Tuesday, June 12, 2007

L.A. Confrontational

Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, and the orange groves stretch as far as the eye can see. There are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside every house, a happy, all-American family. You can have all this, and who knows . . .you could even be discovered, become a movie star . . . or at least see one. Life is good in Los Angeles . . . it's paradise on Earth.

That's what they tell you, anyway. In 1953, though, Ed Exley and the boys were needed to break up a pinstripe riot between the LA Angels and the Hollywood Stars over at Gilmore Field on Beverly Boulevard which the ump describes in yesterday's Los Angeles Times as "the biggest fight in baseball history."

The "pugilistic pips," as reporter Al Wolf's account in The Times described the skirmishes, lasted for nearly 30 minutes, Carlucci recalls.

Police Chief Bill Parker, watching at home on television, ordered officers to the stadium on Beverly Boulevard — CBS Television City stands there now — and warned that additional incidents would result in the booking of offenders . . . By game's end, officers and players were seated side by side in the dugouts. All but the players still involved in the game had been banished to the clubhouses, many of them nursing cuts, scrapes, black eyes and other minor wounds.

I admire those guys as ballplayers. Particularly their adherence to violence as a necessary adjunct to the job.