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booyah The AAAA Hollywood Stars

Click on Jayne to read about the Stars.
Gentlemen: (???—Ed.)
Your article on the Hollywood Stars is great, however there is an inaccurate statement. CBS Televisions City was NOT built on the Gilmore Field site, it was built on the Gilmore Stadium site, and both Gilmore Field and CBS co-existed for some time. Thought you might want to know.....someone who was there.....

Robert Kraft

Dear Robert: We were told that the studio has expanded and taken over part of the Gilmore Field land. The home plate plaque sits outside one of the soundstages. Next to two large craters where Jane Mansfield fell forward while running to the pitcher's mound. But we'll verify, Mr. Smartypants.

Dear Sirs:
I'd like permission to reprint in our April issue excerpts from your fabulous Hollywood Stars history at SportsHollywood, and to obtain high-res versions of an image or two. The article will also have reminscences of Gilmore from members of the class of '63 at Beverly Hills High.
In the same issue we will have an interview with Fred Claire.
Many thanks,
Laurence Vittes, Editor
Southern California Senior Life

Dear Laurence: Sure! We'll send you the contact info for the A.F. Gilmore Co.—they own all the old photos from Gilmore Field. By the way, some writer you are—you can't even spell "Lawrence."

Did anyone there at SportsHollywood come across a source for Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels replica merchandise while researching for their pieces on the website?
—Michelle Williams

Dear Michelle:
You can get caps and jerseys for the Stars here and the Angels here. Jeff also bought a bunch of stuff on eBay, loaned it to some documentary filmmakers, and never got it back. So don't ask him. He's bitter.

Dear SportsHollywood:

I have a baseball that was signed by the Hollywood Stars, some of the players I can read on it I think the year was about 1952 to 1954, not sure. I'm looking to find the roster for the team & can't find it. Also looking to find out if it might be worth anything. Maybe you could get some more information on the team for me.

Thank You, Guy Webb

Dear Guy:
This page features a couple of rosters from 1953. Other than that you'd have to track down some old game programs on eBay. UPDATE: Here!

Every so often I reread your material about the Hollywood Stars. Suffice it to say that the Stars were the central characters in my life growing up. The lynchpin in my relationship with my father, who imparted his deep love of baseball to me that has lasted to this very day... I would love to have you on my radio show. Great nostalgia.
Host/ Producer Vin Smith, The Midnight BookwormBooks and Entertainment broadcast on U. S. Web Talk Radio

booyah Steve Dalkowski

Dalkowski in 1959

I just read your article about Steve Dalkowski. Really love it. What twinked my interest was an article in the Boston Globe mentioning ball players with historic potential who never made it.
I went to New Britain Senior High School. Steve was two years ahead of me. I do recall the headlines in the (then) New Britain Herald about the 18 strikeouts, 18 walk game. As I recall he also played football (in those years NBHS was state champs).
The only legend I doubt is about his IQ. Steve was no rocket scientist, but an IQ of 60? I doubt that very much. Too bad such a bad ending for such a talented guy.
—r h price

The low IQ score was reportedly the result of his cognitive decline due to years of alcoholism and other challenges, after his baseball career was over. We'll clarify it in the article. Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for the article on Steve Dalkowski. It was an interesting article for me. I had the good (?) fortune to bat against Dalkowski when I played for the 1959 Eau Claire Braves in the Northern League. He mostly struck me out, but I did get a blooper double off him once. It was amazing watching his pitches from second base. You could see the ball rise several inches from the mound to the catcher’s mitt. It really is a shame that he hurt his arm. He was absolutely phenomenal.
—Douglas Tyson (Ty) Clayton

Then you'll also be interested in the letter posted by Robert Fabbricatore, entitled "I Faced Steve Dalkowski." You both are a lot braver than we would have been!

