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Remembering Larry Storch

A truly gifted, personable and most of all, humorous performer, Larry Storch died last week at the age of 99.

Mr. Storch was best known for his role of Corporal Randolph Agarn on the highly successful show, F Troop.

He voiced Mr. Whoopee on Tennessee Tuxedo, the great Don Adams voiced “Tuxedo.”

I was fortunate to meet Mr. Storch at a collectables show, say 15 years back. He was so friendly.

Before the people got to meet him, Larry in a great “stand up,” told 3 amazing jokes, one I think I can share.

General Custer is at Little Big Horn. The Indians are on the opposite side. Their drums are heard. He relays his ominous feeling. Thrice he says I do not like the sound of those drums!!

Then from the other side, one of the Indians shouts back, “He’s not our regular drum player.”

Go tell them in a better place and thanks for your work and kindness.  Larry Storch, an amazing talent, pictured.

 

Larry Storch Garrisons Gorillas 1967.JPG

 

 

 

 

The Great James Caan Is Gone, His Incredible Work Goes On

Alas almost all of us do not run crime “families,” or get “misery” personified, as two characters portrayed by the great James Caan, who died at age 82 days back, did in the two films, that begin most of his obituaries.

I state right off “The Godfather,” and “The Godfather: Part II,” do not need my seal of approval to be an all-time film, but gets it anyway.

Yet with Caan and in my case above, it is “The Gambler,” hardly mentioned in most talk after Mr. Caan died, that moved me the most.

Again we do not often face or live the extreme, but we all have to/ought to both look in the mirror and also find out what makes us do what we do, especially if it involves an addiction, as dangerous as compulsive gambling.

James Caan with help from a brilliant cast (Jacqueline Brookes who taught acting– an aside where is Evan Press and Mr. Caan might ask who is he and what is he doing in a remembrance of me?!–pulled off the need to find out “why you are doing it,” in extraordinary fashion, playing his “toweled off,” mother, who gives him the 44? K, dealing with a rude bank worker played by pre fame, James Woods along the way) gave a seminal performance, his look in the mirror a resounding, extraordinary finale that will always stay with me and has helped.

Of course one remembers and cites the first two Godfather pictures, his flashback, special appearance, complete with “your country is not your family,” (I add especially when it is about oil)–near “II’s” end, perhaps the most meaningful. (Please do not think I forgot “this man is taking it personally, to Al Pacino’s “Michael” as the latter intends and eventually does shoot the corrupt police captain, played so well by Sterling Hayden).

Caan gave us so much. I note “Chapter Two,” essentially playing the writer of it and so much else (I will add my post after Mr. Simon died at the bottom) Neil Simon having repartee, before a “blind” date with essentially actress, Marcia Mason, played by Marcia Mason.

Caan’s character lamented in the form of oh—-, Mason’s asked why, “The Yankees left a runner on third,” she capped it “now I really will not sleep.”

In capping it, and there is so much more, James Caan gave us and left us so much great work. He rarely left anyone on third or any base, as he drove in and to us so many great performances.

 

James Caan, pictured above.

Caan is cited in my remembrance of Neil Simon, below.

Remembering Neil Simon

“The Minutes” Is A Compelling, Comedic, Great Play

“The Minutes,” written by, and starring Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County”) playing at Studio 54 Theatre (254 West 54th Street), is a compelling, humorous great play.

“Tick, tick” to the writing of Letts and the direction of Anna D. Shapiro, as the performance unfolds with the delayed, uncoiling strike of a cobra, its ominous warnings, but still shocking and disturbing reality.

The cast is truly great. I do not read programs before, but picked mine up sensing it was the incredible Austin Pendleton as “Oldfield” a 39 year (think Jack Benny, 39 and Pendleton is so good and has been so often–a true great!) council member. It is Mr. Pendleton and he alone is worth the time.

Add another long time performer, still with the “chops,” namely Blair Brown, sitting at the table next to Pendleton, adding delightful spice.

