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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The Founder


By Fred Wallace

 Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "


It's funny, maybe scary, how things connect and the strange coincidence of timing unfolds

Last Tuesday in the newsroom, April the 9th, Matt Hermiz was talking movies and mentioned he'd seen " The Founder ", the biographical drama starring Michael Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc, who created the McDonald's food chain.

Having not seen the movie myself, I asked, from a sports standpoint, did they show the scene where Ray Kroc went on the PA and blasted the San Diego Padres, the Major League franchise he owned ?

Matt said, ' no ', and so we did a quick search on Google and found the incident we were looking for was exactly 45 years ago, April 9, 1974.

Kroc who paid $ 12 million for the inept Padres was on hand for the home opener as the Padres got smoked 9-2 by Houston.

Kroc grabbed the mic in the PA booth and said....... " Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you. "

Then a streaker bolted onto the field, and Kroc lost it.

" GET that streaker off the field, throw him in JAIL ! "

Then, Ray Kroc really got rolling, " I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the Dodgers drew 31,000 for their opener and we’ve drawn 39,000 for ours. The bad news is that this is the most stupid baseball playing I’ve ever seen."

The San Diego crowd erupted in cheers.

However, the ballplayers, the Players Association and the media were less impressed.

The best piece of writing came from the Sporting News who wrote Kroc had never seen such stupid baseball because he had no experience watching baseball. 

The best line, " Kroc knows as much about the sport as Willie McCovey knows about an Egg McMuffin."

The San Diego Padres of the 1970's, and through most of their history, have been dreadful, but always entertaining.

Ray Kroc who bought the team to have some fun, stated owning the club was  " about as enjoyable as a wake....your own. "

It's a shame they didn't put that scene in the movie.


I'm Fred Wallace

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