I enjoyed reading this brief bio of Dalkowski. I have always been intrigued by his velocity? where did it come from? He wasn't that big, compared to today's pitchers. Many trainers tell me that the trunk and rotation and leg power contribute to velocity. Yet Steve never seemed to train like today's athletes and was always drinkiing and never really "in shape." I heard one tale where he was in street clothes, and threw the ball from 400 feet in centerfield OVER THE BACKSTOP!! Unbelievable! Bull Durham was a good baseball movie, but I think a true movie about Dalkowski, documentary, would be even better. The secret of his arm strength!! With all the multi-million $$$$ contracts today, that would be quite a secret to know!
—Bill O' (an old former minor-leaguer from years ago)

Hi Jeff...great article on Steve...both funny and sad.

Rod Gaspar, 1969 Mets
World Series Associates

Thanks! Pretty cool hearing that a Miracle Met liked my stuff! I cried in '69, for two reasons: First, I was glad the Mets won... and second, I was sad that I lived in San Diego and had to watch the Padres' first season.

booyah 'Let's Do Lunch' Column

Read your Let's Do Lunch column. You are probably expecting a letter that has someone cussing you out and stuff but I dont do that! I just want to tell you no matter how much you bad talkTexas and the Cowboys, the more I like the both of them! I love Texas...that's my favorite state and I love the Cowboys and its a free country and so I can! You just don't like the Cowboys because they beat one of your sissy football teams awhile back or maybe even last week...and so I have three words for you Get over it! I dont live in Texas so you cant say thats another cocky Texan!
—Isaiah O.

Dear Isaiah: You suck. Spoken like someone with a true inferiority complex. OU clobbered Texas. The Cowboys got beat (pick any week you like). And I don't see the Rangers or the Astros playing in the World Series right now. Thank you for your kind words.—Mr. Lunch

booyah Los Angeles Angels

I read your wonderful history of L.A.'s Wrigley Field and the L.A. Angels of the PCL. It is an excellent, thoroughly-researched article.
I just wanted to make one correction to your terminology. On two occasions you used the word "pro" when referring to the Majors. Once was in reference to Bill Sarni, the Angels' teenaged backup catcher during the war years: "Eleven years later, he finally made it to the pros and played for the Cardinals." A second time was in reference to the 1961 season when the American League Angels played at Wrigley: "The pro batters loved those Wrigley power alleys: 248 home runs were hit there, more than in any other ballpark in Major League history during a single season -- an average of more than three a game."
I'm sure this was just a slip, as you no doubt realize that minor league ball is pro ball as well, and that it is not accurate to use the word "pro(s)" when referring to the Majors in contradistinction to the minors.
Anyway, once again, thanks for a tremendous article.
Ferdinand Cesarano

Dear Ferdinand,
I'm surprised Jeff even spelled "baseball" right!
PS: Check out "Home Run Derby" on ESPN Classic to see the real field!

Greetings: When I was a young boy my father would often take us kids to see the "Los Angeles Angels" at Wrigley Field, on 42nd Street and Avalon. Those were the days!!! I have never forgotten the years spent cheering for Steve Bilko, Chuck Connors, Ted Kluwzewski, Dick Stuart (Hollywood Stars), etc. . My question is: where can a person find any memorabilia from the old PCL Angels? I would be very appreciative of any info that you might be able to provide me with. Thank You very much.

There's stuff on eBay all the time! It's expensive, though—be prepared... If you're really motivated, there's a plaque where home plate used to be. You can rip that out of the sidewalk if the cops aren't around.

Hi SportsHollywood,
I was doing some research on Wrigley Field L.A. and came across your excellent history of the stadium, the teams who played there, etc. etc. etc. (!) on the Sports Hollywood website. I thought you might enjoy this short video clip that shows Wrigley L.A. in 1948. It's about 2 minutes long.

It's really lovely Kodachrome footage of an exhibition game between the Kansas City Royals, with Satchel Paige (in his Cleveland uniform) pitching, and the Bob Lemon-Gene Bearden All-Stars. The filmmaker who shot the home movie is writer-director Richard Brooks. There's some great footage of the stadium and the crowd—it's amazing to see how dressed up the fans are compared to today! I wrote a brief description of the footage on the YouTube site.