Again the whole cast is excellent and in alphabetical order I cite–Ian Barford, Ms. Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, Mr. Letts, Danny McCarthy, James Vincent Meredith, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Mr. Pendleton, Noah Reid and Jeff Still.

Oh the thoughts, laughs, a clear reference to “The Searchers,” mine evoking Ned Beatty in the seminal film, “Network” and most of all history is written by the winners, but so often they are losers, bankrupt in morality and so full of fear, often hatred.

The Minutes offers so much, comedy, beautiful “weaving” of story and maybe a wake up vision!

Click below for more information, including that involving ticket purchases.

theminutesbroadway.comThe Minutes on Broadway

 

 

 

Watch Boxing’s “Garcia vs Fortuna” at Hoops Cabaret Sports Bar, July 16th

Hoops Cabaret in New York City (48 West 33rd Street) will present the boxing fight card featuring Ryan Garcia vs Javier Fortuna on Saturday night, July 16th.

The 12-round lightweight clash between undefeated, lightweight superstar Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18KOs), and former two-time world champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs)  will air live from Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena.

At Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar, fans can view the exciting bouts on the club’s giant Mega-Tron Video Wall and numerous HD TVs and flat screens, giving every seat a clear view of all the action.

Hoops Cabaret combines the  fun of a sports bar with the excitement of a gentlemen’s club. Be sure to check out the beautiful Hoops Girls on stage and visit the club’s VIP Man Cave. There are also food and drink specials. 

HOOPS Cabaret and Sports Bar 48 West 33rd Street, New York City, next door to the world famous Rick’s Cabaret NYC

Remembering Jim Pappin

Within less than a week before the sad news that the excellent NHL player, Jim Pappin had died at age 82, recollections of him had surfaced when I looked at the 1964 NHL ‘offs and began to chart overtime goal scorers in game 1 of an NHL final.

Jim Pappin was a member of two title winning teams with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the last 2, in ’64 as a part time player and in ’67 when he led their playoff scoring and is credited with the last Leafs’ Cup winning goal, some 55 years ago.

I remember Pappin best on the so called “MPH” line (Pit Martin and Dennis Hull were the others), with the Chicago Blackhawks. Twice they lost NHL final rounds to the Montreal Canadiens, in 6 to a heavily favored Habs team in ’73 and a heartbreaking 7 game series loss, with home advantage in 1971.

Pappin did so much to get “Chi” that far in ’71, “opening” vs the Rangers in a Sunday afternoon #4 with Chi down (2-1) in what was a great “semi,” an eventual 7 game win vs a Rangers’ team that had a better record but was (were?) “crossovered” sans home advantage, as the Blackhawks had finished first in the expansion West and were afforded home ice advantage, in that memorable “semi,” now so long ago.

Soon I will present a chart showing most teams that won #1 of a best of 7 NHL final in overtime, won said series. It happened that way with Andre Borakovsky scoring in overtime of game 1 for eventual Cup winning Colorado, vs two time defending champion Tampa Bay in this recently completed season.

Pappin scoring in overtime of game 1 and “Chi” losing to Montreal in ’71 are an exception.

Jim Pappin was an exceptional player and in one of hockey’s all-time moments was robbed of the tying goal in #7/’71, by the not yet rookie status, Montreal Goaltender, Ken Dryden’s unbelievable save.

 

Jim Pappin 1973.JPG

Jim Pappin, pictured above.

 

 

Exactly 39 Years Since Dave Righetti’s No Hit Game

It was exactly 39 years ago today on Monday July 4, 1983 that Dave Righetti of the New York Yankees hurled a no hit game vs the Boston Red Sox.

The game was on a cable outlet called Sports Channel and the legendary Mel Allen called the last out as Righetti struck out a great hitter, Wade Boggs.

Years later circa 2013, I sat with Dave Righetti in the San Francisco Giants’ dugout and he recalled the game and sent a nice recorded message to my now deceased friend Bernard Ganeles.

