Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tributes to Garry Shandling, Robert Horton and Joe Garagiola: Next on TVC

Authors James Rosin and Bob Leszczak will join us on a brand new edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing March 30-April 3 at the following times and venues:

WROM Radio
Detroit, MI
Wednesday 3/30
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Sunday 4/3
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
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KHDN AM-1230
KBSR AM-1490
KYLW AM-1450
Billings, MT
part of GLN Radio Network
Friday 4/1
3pm ET, Noon PT
Saturday 4/2
6pm ET, 3pm PT
Monday 4/4
3pm ET, Noon PT

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 4/1
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
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Use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in KSAV
or hear us on the KSAV channel on CX Radio Brazil

Indiana Talks
Marion, IN
Saturday 4/2
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 4/3
6pm ET, 3pm PT
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KSCO-AM 1080
San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA
KOMY-AM 1340
La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA
Sunday 4/3
9am ET, 6am PT
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KHMB AM-1710
KHMV-LP 100.9 FM

Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday 4/3
9pm PT
Monday 4/4
Midnight ET
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San Francisco, CA
Monday 4/4
10pm ET, 7pm PT
with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT
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Ann Arbor, MI
Various times throughout the week
on the Entertainment Channel at

Music and TV historian Bob Leszczak returns this week with some inside scoop on the second season of The Odd Couple, the Matthew Perry reimagining of the classic Neil Simon play, which returns to CBS on Thursday, April 7. Bob’s books include The Odd Couple on Stage and Screen, a comprehensive look at The Odd Couple and its various incarnation over the past five decades, and From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Re.... We’ll also pay tribute to Al Molinaro (Murray the Cop on the iconic ABC-TV version of The Odd Couple starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman), among other things, when Bob Leszczak joins us in our first hour.

Our second hour will remember some of the many film and TV celebrities who passed away last week. Television historian James Rosin (Wagon Train: The Television Series, Route 66: The Television Series) will pay tribute to Robert Horton, Peter Brown and director James Sheldon, plus we’ll play highlights from our previous conversations with Alan Zweibel, co-creator of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, about Garry Shandling, and Stephen Battaglio, author of From Yesterday to Today: Six Decades of America’s Favorite Morning ..., about Joe Garagiola.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Patty Duke

When I'm 80 and sitting in a rocking chair listening to the Rolling Stones, 
there is absolutely no way I'm going to feel old or forget my younger days 
-Patty Duke
Anna Marie "PattyDuke
December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016 
Patty Duke died this morning of March 29, 2016, at the age of 69, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

Patty Duke was born in Elmhurst, QueensNew York, the youngest of three children born to Frances (née McMahon), a cashier, and John Brock Duke, a handyman and cab driver. She was of German (from her maternal grandmother) and Irish descent (on both sides, her paternal grandparents, James and Katness (O'Hara) Duke, having immigrated to New York from County LongfordIreland).
Duke, her brother Raymond, and her sister Carol experienced a tough childhood. Their father was an alcoholic. Their mother suffered from clinical depression and was prone to violence. When Duke was six, her mother threw her father out. When she was eight, her care was turned over to talent managers John and Ethel Ross, who, after promoting Patty's brother, were looking for a girl to add to their stable of child actors.
The Rosses' methods of managing Duke's career were often unscrupulous and exploitative. They consistently billed Duke as being two years younger than she actually was and padded her resume with false credits. Ethel Ross gave the sweeping name-change order - "Anna Marie is dead; you're Patty now." She hoped that "Patty Duke" would duplicate the success of tween actress Patty McCormack. This act would have painful repercussions for Duke in the future.
One of Duke's first acting jobs was in the late 1950s, on the soap opera The Brighter Day. She also appeared in print ads and in television commercials. In 1959, at the age of 12, Duke appeared on The $64,000 Question and won $32,000. Her category of expertise was spelling. In 1962, it was revealed that the game show had been rigged and she was called to testify before a panel of the United States Senate.
In 1959, Duke appeared in a television adaptation of Meet Me in St. Louis as Tootie Smith, the role that had been originated in the film version by Margaret O'Brien.
Duke's first major starring role was playing Helen Keller (with Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan) in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, which ran for nearly two years (October 1959-July 1961). About midway through the production run, her name was placed above the title on the marquee. The play was subsequently made into a 1962 film, for which Duke received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At 16, Duke was the youngest person at that time to have received an Academy Award in a competitive category. Duke returned to television, starring with Laurence Olivier andGeorge C. Scott in a television production of The Power and the Glory (1961).

