A softball game was scheduled at six pm that night between the Soap Opera All Star Team, and the local Radio All Star Team, to be played at Hi Corbett field (Home of the triple A Tucson Toros). Before the game the Soap Team made an appearance at a local mall. Things did not go terribly well at the Mall. Sheryl, Cookie Boy, and the two of us, were standing up by the stage. The autograph line wasn't very long so we had decided not to get in it until later. Sheryl and Teresa spotted Christian Taylor (as in Kurth/Taylor, Idle Rich) in the crowd, next to the piano, but we didn't believe it was really him... out in the crowd... not wearing a team shirt. The others came in, Brian Dattilo (Lucas DOOL), Brent Jasmer (Jeff B&B), Paul Kersey (Alan DOOL), William Christian, (Derek AMC) and Timothy Stickney (R.J. OLTL) Christopher Fuller (Sly ATWT), all dressed in their team jerseys and Christian Taylor, in his blue denim jacket, came out of the crowd and joined them on stage. Disaster #1. The sound system did not work. Mall personnel kept trying to get it to work throughout the event. Disaster #2. The team pitcher, and manager, Taylor (NOT Christian) announced that they would not be signing any autographs, until the game that night when they could charge. This was not pleasing to the small crowd which could have been accomodated without taking up more than an hour. Then the Q&A began. This was a bit difficult without microphones. But it was established that none of the actors except Timothy Stickney are married, and that Lucas (Brian Dattilo) is very popular with small Tucson crowds. We couldn't hear many other questions on that side of the stage. Christian went over to help with the sound system. Our hopes soared. Surely a musical professional like himself could fix the recalcitrant equipment. And the microphone did show some signs of life so they handed it to Brian Dattilo. It promptly stopped working. Brian jauntily began to swing the mike in a circle. It flew off the cord, hit the ground, and the resulting shrapnel hit a young lady in the crowd. (That was disaster #3). Brian immediately leapt off the stage and went into the crowd to see if the girl was okay. Subsequently the young lady received hugs and kisses from Brian and other team members, an autographed t-shirt, and a dinner invitation. Other members of the crowd were heard to mutter, "Hit me!" Christian gave up on the malfunctioning microphones and returned to his seat with a resigned shrug. The team members now had down the trick of leaving their seats to come to the front of the stage so that the fans could hear them. Timothy Stickney was asked where he lived. New York of course, and he loves living there. Teresa asked if R.J. was really bad or just misunderstood. Just misunderstood, he replied with a killer grin. Shortly afterwards he saw someone he knew in the crowd and jumped down to engage her and nearby fans in conversations for most of the rest of the event. Finally it was Christian's turn, and we had a question. Our Kurth/Taylor tape was pulled out as a visual aid. Which of the songs on the album had C.T. written? He asked to have the tape handed up and read off the ones that were his. And we asked if he had also written "Stay With Me", the song the Idle Rich performed on GH that was not on the tape. Yes, he and Wally wrote it. He said they'd be releasing another soon, and that they were trying to arrange a gig in Phoenix. He mentioned that they were considering releasing "Lyin' King" as a country single. Christian began, surreptiously, to sign some autographs, as the manager (Fat Boy) Taylor (We really did not like this guy. He really couldn't project, microphone or no microphone. Also we knew he wouldn't let us get autographs because he wanted to CHARGE for them at the game that evening. But mostly we refer to him as Fat Boy to differentiate between him and Christian, because we can't recall Mr. Taylor's first name.) was occupied at the other end of the stage trying to prevent Brian Dattilo from surreptiously giving away his autograph. Brian did manage to buy some raffle tickets from one of the young ladies in the crowd. Teresa and Cookie Boy had to leave at this point to search for facilities. Then they had a raffle (Disaster #4). They had a couple autographed scripts and some autographed t-shirts. (Fat Boy) Taylor decided that the best way to run a raffle was to pick a number between one and ten and ask whoever was nearest to him to guess the number. This did not work tolerably well, because sans microphone, no one could hear what numbers had been guessed and no one at the back of the crowd could play. Not only that the actors couldn't hear him and gave the wrong things away. The entertaining disaster broke up. Christian Taylor slipped into the crowd again and went his own way. (Team bus? We don't think so!) The other's went to Hungry Hunter for lunch. Sheryl and I rejoined Teresa and Cookie Boy. We went out to the car, which we had purposely parked close to the exit that the Soap Team was using. They were still waiting for their transportation. It was a toasty 107 degrees out, with a fair amount of humidity. Chris Fuller and Brent Jasmer had taken off their shirts. Understandably we slowed down as we drove past. "Hey, guys, you need a lift?" Teresa shouted. Brian shouted back, "Do you have air-conditioning?" "No," We had to admit. We must remember to get the freon recharged. "Move along," they chorused. We took Cookie Boy home for a nap break and had a bite to eat, before going to the game that evening. We were now accompanied by Sheryl's significant other, Matt, who wasn't letting her go out to meet soap hunks alone, any more often than he could avoid. Cookie Boy was well rested and repeated enthusiastically, "Ballgame, ballgame!". When we got to Hi-Corbett field, we had to wait in line, in 110 degree heat, where they kept us waiting until fifteen minutes before the game started. We went and sat over by the first base line, near the dugout and watched as the soap all-stars practiced. Then the radio all-stars practiced. (Not very exciting.) The game began. The soap team was good. The radio team was pathetic. Ladies, if you ever get a chance to see Timothy Stickney (OLTL) catch, do not pass it up. They played five innings. The radio team scored one run in the first inning and then it was all soap scoring. The scorching hot day was cooled off by a sudden cloudburst, that lasted about ten minutes and made a lovely rainbow over the left field bleachers. This was pointed out to the crowd by the sensitive William Christian (AMC). When the score was seventeen to one (despite the scoreboard keeper's tendency to disregard a soap run every once in a while) the game was pretty much conceded. The Soap Stars took pity on the Radio folks and let them get a few runs in the bottom half of the inning. We went over to the tent behind the third base bleachers, where we had sent Matt to hold us a place in line. But there wasn't a line, just a large group of people wondering where they should stand. Eventually they began to form themselves into a line. We had ended up a little behind Matt and Sheryl and Cookie Boy happily ran between the two points. A former co-employee of Teresa's joined us in line, with her teenage daughter. Her daughter was a DOOL fan who was now tuning into GH because there are so many Days people there. They'd been at the Mall, so we laughed about the microphone incident. We played a little of the Kurth/Taylor tape for her. The Toro's employees set out the photos and t-shirts. The deal was this, one autograph free, one dollar for each autograph after that, unless you buy a photo of the star, which includes an autograph (B&W $5) or a t-shirt ($15) which included the autographs of all the stars. The Soap Stars arrived and sat down at their tables. The line finally began to move. Before we got up to the front Matt, Sheryl and Cookie Boy were already through the line. They'd gotten Brian Dattilo's autograph. Sheryl had given Brian a big hug, and he said that he had really needed that. Matt offered to let Brian sign Cookie Boy's forehead. Somebody thought better of it. Cookie Boy and family didn't want to stay for the real game (Toros vs Edmonton Trappers), so they asked for the car keys and split. (Matt was going to come back when they had regained their own transportation.) We got to the front of the line. We did not buy pictures, t-shirts or additional autographs. We just wanted one each. Teresa was going to get Christian's on our Kurth/Taylor cassette tape and I was going to get Timothy Stickney's for Linda. (Fat Boy) Taylor immediately passed Teresa to Christian's table. "This lady's for you, Christian." C.T. recognized her and asked her how she had enjoyed the weekend events in Los Angeles. She gave him his top ten list (Top Ten Things The Idle Rich Are Going To Do With The Proceeds From Their First CD), and he said he'd seen this one. (Hmm... is there a leak here on RATSA? Wendy, maybe? She said she reads it all.) Teresa got in an extra autograph on the 5x7 of her and C.T. at the Phoenix gig. Christopher Fuller, unoccupied at the moment, looked over at the photo. "Geeze, look at that hair!" Referring to C.T.'s longer hairstyle in those days. C.T. looked up at Teresa. "Your hair was longer too. Oh, this was taken at the same time." [As the photo on the button.] In the meantime (Fat Boy) Taylor, led me over to Timothy Stickney, with his usual "This girl's for you, Timothy." I asked him if he couldn't rephrase that. Timothy laughed and when I came up for the autograph, said "Yeah, this is the one for me." I had him sign the SOD for Linda, but did not disabuse him of the notion that the autograph was for me. (Sorry, Linda, I couldn't help it.) We went down to the end of the autograph tables, where Tuffy the Toro (mascot) was giving a Birthday party. We hung out there for awhile, which gave us a good view of Brian Dattilo signing autographs. A little drama ensued as two of the sheriffs caught five kids trying to sneak into the ballpark (from the fenced area right behind the soap stars). The Sheriff asked them, authoritatively, "Have you kids got tickets? How did you get in here? Did you climb over the fence?" The second Sheriff walked a little distance away so he could laugh where the kids couldn't see him. Then the Toros general manager (and Radio All Star's pitcher) Mike Feder. Joined the sheriff in interrogating the children. "You, kids ever been in trouble before?" They shook their heads no. "Do you know how much it costs for all of you to get in here?" The sheriff deadpanned. "Six hundred and thirty-seven dollars." They brought them in to the park. "Do your parent's know where you are?" After a while the authorities relented. "Okay, we'll let you off this time." Then they sat them all down and wrote down their names. This excitement was interrupted by Cathy and her daughter finally making their way to the end of the line. (They had gotten a t-shirt, so everyone had to sign it.) I took a picture of Cathy's daughter with Brian who gladly accepted a hug from her, too. "I'll take what I can get," he said. We stopped and got a beer and then went up to the third base bleachers so we could watch the real game and still keep an eye on Christian directly below us. It was the bottom of the fourth when Trapper, Mike Macsudian popped a foul over the third base bleachers. A fan raced over and picked it up. Christian, not signing at the time, stood up and looked around to see who had gotten the ball. Teresa handed me her beer. Our attention went back to the field as the batter hit another foul to the third base bleachers. I didn't see it until it was about two feet away from my face, by which time it was too late to prevent it from hitting my hand and bouncing into my beer. I dropped the beer and grabbed the ball. No doubt the soap stars at the table directly below us wondered if it had started raining again. Our fellow fans were a great help. One of them offered us a can of beer to replace the lost one. Another had a look at my hand and went off to get me some ice to put on it. (In the meantime, I put the beer on it.) The announcement came over the P.A. system. "Teresa Murray report to the guest relations window." Did they want the ball back? No, it was just Matt coming back with the car keys. When Teresa got back I went back down to the Soap area, to have C.T. sign my foul ball. He had apparently noticed me catching it, and writhing in agony afterwards. He was concerned and listened attentively as I described the "catch" in detail. He signed it, "OUCH! Sorry about your hand! Hope you feel better. Love C.T." By now there was no line left, just one or two people behind me. So, I took the opportunity to ask C.T. if he would do an interview with us. He asked what it was for, and I told him we'd be putting it on the internet. He said sure. I gesticulated wildly to Teresa up in the stands (because she had the tape recorder) and she came down. (With my ice bag, thank goodness.) We waited for C.T. to sign the last t-shirt. The party broke up and the other soap stars started to leave. One of the Toro's girl's asked C.T. if he wasn't coming. He told her, no, he wsn't going with the group, he'd already made other arrangements. Then we sat down at the table and did the interview. [We'll be posting that separately.] After that Christian gave us both warm hugs, good-bye, and asked us to mail him a copy of the interview. The rest of the game was uneventful, except for getting Tuffy the Toro (A large red bull) to sign my foul ball. He signed it "Nice catch, Tuffy Toro". Oh, and the Toros lost, 7 to 4.
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