Buddy LeRoux is dead and as befits Stirrings these days, that brings up a story about the time I had a confrontation with him . Hmmm, I see a theme emerging here (See Norman Mailer post).
LeRoux was an interesting guy because at one time he was the trainer of the Boston Red Sox (and the Boston Celtics, too) and somehow he managed to worm his way up the corporate ladder to the point where he was an owner of the team. He was a terrible owner, although I enjoyed watching the team just about every night.
I worked at WHDH in Boston, and Carlo Lagrotteria, the president of the BoSox Club just happened to be one of the bosses at WHDH. So he would come through the newsroom every night and say, "who wants tickets?" In his hand was about a 6" stack of tickets.
I was single at the time, I had no reason to go home, so I would walk over to Fenway and plop myself down in the WHDH seats, 5 rows behind the Red Sox dugout and think about how, at a young age, I had achieved every dream I ever had. I was working in radio, in Boston (OK, so I wasn't a sportscaster; big deal!) and I was sitting in the nice seats at Fenway Park on many an evening. I loved Boston. I loved that life.
But I digress...
One day, we needed to get ahold of Buddy LeRoux for a story. I can't remember what the story was but it was probably about something utterly stupid that Buddy LeRoux had done to screw up the team.
We tried all day to get in touch with him but he wouldn't return our calls.
A friend of mine on the staff, Bruce Cornblatt (another story about him here), who would later to go on to be the producer of Later with Bob Costas (for which he won an Emmy), told me, "leave a message and use my name."
Now, I was young at the time and did not know that when someone says "use my name," what they really mean is, "call and leave a message and say I told you to call."
So instead, I called the Red Sox front office and asked for Buddy LeRoux and when the woman said, "Who's calling?", I gave the obvious answer.
"Bruce Cornblatt," I said.
The next voice I heard was Buddy LeRoux's.
"Hi, Bruce, how are ya?"
In a moment of panic, I quickly evaluated whether I could do a good Bruce Cornblatt imitation and that collided head-long with the moral upbringing my parents had provided to me and so I stammered, "well, ummm, Buddy, this isn't Bruce, really. It's Bob Collins."
God, you probably already know this about the guy who arrived up there today. But that guy swears, God. I swear to God, God, that guy swears.
An interview with Tom Berge
5 months ago