Duke's own series, The Patty Duke Show, which Sidney Sheldon created especially for her, began in 1963. Sheldon asked Duke to spend a week with his family at their home to generate ideas. At that time, it was not known that Duke had bipolar disorder but Sheldon did notice that she had two distinct sides to her personality and so developed the concept of identical cousins with contrasting personalities.

Duke portrayed both main characters: Patricia "Patty" Lane, a fun-loving American teenager who occasionally got into minor trouble at school and home, and her 'prim and proper' "identical cousin" from Scotland, Catherine "Cathy" Lane. William Schallert portrayed Patty's father Martin, Jean Byron her mother Natalie, Paul O'Keefe her younger brother Ross, and Eddie Applegate her boyfriend Richard. The show also featured such high-profile guest stars asSammy Davis, Jr.Peter LawfordPaul Lynde, and Sal Mineo. The series lasted three seasons and earned Duke an Emmy Award nomination. In 1999, the program's characters were revisited and updated in The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, with Cindy Williams taking on the villain role of Sue Ellen Turner when Kitty Sullivan was unable to reprise her role.
Despite her successful career, Duke was deeply miserable during her teenage years. The Rosses made efforts to portray her as a normal teenager, but she later indicated in her memoir Call Me Anna that she was virtually the Rosses' prisoner, and had little control over her earnings or her life. The Rosses controlled her and her mother by allowing them only a small amount of money to survive on. They also started supplying Duke with alcohol and prescription drugs when she was 13; this, along with her undiagnosed bipolar disorder, contributed to her young-adult substance-abuse problems. As an adult, Duke accused both Rosses of sexual abuse. Upon turning 18, Duke became legally free of the Rosses, only to discover that they had squandered most of her earnings, in violation of the Coogan Act.
After the cancellation of The Patty Duke Show, Duke attempted to leave her childhood success behind and began her adult acting career by playing Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls (1967). The film was a box-office success, but audiences and critics had a difficult time accepting all-American-teenager Duke as an alcoholic, drug-addicted singing star. While the film has since become a camp classic—thanks in large part to Duke's over-the-top performance—at the time, it almost ruined her career.
Duke starred in Me, Natalie (1969), a film in which she played an "ugly duckling" Brooklyn teenager struggling to make a life for herself in the Bohemian world in Greenwich Village. One of the other performers in the film was Al Pacino making his film debut. The film was a box-office failure, but Duke won the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) for the role.
Duke returned to television in 1970, starring in a made-for-TV movie, My Sweet Charlie. Her sensitive portrayal of a pregnant teenager on the run won Duke her first Emmy Award, but her acceptance speech was rambling, angry, and disjointed, and led many in the industry to believe she was drunk or using drugs at the moment. In fact, Duke was in the throes of a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, which would remain undiagnosed until 1982.
From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, Duke worked primarily in television Among other TV appearances, she could occasionally be seen as a guest celebrity on the game show Match Game. She received her second Emmy in 1977 for the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings, and her third in 1980 for a TV version of her 1979 stage revival of The Miracle Worker, this time playing Anne Sullivan to Melissa Gilbert's Helen Keller. Her turns in the made-for-TV movies The Women's Room (1980) and George Washington (1984) both garnered her Emmy nominations.
In 1982, Duke was cast alongside Richard Crenna in the ABC sitcom It Takes Two, from Soap and Benson creator Susan Harris. The socially topical series depicted both Duke's and Crenna's characters as a modern career couple (hers was a lawyer, his a surgeon) and the moral and personal challenges that abounded from their professions. Helen Hunt and Anthony Edwards played their teenaged offspring. Although It Takes Two was praised, ABC cancelled the series after one season due to low ratings.

Duke subsequently worked with Susan Harris on a new ABC series, Hail To The Chief, which premiered in April 1985. She appeared as the first female President of the United States in the ensemble, all-star series, which featured, among others, Dick ShawnHerschel BernardiGlynn Turman, and Ted Bessell as Duke's husband. The material was topical yet off-the-wall, much in the fashion of the previously popular show SoapHail To The Chief was less successful than the star's and producer's previous joint effort, It Takes Two, and was cancelled after only seven episodes. In 1987, Duke returned to series television in another short-lived comedy, Karen's Song, which aired on the fledgling Fox network.
While between series in 1986, Duke starred in the made-for-TV movie A Time to Triumph, the true story of Concetta Hassan, a middle-aged woman who struggles to support her family after her construction worker husband suffers an on-the-job injury, but who eventually becomes a United States Army helicopter pilot. On set, Duke became good friends with Army drill sergeant Michael Pearce, who was a technical advisor for the production; the couple married on March 15, 1986.