Dave was the pitching coach for all 3 relatively recent S.F. Giants’ title teams while Boggs and Boston, denied a crown in excruciating fashion by the Mets in the ’86 World Series won with the Yankees ten years later.

Click below to view hear the excellent broadcaster, Frank Messer’s radio call of the last out.

 

Click below to view my post from September 2013 when I talked with 3 Giants, including Righetti. The others were Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper and pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner, in the following year’s post-season evoked past greats as he led the Giants to the aforementioned third crown. 

Time, with its inevitable change, marches inexorably on and today Mr. Bumgarner is scheduled to pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks vs the San Francisco Giants in Arizona.

Boxing Grudge Match: Chisora vs Pulev

British heavyweight Derek Chisora will end a six-year wait for a shot at revenge when he takes on former world-title challenger Kubrat Pulev in London. Chisora previously dropped a split decision to Pulev when the pair clashed in Hamburg for the vacant European heavyweight title.

You can watch the international boxing event featuring Chisora vs Pulev on Saturday night, July 9th, at Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar in New York City.  

At Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar, fans can view the exciting bouts on the club’s futuristic Mega-Tron Video Wall and numerous HD TVs and flat screens, giving every seat a clear view of all the action.

You will also enjoy the sexy Hoops Cabaret girls who perform on stage and up close and personal. Hoops Cabaret combines the  fun of a sports bar with the excitement of a gentlemen’s club.

HOOPS Cabaret and Sports Bar 48 West 33rd Street, New York City, next door to the world famous Rick’s Cabaret NYC

Their Title Droughts Over: Red Sox/Cubs Noteworthy, However, No Big Deal

In hours, the Boston Red Sox, they of venerable Fenway Park begin a series at also venerable Wrigley Field in Chicago, vs the Cubs.

They met in the 1918 World Series and for 86 years that was the last time the Red Sox had “titled.”

At that 1918 point, the end of the last war, (what a joke–alas military man “Ike” knew), months away, it had been 10 years since the Cubs won the W.S. (they won in 1907 and 1908).

It would become 108.

Now each team’s drought is pretty long over, the Red Sox, still a contender and with 4 titles since 1918 or 2004 (you choose) and by far the better “near misses,” are the better franchise, however, this is a virtual exhibition series in a nice place.

Maybe that is all it need be.

 

Babe Ruth, is shown above, having hit a home run at Wrigley Field for the Yankees vs the Cubs in the 1932 World Series. 

Mr. Ruth also played at “Fenway,” for the Red Sox, starring primarily as a pitcher.

Greats Lou Gehrig congratulating “The Babe,” and catcher Gabby Hartnett are also shown above. 

Another esoteric note regarding 3 straight titles involves Hartnett.

In 1938, the Yankees became the first of 15 major North American sports league teams to win a third straight title, something the Avalanche, within the last week of time, denied the Tampa Bay Lightning.

10 of the 15 times a team made it 3 straight titles and as noted here “those #’s!) 9 of 11 times a team was denied a third straight crown, the winning coach or manager had a last name which started with an earlier letter in the alphabet than the rival “losing” coach or manager in the final round entity.

Such was not the case in ’38 as Yankees’ manager, Joe McCarthy’s “M” is later in the alphabet than Gabby Hartnett’s “H.”

 

Some Notes Regarding Bids For 3 Straight Crowns

It now stands that less than 60 percent of the teams bidding for the “rare air” accomplishment of 3 straight major North American sports leagues titles were successful.

The ‘Lanche 6 game triumph denied the Lightning a third straight crown, the 11th time a team bidding for a third straight title was denied. 15 times they were successful.

Really esoteric and maybe a bit scary, that I would even check, however I note 9 of the 11 (those #’s again!) winning coaches in the final round entities in which a team was denied a third straight crown, had/have last names, that start with earlier letters in the alphabet than the rival coach.

