Posts Tagged ‘Dean Martin’

Aspro the Astro

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Bob Aspromonte fit nicely with the cultural paradigm built upon a “boys will be boys” philosophy in the 1960s, the decade when Joe Namath swaggered while Dean Martin swigged, offering touchstones for male fantasies of being famous and female fantasies of being in the orbit of an Alpha Male planet.

A lifetime .252 hitter, Aspromonte spent most of his 13-year career with the Houston Astros né Colt .45s. A couple of months before the Colt .45s inaugurated Major League Baseball in Houston, Mickey Herskovitz of the Houston Post profiled the Brooklyn native in a February 1, 1962 article titled “Colts’ Bob Aspromonte Favorite of the Ladies.  “The Brooklyn bachelor is so handsome that you hate him instantly…except that Bob won’t let you.  He never loses his sunny humor, no matter how much kidding he gets about being a ladykiller,” wrote Herskovitz.

A 1969 profile by Al Thomy in the Sporting News queried about Aspromonte’s single status.  “Interviewing Bob Aspromonte in a posh restaurant staffed by micro-mini clad young ladies, is not unlike trying to carry on a conversation with a harried sultan in a chattering harem.  It is most difficult to keep his attention,” wrote Thomy in “Most Eligible Bachelor…How About Aspro?”

Attention by females, though an ego boost, mattered not to performance on the baseball diamond.  “All this talk about being a bachelor and the Valentino of baseball doesn’t help a bit when I make an error,” explained Aspromonte in the Thomy piece.  “It comes back at you from the stands pretty often.  Once in Houston, after a bonehead play of mine, a fan yelled out, ‘Hey, Hollywood boy, what are you doing out there on a baseball field?  You ought to be in pictures!'”

Aspromonte started his career in 1956 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing one game.  After spending three seasons in the minors, Aspromonte rejoined the Dodgers, in Los Angeles by this time.  A two-year tenure in Tinseltown gave Aspromonte a gateway to starlets, though discretion was the better part of valor for the baseball bachelor.  “I don’t like to throw names around,” Aspromonte told Thomy.  “Frankly, I am not interested in having people know my private business.  But I will say I have met actresses who are delightful companions, intellectually stimulating and have intense interests in their careers.”

Houston selected Aspromonte in the National League expansion draft for 1962, the same year that the New York Mets débuted, filling the void created when the Dodgers and the Giants vacated the Big Apple for California.

During his tenure in Houston, Aspromonte entered Texas baseball lore when he knocked three home runs to fulfill promises to Bill Bradley, a 12-year-old who suffered blindness and later enjoyed the restoration of eyesight; it is a feat particularly noteworthy because Aspromonte, though a reliable hitter, hit 60 home runs in his entire major league career.  Bradley bestowed favorite player status upon Aspromonte while listening to the team’s games on the radio.

Aspromonte played seven seasons in Houston, two in Atlanta, and one in New York with the Mets.

A version of this article appeared on www.thesportspost.com on January 13, 2016.

Everybody Loves Dean Martin Sometime

Friday, October 30th, 2015

RemingtonDino Crocetti emerged from the hardscrabble existence in Steubenville, Ohio to become one of the biggest stars in the second half of the 20th century.  With a new moniker of Dean Martin, a legendary partnership with Jerry Lewis, and a fixture status in the famed Rat Pack, the kid from Steubenville became a show business icon.

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Cesar Romero

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

RemingtonIn the 1989 movie Batman, Jack Nicholson brought his trademark sarcasm to the role of the Joker, perhaps Batman’s greatest foe.  Nearly 20 years later, Heath Ledger inhabited the role, giving a performance of a diabolical, insane, delusional villain.

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1960s Spy Cartoons

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

James Bond ventured onto the silver screen in Dr. No in 1962, during the height of the Cold War.  Sean Connery’s portrayal of the British agent gave audiences an escape from the era’s harsh realities.  The Bond franchise inspired an onslaught of fictional spies.

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The Lone Ranger Conquers Comics

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Lone Ranger and Tonto did not always get along

Topps Comics produced a four-part story in 1994 that pulled no punches for this duo.  Literally.

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Mad Comedians and Mad Monsters

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Baby boomers and Generation Xers most likely recall Rankin-Bass as the studio responsible for the stop-motion animation television specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.

Rankin-Bass also produced two specials that were quite mad.  Literally.

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“Movin’ With Nancy” (Sinatra)

Monday, March 4th, 2013

1967 was quite a year for Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of the Chairman of the Board.  She starred in a prime time television special and achieved #1 song status.  Sponsored by Royal Crown Cola, Movin’ With Nancy aired on NBC on December 11, 1967.

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