Duke succeeded Ed Asner as president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1985 and would hold the post until 1988. She was the second woman (actress Kathleen Nolan was the first) to be elected to the position.
In 1990, Duke's autobiography, Call Me Anna, was adapted for television; she played herself from her mid-30s onward.
Though Duke's primary medium from the late-1970s to the mid-2000s was television, she continued to take small roles in movies. Her 1982 portrayal of a lesbian fashion designer in the Canadian film By Design garnered her a Genie Award nomination for Best Foreign Actress. Duke portrayed the mother o fMeg Ryan's character in the 1992 film adaptation of the play Prelude to a Kiss. Her appearances in three episodes of Touched by an Angel resulted in an Emmy nomination in 1999.
Duke gradually reduced her work schedule throughout the first decade of 2000, but took occasional TV and film roles. She returned to the New York stage in 2002, playing Aunt Eller in a revival of Oklahoma! She returned to New York in 2005, but not for any role; she instead attended a memorial for Anne Bancroft, who had died from uterine cancer.
On November 2, 2004, Duke announced that she would undergo single cardiac bypass surgery in Idaho. The surgery was successful.
On October 4, 2007, Duke appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talking about her bipolar disorder to a guest, advising the guest to seek out a support group.
In early 2009, Duke reprised her role(s) as Patty Lane and Cathy Lane in PSAs about retiring for The Social Security Administration. Another opportunity for her to reprise Patty and Cathy has been in 2016 for the promotion of MeTV.
On March 24, 2009, she replaced Carol Kane as Madame Morrible in the San Francisco production of the musical Wicked. She left the production on February 7, 2010.
On July 20, 2009, Duke was given a tribute in her honor at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco titled "Sparkle, Patty, Sparkle!" During the evening, Duke met and posed for pictures with over one thousand fans and was interviewed on stage by comic Bruce Vilanch. In addition to showing clips from her long career, Duke's 1967 film Valley of the Dolls was screened at the end of the evening. The event sold out the 1400 seat theater.
In 2010, Duke recorded a series of PSAs for the Social Security Administration to help promote applying online for Medicare, including one with George Takei.
In May 2011, Duke directed the stage version of The Miracle Worker at Interplayers Theater in Spokane, Washington.
In June 2011, TVLine announced that Duke will be joining the cast in Lifetime’s drama The Protector playing the role of Beverly, the mother of Ally Walker’s titular homicide detective. The series was cancelled not long after this announcement was made.
She played the mother of a murdered deep-sea diver on the Oct. 10, 2011, episode of Hawaii Five-0.
In the fourth season of Fox's hit show Glee, Duke played lesbian jeweler Jan, who helped Blaine Anderson pick out a wedding ring to propose to his ex-boyfriend Kurt Hummel.
In the third season of Disney's Liv and Maddie, Duke guest starred as Grandma Janice and Great-aunt Hilary, a pair of identical twins against Dove Cameron who is also playing a pair of twins.
Duke had a successful singing career, including two Top 40 hits in 1965, "Don't Just Stand There" (#8) and "Say Something Funny" (#22). Another recording was "Dona Dona" in 1968, which she performed as the second song on The Ed Sullivan Show. Also during 1968, she had appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and after George Jessel's comic appearance, she was introduced and sang the Irish classic, "Danny Boy". She also sang songs on such shows as Shindig!, Kraft Music Hall, The Mike Douglas Show, and The Merv Griffin Show. She sang in the 1965 feature film Billie and sang on the soundtrack of the 1966 feature film, The Daydreamer, in which she voiced the character of Thumbelina. She has recorded a string of six LP's in her musical career.
In 1987, Duke revealed in her autobiography that she was diagnosed with manic depression (now called bipolar disorder) in 1982. Her treatment, which included lithium as a medication and therapy, stabilized Duke's life and put her on the road to recovery. She became the first celebrity to go public with her bipolar disorder diagnosis, and has contributed to de-stigmatizing bipolar disorder. Duke then became an activist for numerous mental health causes. She has lobbied the United States Congress and joined forces with the National Institute of Mental Health and National Alliance on Mental Illness in order to increase awareness, funding, and research for people with mental illness.[3]
Patty Duke's character in the 2011 series The Protector is shown struggling with accepting her bipolar disorder, mimicking her real-life condition.

