Hollywood Joe instead of Broadway Joe?
Here is my story that aired on KABC 790 as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:
When I started out as a scout for the Dodgers I covered the state of Pennsylvania. I was watching a ballgame in the upper part of the state and a guy comes over to me and asks if I was a scout.
“I am a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers,” I told him. He also wanted to know if I saw anybody I liked.
“I like the center fielder,” I told him. “Do you know him?” He did, and he offered to set up a meeting.
“Do you have an Italian restaurant here?” I asked. There was, so we set the meeting up there for 6:00 p.m.
I’m sitting in the restaurant waiting for the kid. In he comes, and I look him over. He had a little goatee, but was a well-built kid. I told him I was interested in signing him to a professional contract. He told me he couldn’t do it because he promised his mother he would go to college.
“What college are you planning on attending?” I asked. He told me it was between Kentucky and Alabama.
What I didn’t know at that time Bear Bryant was at Kentucky, and whether he was going to move or not. If he was going to move to Alabama, which he did, this kid was going to follow him there.
I offered him $8,000, but he turned me down, and went on to become one of the greatest football players in this country.
From the state of Pennsylvania, like many great quarterbacks, the kid was Joe Namath.