Dec 122008

The first Major League game of baseball I ever attended was a 1973 Oakland A’s game in Oakland. I was 9 and I don’t remember who they played but I do remember that it was “Official Oakland A’s Baseball Night” and all kids received a baseball with the A’s logo on it. Players were available for autographs and I got me some.

Shortly thereafter we moved back to Phoenix. No major league baseball…but we had Spring Training and every year my grandfather gave me season tickets to… the Oakland A’s training in Scottsdale. This gave me tremendous access to gather autographs on my team ball. At the peak I had; Rollie Fingers, Paul Lindblad, Ray Fosse, Catfish Hunter, Ken Holtzman, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris, Phil Garner, Ted Kubiak, Vida Blue (who insisted on signing with a blue pen), Joe Rudi, Manny Trillo, Billy North, Dick Green and Philly favorite Chuck Finley.

The only other sig I really, really wanted was Reggie Jackson

And I got my chance.

I was at a Spring Training game with my dad and hustled down mid inning to get a hot dog and who should be in line right in front of me…Mr. Reggie Jackson. He was on the injured list that day with a broken toe. My dad was watching me from the back of the top of the bleachers. We made eye contact and without a word he dropped down my baseball and a pen. I flagged the ball and scooped the pen off the ground and asked Mr. Jackson for his autograph as he left with his hot dog and Coke…

“Get outta here kid! Can’t you see I’m injured?!”

My dad was pissed, took my ball and pen and started off for the dugout. I stopped him. I didn’t want that guy’s autograph anymore.

I followed baseball for a few more years. The A’s disbanded, most going to NY, and I tried to become a Yankee fan. But that just furthered the bad taste in my mouth. Reggie, the Yankees and a growing dislike of all things JOCK, put me off baseball for close to 20 years…


  13 Responses to “The Official RTH Non-Interview with Keith Levene”

  1. Tragic.

    I was reminded of a song by Schnell Fenster titled “When You’re Heros Let You Down”.

    My sympathies sammymaudlin.

    Sure would have been a good interview though.


  2. dbuskirk

    Love the new SECOND EDITION cover. Sounds like you’re lucky he didn’t invite you over for fava beans.

  3. BigSteve

    Sammy has the patience of a saint. This guy’s brain is obviously fried. How do people like this function in the real world? These exchanges make Richard Lloyd sound accommodating.

  4. Keith Levene sounds annoyingly eccentric but Reggie Jackson sounds like a flat out douche, especially given your age at the time. This kind of behavior is why I have no interest in meeting my idols.

  5. sammymaudlin

    An aside on the Reggie story- Some guy who witnessed the exchange between us yelled after Reggie “You sign autographs with your foot?!”

  6. Big Steve wrote: “These exchanges make Richard Lloyd sound accommodating.”

    Actaully I was thinking these two need to be interviewed *together* – that would be a trip

  7. hrrundivbakshi

    What did you guys expect? Dude plays a Travis Bean guitar, fer chrissakes!

  8. Mr. Moderator

    I never liked Reggie Jackson – in fact, he’s one of the only superstars in any field from Philly that no one here cares about (for instance, even Kobe Bryant has maintained his share of hometown fans) – but now I like him less for dampening your love for baseball during the time when we first met. I had no idea you knew who Paul Linblad was until I read this piece. Good thing we had enough other shared interests way back when.

    As for how you handled this Levene interaction, way to make lemonade from the lemons he handed you.

    Hrrundi, your wisdom and maturity are to be admired. The Travis Bean guitar should have been all the information Sammy needed to know regarding the diminishing chances of this interview taking place.

  9. So did you ever find Commercial Zone? If not, I can help you out.

  10. sammymaudlin

    I did find it. It was very interesting but I doubt I’ll listen to it again. Loads better than what Lydon released though.

  11. You say you’re a fan and yet you print this – even private emails that were meant to be private? Your non-interview is lame at best. Take another look at your questions dude, almost all of the questions relate to a time 20-30 years ago. Shame when he has stuff going on today. Looking at your questions, makes me wonder how many artists you have interviewed – Dugout Chatter? And fyi, I heard through the London musicians grapevine that Keith’s wife has been quite ill and maybe he just didn’t find the time to do your interview. Looks like you’ve been punk’d by one of the original punks. Rock on.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    I for one am thrilled that we now have a member who’s hip to the “London musician’s grapevine.”

  13. jeangray

    How do I get in on this London musician’s grapevine????????

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