The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Bloopperstown
Good morning. It's Monday, September 10, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
As we prepare to close out the MLB regular season, Cynopsis Sports caught up with Bruce Nash, CEO/President of Nash Entertainment and creator/executive producer of more than 80 TV series ranging from "Amazing Sports Stories" to "Before They Were Stars" to "Modern Marvels." Nash recently revamped an older franchise, not on TV but as a book, writing-with Allan Zullo-The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown. The book chronicles the most dubious, eyebrow-raising feats in baseball history, from stadium promotions to plays.
Cynopsis Sports spoke with Nash about his desire to revamp the Hall of Shame book franchise, his favorite stories as well as a potential TV future for the book.
Nash on the decision to do the book: We had the first Hall of Shame book out in 1985. I hadn't done one of those books in a long time but was recently at Dodgers Stadium with a couple of families that we are friendly with which included two boys, one from one family and one from another. I was telling them stories from my old books and they would sit there-wide-eyed and amazed-and go 'That really happened?!' They loved them so much that I called my former writing partner Allan Zullo and told them how these kids relished these stories and they can't be lost in time. Baseball is all about passing on stories from one generation to the next.
On a favorite story from baseball lore: One I like, and you'd never see this in a game today, but back in the day a fella hit a long hit out to the outfield. Back then, there was a dog house back by the outfield wall, where the groundskeeper kept his dog. The batter ran around the bases and the outfielder, Ed Delahanty (Big Ed) who was a Hall of Famer saw the ball roll into the doghouse. So Big Ed crawled into the dog house to retrieve the ball wall the runner is going around the bases. He gets the ball and tried to get out, but he can't because he gets stuck in the dog house. So the batter circles the bases and scores for the first and only inside-the-doghouse home run. True story.
On finding the stories: We did a lot of research. We also went to Cooperstown, and went through yellowed newspaper clippings, as well as old magazines from the 20s and 30s. Fortunately, when we checked these stories out, many of them were true. We also got the stories from baseball players as well, retired players and current players. Years ago, Allan and I were on a radio show for our first book in Chicago and the host had a surprise for us. He told us he wanted to check out a story to see if our facts were right. On the phone, he had the manager Lou Boudreau. The host then tells Lou that we had him in the Baseball Hall of Shame, and reads the story live on the air. Then there is this pause, which seems like it lasted forever, and Lou Boudreau then says "I'm sorry to say it's all true."
On whether he will again dabble in sport programming: I did a series I am very proud of that was more on the inspirations, human interest dramatic side of sports, Amazing Sports Stories for Fox Sports Net. That was a very serious show however. What I want to do today with these stories and others that I've collected is to possibly do a television series where we retell stories of the past and chronicle stories that are happening today with all the off-beat, wacky side of sports. Not the drugs and sex, it's not about that. It's about humorous stuff, everybody makes mistakes, even the best baseball players.