jw: well, since i'm a business student now, i guess we should look at it statistically. i've had close to 200 at bats, and only 3 of those were that day. and one of those at bats resulted in that two-run homer. can we prove that they're related statistically?



but who needs proof? it happened.




and:

walewander even had a "theme song" written about him called "the jim walewander blues". the song was written by a local detroit rocker named eastside billee (aka billee) who recorded it with his band "the ten speeds". the song got radio airplay in the lakeland, florida area during spring training one year. ernie harwell even gave a detroit newspaper review of the song in an article written by shelby strothers.



i couldn't find the song, but that review, along with thousands of fascinating items, are probably gathering dust in boxes locked away from the world, rather than being exhibited as part of ernie harwell's collection:

the beloved broadcaster built a collection of baseball memorabilia over his 68-year career worth $4 million and believed to be the second largest to the national baseball hall of fame in cooperstown, n.y.

yet due to the sad state of detroit public institutions, the collection, which harwell entrusted to the detroit public library, is being so mismanaged, you'd think they'd hired pete rose.
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