Oct. 25, 1999 at 23:04 CDT
Sports on the
Net:`Got a good heckle? Submit it to a collector'
In 1996, M Tolley of Toronto was hit with a dose of harsh
reality while he and four of his friends took in a game between the
Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins.
Tolley recalled that he and his buddies were sitting in the
stands at SkyDome, giving the Twins the business. Suddenly, from the
bullpen, Twins catcher Matt Walbeck yelled back at Tolley and his
pals, informing them that they were "the worst hecklers he had heard
in his life."
"Some may say being a bad heckler
is a good thing, but we knew what he meant," Tolley said.
stinging criticism prompted Tolley to search hard for a way to
correct his problem. "I began a quest to be a better heckler," he
He tried books to no avail. He turned to the Internet
but only found lots of uninspired fan sites.
31-year-old Canadian took matters into his own hands and launched a
Web site to "attract the good, funny and small hecklers that are out
there." Tolley's effort is called The Baseball Heckle Depot
(www.heckledepot.com) and it's a heckler's dream.
not be the most dynamic-looking site, but it makes for some good
reading during the World Series.
Since the site's launch in
May, Tolley said he has received hundreds of one-line heckles and
ballpark heckling stories. He categorizes the material and edits it,
making sure the posts are not vulgar, he said.
broken into selections for batters, fielders, pitchers, the bullpen
and the umpires. Chants, an interactive survey and a code of ethics
for heckling are also included.
Tolley ranks which
major-league teams have the best hecklers (the New York Yankees, of
course, are No. 1) and also ranks the best players to heckle (the
Baltimore Orioles' enigmatic Albert Belle, of course).
said he has found that baseball is unique when it comes to how much
fans are involved in the game.
"You can't heckle a hockey
game; the players move around too fast. You can't heckle at a
football game; they'd never hear you," he said.
is different. Heckling is as much of the game as $5 hot dogs, beach
balls in the bleachers and air-horns coming from
Hey, batta, batta ...
of the best heckles posted at Michael Tolley's Baseball Heckle Depot
For batters: "You couldn't drive home
For umpires: "Punch a hole in that mask; you're
missing a good game."
For the bullpen: "Does that chewing
tobacco have steroids in it?"
For pitchers: "Someone go out
there and put another quarter in the pitcher."
"Your idea of a double-play is a bourbon with a beer
For Cal Ripken Jr.: "Hey, what are you -- too good
to take a day off?"
Tommy Cummings, (817)
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