Make a selection



An All-Star Evening of Baseball & Political Comedy

 ~ Photo Scrapbook by Larry Goren ~

            The Baseball Reliquary’s third annual all-star comedy benefit launched the 2004 major league baseball season in uproarious style on Wednesday, March 31 at the Ice House in Pasadena, California. The evening’s theme, most appropriate for an election year, was “Pete Rose For President: Baseball Meets Politics.” The fundraiser coincided with an exhibition being presented by the Baseball Reliquary at the Pomona Public Library, “When You’re Out, You’re Out: Baseball & Politics,” from March 8-April 30. All proceeds from the benefit at the Ice House went to support the various public exhibitions and programs of the Baseball Reliquary.
            Once again, Jack Riley and Tom Tully were instrumental in compiling the evening’s roster of performers, a star-studded collection of comedians which has distinguished itself for years in stand-up, television, radio, film, and theater. The show got off to a rousing start when Jack Riley entered the room wearing a priest’s chasuble, holding the book Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars to his forehead as though it were a missal, accompanied by an entourage of performers from Off the Wall, one of Los Angeles’ premiere improv groups. They entered the darkened room wearing choir robes, holding candles, and singing a Gregorian chant, replacing the traditional lyrics with humorous incantations about Pete Rose. The stage would soon become a pulpit, as Father Riley opened Rose’s book as if it were for a sermon and read hilarious passages to the congregation (although we’re pretty sure they were not intended to be humorous when written).
            In a yeoman effort, Jack Riley also served as the evening’s emcee, participating in a number of sketches and introducing, in approximate order of appearance, Wayne Federman, John Caponera, Ed Crasnick, Greg Proops, Andy Kindler, Kelly Kursten, Hamilton Camp, Joe Liss, Tom Tully, George Wendt, John Mendoza, and Ed Driscoll. Guest appearances included legendary Dodger Stadium vendor Roger “The Peanut Man” Owens, who presented a lively demonstration in the art of peanut tossing, and folksinger Ross Altman, who performed “Mr. Baseball,” his musical paean to Pete Rose.
            The evening concluded with Jack Riley, Tom Tully, and George Wendt returning to the stage for a simulated radio sports talk show, aided by “call-in” guests Wendy Cutler as Jamie McCourt (wife of the Los Angeles Dodgers owner); Andy Goldberg as Mose Solomon (the legendary Jewish slugger of the 1920s who was nicknamed “The Rabbi of Swat”); and Hamilton Camp as George Herman Ruth (not the renowned Bambino, but a mechanic from Duarte).

Jack Riley, Opening Ceremony Ed Crasnick Greg Proops George Wendt, Tom Tully, and Jack Riley
Wayne Federman John Caponera Andy Kindler Kelly Kursten
Hamilton Camp Tom Tully Terry Cannon George Wendt John Mendoza
Ed Driscoll Jack Riley Roger “The Peanut Man” Owens Ross Altman

Back Next 
[Collections Index]