The Academy Film Archive has a large collection of home movies of Southern California, especially the Los Angeles area. I'm the Home Movie Curator here so I'm familiar with most of the home movies in our collection. So far, I have not found any footage of the Hollywood Stars or Gilmore Stadium. I'm kind of surprised by that, but there you go. We don't have any footage of the PCL Angels team either. I am keeping my eyes out though! We get more home movies all the time, so one of these days I hope to get lucky on all of these subjects.

Thanks for all of the great information in your Sports Hollywood piece, and I hope you enjoy the Wrigley clip.

Best regards,

Lynne Kirste ° Special Collections Curator ° Academy Film Archive

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ° 1313 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028 °
Tel (310) 247-3016, ex. 3336 ° Fax (310) 247-3032 ° www.oscars.org ° lkirste@oscars.org

Thanks! This is fantastic footage! Some of you will recognize people in the stands, too! PS: We've included Lynne's info in case anybody has any leads. One person who has contacted us with possible footage/kinescopes is Douglas Scott, the son of Stars TV announcer Mark Scott.

A buddy and I were talking about the baseball show, Home Run Derby, the other day. Since he was from the Southern California area, I asked him where Wrigley Field was located. He wasn't aware that there was such a park in the L.A. area, and he found your historical recap of it.
I have read it, and will bookmark it to read again. It has brought back memories of the show that I couldn't wait to watch, such was the draw that baseball in the golden days, had on me and my friends growing up in NJ.
Thanks for the great write-up. I appreciate it more than I can express in this message.

booyah Pre-History

Long ago, I was PR director for NIKE and I just happened upon your piece on the two Pre movies. I noted the same serious error in each. Our founder Phil Knight was teaching accounting at the time the first Nikes were being crafted, however he did not have a logo for the sides of the shoe. He asked his students for help and one of the women came up with the Swoosh design. Knight payed her a very small sum for the design. The rest is history. Bill Bowerman, whom I knew, came up with the waffle sole.
—Tim Renn

Just got done watching both movies. On a kind of rekindled Pre-rampage. Which do you think is better or more truthful???
—CJ Flatley

Your comparison of the Prefontaine movies was interesting, though i haven't seen "Without Limits". How did the soundtracks compare? I thought the Pistoleros version of "Forever Young" at the end of "Pre." was outstanding. and "Tuesday's Gone" is great.

I just stumbled across your website and I want to thank you for clearing up the issues with my sister, Nancy. The movie that depicted Mary M. as his girlfriend really irritated me but I felt that those of us who knew him the best knew the truth.

Jim, ("Who's 'Jim?'"—-Ed.)
Having read some of what you have written about Pre .... and recognizing the thought you've put into him .... I am compelled to ask you a question. I've never actually asked this question to anyone ... but have wondered about it often and in depth.
I did live in Eugene and did some studies there in 72-73 and had occasion to meet Pre ... but cannot say I knew him. I have come to know his sister over the years and some of her stories about Pre and Lobo etc. Only say this so you know I am somewhat closer to Pre and his history then many.
"Was there another car involved in Pre's accident?"
I'm sure you've read the theories of the other car .... perhaps another mg ... perhaps the son of a professional in Eugene?
Hopefully this is not presumptuous .... you, being a writer .... having written about Pre and maybe thought much about what happened ... I thought perhaps ... you would not be offended.
Thank you.
—G Cassidy

Both films have strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses come from the films being produced at the same time, in their own "Pre"-like attempts to do beat each other to the finish line at the box office. So each film excluded important family, teammates, coaches and friends were worked on the other movie. For instance, each film chose a coach to advise the filmmakers (and played down the coach who was working on the other film); each film chose the recollections of a different ex-girlfriend (one, Mary Marckx, was so upset by the experience that she canceled her book on Pre and won't talk about it anymore); Pre's family were consulted on "Prefontaine", so the father was literally dead in "Without Limits," despite still being alive at the time. As a result, we find them both a little incomplete and frustrating... but fascinating to watch. As far as a second car being at the scene of the accident, if there was, then that person is lucky to be alive, because by most contemporary accounts, Prefontaine was pretty drunk at the time (another point that was pretty played-down in the films).

