Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bilko’s Bartender

Every pro baseball player today has an agent. Some even have lawyers and accountants. Stout Steve Bilko, the Los Angeles Angels’ slugging seraph from 1955 to 1957, was flying solo with one exception his first season in L.A. – he had his own bartender. In 1955, Bilko shared an efficiency apartment at the Wellington Hotel […]

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And Here Comes Bilko!

The four most electrifying words in Los Angeles in 1956 were, “And here comes Bilko!” The signature phrase of Bob Kelley, the voice of the Los Angeles Angels, was used to stir radio listeners when Steve Bilko came to bat with runners on base and a rally brewing. “And here comes Bilko!” Kelley screamed time […]

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The Shot Heard Over and Over Again

A decade has passed since New York City was darkened by the blackout of Thursday, August 14, 2003. Pino’s Restaurant, made famous by David Halberstram’s book, The Teammates, closed the following year. Bobby Murcer, the former New York Yankees centerfielder and a regular at Pino’s, died in 2008. All that’s left are memories of the […]

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Statuetting the ’56 Angels

There are no statues of Steve Bilko or any other members of the 1956 Los Angeles Angels but there are picture statuettes created by Jim Fanning, a backup catcher until he was sent to the lower minors six weeks into the season. “I gave away more than I sold,” Fanning said. “I didn’t make any money.” […]

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Bilko the Great

Elvis Presley had teenage girls swooning with his pelvic gyrations, Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis were the most popular movie stars in Hollywood according to a national survey and Rocky Marciano had just retired as the undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion. But in the summer of 1956, it was Steve Bilko dominating the headlines of […]

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Back to the Fifties

  The biggest change in baseball over the last half-century is the relationship between players and fans. There’s a growing economic divide made even greater by players’ security and privacy concerns. To bridge this gap, the Washington Nationals host an annual event, called NatsFest, so fans can meet current Nationals players as well as past […]

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