SI Vault
Pat Jordan
June 09, 1975
There's no debating the dolce of his vita around the pad; the question about Tim Foli, slick fielder and hothead, is whether his temperament has helped or hurt his career
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June 09, 1975

Shortstop With A Short Fuse

There's no debating the dolce of his vita around the pad; the question about Tim Foli, slick fielder and hothead, is whether his temperament has helped or hurt his career

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They are debating the question of whether she should pose nude for Playboy. "Oh, Baby! But it's art!" says the Bunny sitting on Tim Foli's lap. "I don't care," says Foli. "I don't want the whole world to see what I got." "Oh, Baby, you're so jealous! Like a little boy." She frowns, sticks out her lower lip in imitation of a petulant child about to cry. She tosses her long blonde hair, folds her arms across her chest and arches her back. She is wearing a long skirt and a gauzy white peasant blouse. Foli, wearing a plaid shirt and jeans, absent-mindedly begins to scratch her back.

Foli's attention wanders to the music emanating from his elaborate stereo system, whose speakers dominate the living room of his Montreal apartment. The apartment is decorated in a style—Playboy Gothic—that seems to be typical of unmarried professional athletes. The dining room contains a massive table and brightly cushioned chairs, and the walls are beige, while the living room is all macho brown and black naugahyde that has been tufted, rolled, pleated and buttoned like the interior of a highly customized automobile. The living-room rug, shaggy as an unshorn sheep, is sprinkled with satin pillows, one of which is adorned with the silhouette of a rabbit wearing a Henry James collar. Spread across one entire wall is a rug depicting Tibetan tigers gamboling up and down snowcapped mountains, which must surely be the Himalayas.

"Aren't they lifelike?" says the Bunny, who seems to have forgotten her petulance. "Like they're gonna jump right out at you. I discovered it on one of my modeling assignments."

"She's very photogenic," says Foli. "Last year she was voted Montreal's Bunny of the Year and then on national television she was picked Miss Photogenic out of all the Bunnies in the world."

"Oh, Baby," she says. She twists around to face him and they kiss, oblivious, as if sitting in the rear seat of a 1950 Mercury. All that's missing is a toy dog propped in the rear window, his mechanical head nodding eternally. When they finish kissing, she turns and says, "Once I visited the Playboy Club in Chicago. It was breathtaking! All those gigantic nudes on the walls! I mean, it was in such good taste. Very artistic. While I was there I got to pose for this really super photographer. It was an honor to work with him, and so thrilling! I just lost myself, started striking all these seductive poses. I was wearing clothes, of course. This one is jealous. He was afraid that maybe I showed too much. I had to show him how far I unbuttoned my shirt. Only to here. Right, Baby? Like I told you?"

"They're dying for her to pose for a centerfold," says Foli. "They're pleading with her. But she won't do it. Besides, I don't want her to."

"I don't know why, Baby. It makes me so mad. People have this terrible image of Bunnies. Just because they pose for the centerfold doesn't mean they, you know, sleep around. Why, when Baby and I started dating in Montreal the publicity was terrible. The Expos tried to get him to stop. They said it gave the club a bad image. But now that they see that we have a lasting relationship going, other players are dating Bunnies."

"But I was the first," says Foli. "It was rough for a while. The newspapers really laid it on her. They made such a big thing out of her being older than me. I mean, I'm 23 and she's only—."

"Oh, Baby! How could you? It's only three years and it's like my death—well, four then. I just turned 27."

"When I first started dating her I had to make her see that age didn't mean a thing. Just because I'm 23 doesn't mean I act like a kid."

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