booyah Maurice Stokes

Great article on Maurice. I attended St. Francis 1956-58 and was the BB team equipment manager in 1958 when we went to the NIT. I met "Mo" at the school once and then again after we beat Xavier in Cinn. Mo was really everything, guard, forward and center, he could play every position. A few years earlier I had listened to him play during the NIT tournament. He was just super. I remember listening to him play against Russel, they took Russel out when Stokes was in the game. I've also been to his grave at the school. In Nov. the school voted the 53/54 team into the school Hall of Fame. The 57/58 team was the last time the school has been to the NIT. Xavier won it that year and we had just beaten them at home a few weeks earlier. We just got the jitters.
—Bob Correia

I read your tribute/article on/to Mo Strokes. I too, am an Alumnus of St. Francis College (still to me...) and played many a great bball games down at "Stokes." Unfortunately, some rich guy gave money to the school and now because he paid for some new weight equipment (whatever...) he's allowed to have his name on the gym—BULL__IT!! I'm Catholic and I know we rely on support from the community—but why can't one give... without proclaiming it to the world?! Anyway, Maurice was and is a hero to me—God Bless him always (and Jack T).
PS I first saw the movie "Big Mo" during my freshman year at SFC — 1977 /78 (forgive me—but hard to say SFU). Bernie Casey was great in "Brian's Song" but something was missing... I am a screenwriter and I know this could be done over and done "right" this time—"Hoosiers" was a great film—and carried a similar theme: small school, underdog, redemption etc etc. After reading your work—this thought came to me—JFN1122@AOL.COM
Jim Nevins

This is a weird question, but I've come across something you wrote awhile back about Maurice Stokes. It references an "unpublished autobiography" by Stokes. Is that just the Saturday Evening Post piece, or something else?
(I am writing something about Stokes and Twyman, and I want to cast a wide net.)
Dr. Shawn Francis Peters
Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO) / Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate (OVPDC) University of Wisconsin-Madison

Am reading your excellent article about Maurice Stokes. Interested in where you read or researched the info about Stokes having typed out his autobiography over the course of three years.
Thank you, sir.
Barry Wittenstein
Member: ASCAP, Authors Guild, SCBWI

My name is Bobby Moresco and I was wondering if I might ask you some questions from the sporthollywood.com website. The one about Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman. In particular, I'm interested in getting a copy of the autobiography. In the interest of expedience, some of the movies I've worked on, include "Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby" (I only mention this in the hopes that you return the email). Look forward to talking.
Thanks very much.

Sounds like we have some excellent Stokes-related projects on the way! The diary was mentioned in several articles done while Stokes was alive, but we've only seen small excerpts. Not sure if the Post article was part of it or not. With or without it, more people should know his story.

booyahPoor Sports

I just read your article written 8/25/00, I'm really on top of it huh? Anyway my name is Denna Vernon Martin and I am Doug DeCinces cousin and we grew up together spending holidays and school vacations together and I want to add something to your article. Doug truly is a very fine gentleman and cares very much for people. When I was a nurse in Santa Barbara I would watch the games on T.V. with my patients and Doug was always willing to give me autographed balls, cards and other things for my patients. Speaking of Reggie Jackson, well I have two major league balls signed by all the players on the Angels and Orioles teams and guess whos name is missing on my Angel's ball? Good ol Reggie that everybody will soon forget because he is a stuck up ass just like the guy said....thanks for the article even though I just found it after 2 years+.

Thanks for the kind eMail. Sorry, no autographs... just kidding. Our own Betty Okino sits down with us at least once a month and signs photos that we send out, in response to requests from fans, consisting of A) gymnastics fans who adore her, B) aspiring gymnasts who love her, and C) guys who... well, it's the Internet...


*—No, Parker is not interested.

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