On August 17, 2004, Duke received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the motion picture industry.
On December 14, 2007, Duke was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree from the University of North Florida for her work in advancing awareness of mental health issues.
On March 6, 2010, Duke was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Her son, actor Sean Astin, was born on February 25, 1971. Though Duke said in her 1987 autobiography that John Astin was Sean's biological father, she later stated that she had always believed that Desi Arnaz Jr. was Sean's biological father.[18] It turned out that neither statement was correct; in 1994, Sean Astin underwent biological testing to determine his paternity, and the results showed that Astin's father is actually Michael Tell.

Good Night                       
Ms. Duke

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Monday, March 28, 2016

This Week in Television History: March 2016 PART V

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:



As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth reallylies.

March 30, 1966
Barbra Streisand's Color Me Barbra special aired on CBS-TV.

April 3, 1956
Elvis sings his first RCA recording, "Heartbreak Hotel," on NBC's Milton Berle Show
An estimated 25 percent of America's population saw him sing that night; by April 21, the song had become Elvis' first No. 1 single.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".


Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

Friday, March 25, 2016

Joe Garagiola

I went through baseball as 'a player to be named later.
-Joe Garagiola
Joseph Henry Garagiola, Sr.February 12, 1926 – March 23, 2016
Joe Garagiola died on March 23, 2016, at the age of 90.

Joe Garagiola was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up on Elizabeth Avenue in an Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis known as The Hill, just across the street from his childhood friend and competitor,Yogi Berra. (That block was subsequently renamed "Hall of Fame Place".) When Berra and Garagiola were both teenagers, almost all pro scouts rated Garagiola as the better baseball prospect, although Berra had a Hall of Fame career, and Garagiola always respected Berra's ability. About growing up living next to Berra, Garagiola once said, "Not only was I not the best catcher in the Major Leagues, I wasn't even the best catcher on my street!"

Garagiola was signed at age 16 by the St. Louis Cardinals organization. At age 17, he remains the youngest player to play in Columbus Red Birdshistory. Garagiola advanced to Columbus of the Class AA American Association in 1943, and was with them when he was called into military service on April 24, 1944. After taking basic training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Garagiola was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he quickly established himself as the catcher for the Fort Riley Centaurs, with teammates Rex Barney and Pete Reiser.
Garagiola was sent to the Philippines in 1945, where he played ball for Kirby Higbe’s Manila Dodgers. He was discharged from service in early 1946, and he was just 20 years old when he joined the Cardinals. Garagiola made his major league debut in 1946.

As a rookie in 1946, in his only World Series appearance, Garagiola batted a 6-for-19 in five games, including a Game 4 where he went 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs. By contrast, Ted Williams went only 5-for-25 in the same series, which was also Williams' only World Series appearance. On September 11, 1947, Joe Garagiola and Jackie Robinson were involved in an incident at home plate. Garagiola stepped on Robinson's foot and the two started arguing. Umpire Beans Reardon held back Garagiola while Robinson clapped. The incident was later part of a children's book titled In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.
Garagiola never quite lived up to the promise of his youth, appearing in only 676 games over 9 seasons for St. Louis, the Pittsburgh PiratesChicago Cubs, and New York Giants. He was a mediocre (though certainly good for a catcher) hitter in the majors, which featured in his self-deprecating humor. He once told this story himself: "He knew that it was time to retire when he was catching, and his ex-teammate Stan Musial stepped into the batter's box, turned to Joe, and said, "When are you gonna quit?""
Looking back at his career in 1970, Garagiola observed, "It's not a record, but being traded four times when there are only eight teams in the league tells you something. I thought I was modeling uniforms for the National League."

