There was no indication that Harding herself plans to climb through the ropes, but, really, how long can it be until we see her unleash her triple Axel-body slam from the top turnbuckle?
Marvin Eugene Throneberry, as you can tell by his initials, was a born Met. Marvelous Marv, who died of cancer last week at age 60, left behind a legacy that defies his career numbers: a .237 batting average with 53 homers in seven major league seasons.
Once, Throneberry, a native of Collierville. Term., was a hot New York Yankee prospect, "a lefthanded first baseman who may be the best since Lou Gehrig," reported the New York Journal-American in 1956. Casey Stengel himself said in the spring of '57, "Throneberry is ambitious and serious, in fine shape...and I regard him as a ballplayer of great promise."
That promise never materialized, and in 1959 the Yanks sent Throneberry to the Kansas City Athletics. The A's later sent him to the Baltimore Orioles, and a few days into the '62 season the Orioles traded him to the fledgling New York Mets, managed by his old mentor Stengel. Throneberry actually had his best year with the '62 Mets, hitting .244 with 16 homers for a team that lost 120 games, but his ineptitude in the field and on the base paths came to symbolize the Amazin's. In one June game he cost New York six runs in one inning. In the top half of the first he allowed a Chicago Cub runner to bump into him during a rundown, leading to a four-run Cub rally, and in the bottom half, his triple with two men aboard went for naught because he failed to touch first base. When Stengel argued the call, umpire Dusty Boggess said, "Casey, he missed second, too."
Such misplays endeared Throneberry to the Met faithful, and at the New York Baseball Writers dinner alter the season, he was given the Good Guy award for his self-deprecating demeanor. "They told me not to stand up here too long holding this plaque," said Marvelous Man. "I might drop it."
In the spring of 1963 Throneberry held out for more money. "He's confusing the Good Guy award with the Most Valuable Player trophy," said Met general manager George Weiss. Throneberry eventually signed, but New York sent him down to Buffalo and he never had another major league at bat.
But the legend lived on. In the late 1970s and early '80s, Miller Lite featured Throneberry in a series of TV commercials. He became a star again, simply by uttering variations on the line, "I still don't know why they asked me to do this commercial." Even after the spots stopped running, Throneberry continued to do promotional work for Miller. And though he may not have produced on the field, he certainly produced off it: When he died back home near Collierville, Marvelous Marv left behind five children, 10 grandchildren and lour great-grandchildren.
Television viewers in Iran who tuned in to the Germany- Bolivia World Cup match in Chicago must have wondered why, with the players wilting in the summer heat, spectators at Soldier Field were wearing hats, gloves and fur coats. That inexplicable scene, which was repeated on subsequent World Cup telecasts, was not a sign of American insanity but the result of some sleight of hand by Iranian television.