It was a touching scene when “Col” coach, Jared “B”ednar embraced and talked a bit with 2 time “C”up winning “c”oach, Jon “C”ooper of T.”B.” It is close, as was the series, but it is “B” before “C. ” In fact “before” is part of an all-time phrase involving the two letters.

Others times the above situation manifested:

Baseball (2)

Miller “H”uggins and the Yankees denying John “M”c Graw and the N.Y. Giants 1923 World Series

Walter “A”lston and the L.A. Dodgers ” ” Ralph “H”ouk and the New York Yankees 1963 World Series

Football (2)

Ray “F”laherty and the Washington Team denied George “H”alas and the Chicago Bears in the 1942 NFL Title Game

Paul “B”rown and the Cleveland Browns denying Buddy “P”arker and the Detroit Lions 1954 NFL Title Game

Basketball (2)

Chuck “D”aly and the Detroit Pistons denying Pat “R”iley and the L.A. Lakers 1989 NBA Final

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs denying Eric Spoelstra and the Miami Heat 2014 NBA Final

Hockey (2)

Hector “Toe” “B”lake and the Montreal Canadiens denying Jimmy Skinner and the Detroit Red Wings in the 1956 Stanley Cup Final

Scotty “B”owman and the Montreal Canadiens denying Fred “S”hero and the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1976 Stanley Cup Final

Twice the later alphabet coach prevailed. Both times a Toronto team “titled,” and remember the city of Toronto has won its last 6 final round entities (the Leafs doing so (’62-’64 and ’67), while the Blue Jays won both their final round/World Series appearances, winning it all in ’92 and ’93. Toronto last lost in a final in 1960, when Montreal under Blake, won a still and likely not to be broken 5th straight NHL title) In the 1967 NHL final, “Punch” “I”mlach and the Toronto Maple Leafs denied Hector “Toe” “B”lake and the Montreal Canadiens.

The other later in the alphabet coach to prevail in denying an opponent a third straight crown in a final round entity is the alliterative named, Nick “N”urse, who did so vs current champion, then and now Golden State Warriors’ coach, Steve Kerr in the 2019 NBA final.

 

George Wilson 1961.jpg

George Wilson pictured above, played on 4 title winning Chicago Bears’ teams (’40,’41,’43 and ’46) and the ’42 team denied a third straight crown in the title tilt. 

Apparently, he was an assistant coach on 2 Lions’ title teams (’52 and ’53) and the aforementioned ’54 team, that was denied a third straight crown. 

He later coached the Lions to their last title and in fact, final round entity in 1957. 

The Colorado Avalanche Win The Stanley Cup

Last night in Tampa, the Colorado Avalanche got the tying goal from Nathan MacKinnon and the go ahead to stay/last goal and most of all Stanley Cup winning goal from Arturri Lehkonen in a (2-1), game 6 win that gave the ‘Lanche their first title since 2001.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 of 23 shots (the great Steven Stamkos “opened” for the Lightning, still on a great run having won 2 titles, made 4 final rounds and 7 semis in a twelve year period (2011-2022), for the Avalanche, who are now (3-0) in final round play. (Only the Bulls (6-0) have a better final round mark and they last made a final in 1998).

It is the first time both the NBA and NHL final rounds ended with game 6 title clinchers won by the road team in 74 possibilities (1947-2022 with no NHL season in 2005 and only antiseptic, “bubble play” in 2020, when I believe, “technical” road teams the Lakers and Lightning secured titles with game 6 wins).

Colorado went (16-4) in the ‘offs, (9-1) on the road, clinching all 4 series there. Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

 

The Avalanche, (logo above) nee the Quebec Nordiques, join the Baltimore Orioles nee St. Louis Browns (their last crown was in same calendar 1983) and New Jersey Devils (originally the Kansas City Scouts, but coincidentally their last pre Devils location was Colorado, as the Rockies) as teams/franchises that not only changed cities/locales, but also nicknames, to gain a third title. (All 3 teams/franchises have 3 crowns, having won none in its previous location).