After his retirement from baseball, Garagiola lent his name to a 1960 book, Baseball is a Funny Game, which sold well upon release and helped establish Garagiola as a "personality." The book—largely ghostwritten—was a collection of humorous anecdotes surrounding his upbringing and his playing career, and showcased the folksy, humorous style that became his trademark as a broadcaster.
Garagiola was also the author of It's Anybody's Ballgame (1980) and Just Play Ball (2007).
Garagiola turned to broadcasting following his retirement as a player, first calling Cardinals radio broadcasts on KMOX from 1955 to 1962.
As an announcer, Garagiola was best known for his almost 30-year association with NBC television. He began doing national baseball broadcasts for the network in 1961 (teaming with Bob Wolff). Additionally, Garagiola called several World Series on NBC Radio in the 1960s, teaming with a number of announcers including By Saam and George Kell. After a stint doing New York Yankees games from 1965 to 1967, that saw him call Mickey Mantle's 500th home run, Garagiola returned to broadcasting NBC baseball, initially as the host of the pre-game showThe Baseball World of Joe Garagiola, and then as a play-by-play announcer beginning in 1974.
Garagiola alternated play-by-play duties with Curt Gowdy on NBC until 1976, when he assumed the role full-time. He teamed with color commentator Tony Kubek from 1976 to 1982; in 1983, he shifted to color commentary as Vin Scully joined the network as lead play-by-play announcer. (Kubek joined Bob Costas to form NBC's #2 baseball announcing duo in this era.) Besides working on the Saturday Game of the Week for NBC, the team of Scully and Garagiola would call three All-Star Games (19831985, and 1987), three National League Championship Series (19831985, and 1987), and three World Series (19841986, and 1988).
After calling the 1988 World Series with Scully, Garagiola resigned from NBC Sports. NBC was on the verge of losing the television rights to cover Major League Baseball to CBS, and Garagiola claimed that the network left him "twisting" while he was trying to renegotiate his deal. Garagiola was replaced on the NBC telecasts by Tom Seaver.
After leaving NBC Sports, Garagiola spent one season (1990) as a cable-television commentator for the California Angels. From 1998 to 2012, he performed part-time color commentary duties for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where his son, Joe Garagiola, Jr., served as general manager. Garagiola officially announced his retirement from broadcasting on February 22, 2013.
Besides calling baseball games for NBC, Garagiola served as a panelist on The Today Show from 1967 to 1973 and again from 1990 to 1992. He also occasionally guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, including the only live appearances of any members of The Beatles on the program while still a group (John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the guests in May 1968).
In the late 1960s and 1970s, Garagiola also hosted the game shows He Said, She SaidJoe Garagiola's Memory GameSale of the Century; and To Tell the Truth, as well as a short-lived '80s game, Strike It Rich. Garagiola was also a guest celebrity panelist on Match Game in the late 1970s. He also hosted the St. Louis area professional wrestling show, titled Wrestling at the Chase, and was a regular host of the Orange Bowl Parade in Miami on New Year's Eve. Garagiola later gained a new form of fame as co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for USA Network from 1994 to 2002.
From 1969 to 1970, Garagiola was the Saturday afternoon host of the NBC Radio Network program Monitor. (A link to a sample of his hosting is found below.) During the 1960s, he also contributed commentaries to Monitor for several years and had a daily five-minute morning drivetime sports commentary program on the network.
In 1970, Garagiola appeared at a preliminary trial following former Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood's lawsuit against Major League Baseball, challenging the game's reserve clause. Testifying before Judge Irving Ben Cooper in New York, Garagiola defended the clause, a stance he later deemed a "terrible mistake".
In the 1976 presidential election, Garagiola strongly supported the candidacy of President Gerald Ford. In the fall campaign the Republican National Committee hired Garagiola to do a series of television ads with Ford; the ads consisted of Garagiola talking to Ford in a relaxed, informal setting. Derided by Ford's critics as "The Joe and Jerry Show", the ads in their opinion were considered to have negatively affected the Ford campaign. The two men became close friends, however, and on election night 1976, President Ford invited Garagiola to be one of his guests at the White House to watch the results on television.

Garagiola was an advocate against the use of chewing tobacco. He had picked up the habit during his playing days with the Cardinals, but quit cold turkey in the late-1950s. He annually visited major league teams during spring training, alongside players from his generation who have suffered from oral cancer related to the addiction.
Garagiola was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1970. He was presented with a Peabody Award in 1973 for his NBC work. In 1991, he was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for outstanding broadcasting accomplishments. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He has also been given his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted him in 2008 for his Wrestling at the Chase broadcasts. In 2012, he was honored by the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Phoenix, receiving its inaugural Legacy Award at its 24th Annual Crozier Gala for his tireless help and generosity with the St. Peter's Mission School on the Gila River Reservation. (The American Sportscasters Association also honored him for his work with the St. Peter's Mission School with its Humanitarian Award in 1995.)

On December 4, 2013, Garagiola was named as the 2014 recipient of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, presented once every three years by the Baseball Hall of Fame for positive contributions to Major League Baseball. The Hall's official announcement specifically cited his advocacy againstsmokeless tobacco, as well as his role as a founder of the Baseball Assistance Team, a charity that provides grants to needy members of the professional baseball community.

Good Night Mr. Garagiola

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa