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That June, Beckett Baseball Card Monthly senior editor Pepper Hastings finally had enough of this medieval situation and decided to do something about it. In that month’s “Back Page” column, he wrote:
Our Mission: To obtain the number of a pay phone in each of the 26 major league stadiums.
The Ground Rules: The pay phone location *must* have a clear view of the stadium scoreboard. That way, the person answering can relay the current score and situation of the game to the caller.
Our Goal: To publish - before the beginning of the pennant races - a complete list of stadium pay phone numbers where up-to-the-second game information can be obtained from on-the-scene game correspondents (a guy on his way back from the snackbar, a conscientious usher, a kid on his way to the souvenir stand).
Our Rewards: Instantaneous scores during heated pennant races. Verbal interaction with real fans at stadia across the continent, not pre-recorded 1-900 number yakity-yak…
Pepper Hastings was a genius. After all, how better to find out what is going on in a baseball game than to actually speak with someone at the game? And, unlike the world of today, pay phones were everywhere in 1990. I’m pretty sure the rumor was that Mickey Tettleton’s 1989 power binge came from eating his Froot Loops while standing at a phone booth. It only made sense, then, for a national publication to centralize these pay phone numbers and provide them as a service to its readership in the heat of the pennant race.
The responses came pouring in to Hastings, who probably regretted the call to action the first time he had to verify one of the numbers
Posted: February 13, 2012 at 04:25 PM | 16 comment(s)
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