The titles are more elaborate now for people dealing with the media in major league baseball. The numbers of employees involved are greater and both genders are represented.
Back in the day, this was the task of the "PR guy" and an assistant. In the 1970s, when I started covering the Twins, there was none better than Baltimore's Bob Brown.
The press box in the summer at Memorial Stadium was a sauna, yet Brown, PA announcer Rex Barney and the opinionated Orioles press corps made it a favored American League stop.
And what made Baltimore the league leader was the greatest opposing manager of all: Earl Weaver.
Brown died last month at 89. It got me thinking about memorable moments at Memorial Stadium and these came quickly:
• A night game being interrupted when a moth got into an ear canal of Twins catcher Butch Wynegar, and the flying insect being executed by drowning.
• Hearing in a cab that Elvis Presley had been found dead in Memphis, and relaying that information on arrival at the ballpark to Ray Crump. He was the Twins' equipment manager and a close friend of Elvis.
Thanks to Twitter (note: I highly recommend this as a communication tool for important people), this coincidence surfaced in responses to Brown's death:
Elvis' death and the moth's waterboarding both took place on Aug. 16, 1977. Elvis, 42, was found unresponsive at 2:30 p.m. at his Graceland estate in Memphis. The disruption from the moth took place in the sixth inning of what became a 6-5, 13-inning victory for the Orioles, in a game lasting a then-astounding 4:28.
What I remembered for certain was Brown giving us press-box updates on the moth's condition, as Twins trainer Dick Martin was pouring water in Wynegar's ear while in the dugout.
"It's still flapping," Brown announced, before updating in a somber voice that the moth had passed away.
The Twins were in first place in the AL West and the O's were chasing Boston in the East. Weaver was fired up for a strategic battle with the Twins' Gene Mauch, and also targeted the plate umpire for his ire.
Earl protested vigorously that the moth-in-ear delay was taking too long. In the eighth inning, Weaver charged plate umpire Al Clark for not calling a strike on Jerry Terrell's checked swing. While there, he decided to offer a two-innings-late formal protest over the moth delay.
Finally, in the 11th, Earl stormed after Clark when he ruled Lyman Bostock had been hit by a pitch. Weaver kicked dirt on the plate and was ejected. With that, he got on his knees to pile dirt on the plate, sailed his cap 50 feet ("That's a new record," Barney said) and wound up at second base with arms crossed, refusing to depart.
Earl was in the dugout runway when the O's won it in the 13th. A suicide squeeze attempt and other moves failed for the Twins, causing Mauch candor:
"Our players weren't quite able to overcome some of the manager's ideas tonight."
As for Crump and Presley, when Elvis was in St. Paul for a concert on April 30, 1977, it was Crump quoted by reviewer Charley Hallman on an appearance that was cut short.
Crump said Elvis had been on a workout regimen and came down with a cold after jogging at Lake Nokomis that Saturday.
• Earl Weaver died on a cruise sponsored by the Orioles on Jan. 12, 2013. The obit writers seized on Earl's quote from 1986: "On my tombstone write, 'The Sorest Loser Who Ever Lived.' "
• Crump had a group of Twins people at the St. Paul concert and Elvis dedicated the appearance to team owner Calvin Griffith.
• Somebody laying out Minneapolis Tribune for the morning after Presley's death wasn't a rock 'n' roller. Elvis got a four-column headline at the very bottom of the front page.
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