I feel we are even!
THEY FOOLED WITH A PRO
by Richard M., Spring Valley
During the summer of 1967 I traveled with my father, who at the time was an umpire for the old California Pacific Coast League, a minor league division of the American League.
My father was doing a three-game series in Bakersfield, the temperature was in the hundreds, the fans were barbaric, the ball players were bush league, and so was the management. By the third inning of the third game of the series, there had been two player fistfights, at least one bean ball, and my father had thrown out both managers and four players. It was a miserable series.
After the end of the third game, we had to leave immediately for the next series in Modesto with two new teams. When my dad and I got to our car, we found all four tires flat. Apparently someone had just let the air out. Needless to say, my dad was furious. He called the auto club and waited. While the tires were being inflated, a couple of guys walked by and told my dad that they saw two of the players letting the air out. My dad was livid.
He packed his umpire gear in the trunk and immediately drove back to the hotel. We went straight to the room, and he went straight to the telephone. Grabbing the local Bakersfield phone book, he looked up a number and made a call.
He called a prominent restaurant in Bakersfield and introduced himself as the manager of the visiting team. In honor of having a winning series, the manager [my dad] wanted to make reservations for 20 top sirloin steak dinners, champagne, and the works for his winning team. The owner of the restaurant was more than happy to take the reservation, stating that the red carpet would be rolled out for the team; he was looking at a high-dollar tab.
After my dad had finished the call to the restaurant, he called the motel where the home team was billeted. He asked to speak to the team manager. The following conversation went on: “Hello, I’m the owner of the so-and-so restaurant, and in honor of your three-game series in our city, I’d like to invite you, your coaching staff, and your team members to a free top sirloin dinner with salad, dessert, and complimentary champagne.”
After the conversation was over, my dad and I packed, loaded the car, and got out of town.
Two days later we had finished our umpire duties and were spending the night just outside of L.A. My dad came back to our hotel room with a copy of the Los Angeles Times. In the middle of the front page of the sports section it read, “Major Brou-ha-ha in Bakersfield restaurant — 13 arrested.”
Apparently what my father thought would happen did happen. The supposedly invited team showed up, ate, drank, and became merry and then was presented with a check for over $400. The team manager made a stink, a fist fight broke out, the restaurant was trashed, the cops were called, 13 players were arrested, along with the manager. I read the article, laughed like hell, looked at my dad. His comment was, “They shouldn’t screw around with a pro!”
End of story, we packed, loaded the car, and came on home to San Diego. I forgot all about what happened until six months later when an article appeared in Sports Illustrated recounting the whole incident, with the bottom line being the team, as a whole, was fined $1000 and had to pay for all restaurant damage.
Revenge is sweet!
A STINK BOMB AT TACO BELL
by Alex Rynant, Rancho Bernardo
Bob and I were in a hurry to pick up his wife at the airport, but we needed to eat before we got there. We went to Taco Bell for some tacos and burritos that we could power down while driving. We got our order and sped away for the airport. Halfway through eating, we divided up the remaining tacos and realized that we were four tacos short. It was too late to turn back, the plane was scheduled to land in a few minutes, and we were half an hour away.
Bob ran off to find his wife, and I went to look for a pay phone. I called the restaurant and explained that our order was shorted. The manager was less than friendly, and we argued for a little bit. It was my word against his, and I finally gave up. It was only a couple of dollars, but it was the principle that counted. Plus we were still hungry.
I caught up with Bob and his wife, exchanged pleasantries, and then told Bob the bad news. Surprisingly, he was just as ticked off as I was. Bob and I had been shorted by fast food drive-through windows once too often. He cussed the whole way home, which made for a very long car ride. Later that night Bob called me with a plan for getting even.
Bob was a business major in college. Even though he never graduated, he did manage to pick up a few things, mostly from his fraternity brothers. One thing he learned to do was how to make a stink bomb. I’m sure it wasn’t in the university’s curriculum, it was just one of the important things you needed to learn in life.
It was just before noon on a Saturday when we decided to pay Taco Bell a visit. We pulled into the parking lot, and Bob grabbed a bottle of liquid out of the back of his truck. Once inside the restaurant, we each ordered a large soft drink. Instead of filling the cups from the self-serve soda machine, we took them to the back of the restaurant. Bob then filled each cup from the bottle he had brought with him. He then pulled two envelopes from his pocket, one for each of us, and told me dump the contents of it into the cup after I had placed it on the table. Bob went to the other side of the restaurant to do the same thing.