Darth Davis, A Mad Dwarf & Ziggy The Bunting Midget

January16/ 2000

…. Al Davis is a tyrannical ego-manical raving lunatic!  That glowing tribute could have been written any time over the past 40 years, long before Lane Kiffin was even born.  Guess what?  I crossed paths with Darth Davis and his little henchman Al LoCasale (aka The Mad Dwarf) back in the day.   BobLee on “guys who own sports teams”. ….. and “Lay It Down Ziggy” ….

    Back in the 70s, pretty much every NFL team, every NBA team and every AL baseball team passed thru “my lobby” at The Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City.   A future Internet Legend had THE most extensive pro sports clientele in the US of A.  

   Whether it was Billy Martin holding court on the lobby balcony …. Howard Cossell stepping off the elevator …. Darryl Dawkins scaring the bejebbers out of a Viet Namese housekeeper …. Or “Baseball Annies” cruising for ballplayers in the bar …. CCH was a happenin’ place in the middle of Fly-Over Country.   There were times when seasons overlapped that I felt like a Bermuda traffic cop with a case of St Vitus Dance.  Here come the Yankees, there go the Vikings …. where are the 76ers?

   Each sport had its own traveling style with baseball and basketball arriving at all hours and NFL teams arriving in prime time glory on a Saturday afternoon.   Being in the same division as Oakland and playing a home-home schedule with the Chiefs every year, I dealt with Al Davis & Company every year for the duration of that chapter of my life.

   He was one weird sumb*tch back then.  Tom Flores was his coach.  There have been MANY since then including the recently publicly castrated Lane Kiffen.

   My Bronco contact was Bill Goldy.  The Seahawks was a young fellow named Mike.  I believe the Raider guy was also “a Bill”.  I do recall that he was always very nervous …. If every detail was not perfect he knew “his head” would roll.  Even after several years, he “trusted me” but insisted on personally checking Al’s suite before he arrived.

   If “they” can ever find Al Davis’ heart and drive a stake thru it, they will hold his funeral in a teacup.

   True Al Davis aficionados will know the name Al LoCasale – aka The Mad Dwarf.  Little Al was “Renfield” to Davis’ Dracula.   Down to the part about eating bugs (if Davis told him too).  Imagine Dr Miguelito Loveless from Wild Wild West but with a shaved head and a rotten personality.  For decades Davis used LoCasale for all his dirty work.  Al was “the Turk” at training camp that notified guys they were cut and snatched up their playbooks.  It was said that LoCasale especially loved cutting veterans who were not expecting it.

   Being a fat bald dwarf with a lunatic boss that used your mouth for an ashtray makes one a tad anti-social.   LoCasale’s only “hobby” was sniffing Raiderettes bicycle seats.   

   Darth Davis arrived by private plane with an entourage.  I recall a pair of peroxided matrons of indeterminate facelifts and a phalanx of muscleheads.  It was either The Hertford House or The Golden Ox that Davis took his entourage to for the Saturday dinner each year.  I fed the team at the hotel but Al dined out.

   Over 5-6 years I never saw Davis in anything but Black w/ an occasional white or silver turtleneck.  His hair was always 10W30.

   Any NFL team is “wired pretty tight” on a game weekend, but Oakland was especially so.  Even with their notorious hardcases of John Matuszak, Hendricks, Stabler etc there was a cloud of “Al Davis Dread” around them.

   Lane Kiffin (Monte’s boy) seems like a nice young fellow.  Did he not do a due diligence on Davis before he took the job?  Going to work for Al Davis must be like marrying Elizabeth Taylor ….. but without even a honeymoon night. ….. now I have this image of Mickey Rooney AND Al LoCasale in a hot tub with two peroxided dames and John Matuszak. 


   In the mid 80s I wrote an article in the San Antonio Light about the type of slimey guys that tended to own sports teams.   Lamar Hunt of The Chiefs was a rare exception.  The vast majority of pro sports owners are either ego-maniacal loons and/or have incredibly dysfunctional families …. Or both.   



   Unlike the NBA there are teams worth pulling for in baseball.  There seem to be a lot of “Moochies” In The Majors these days ….. “lets play two” kinda kids.  The whole Tampa team seems straight out of Omaha along with Chase Utley from the Phillies.

   I was pulling for the Twins vs the ChiSox because I like Mauer and Morneau.

   I also like Joe Torre, but not Manny very much.  

   The Angels of Orange County seem to be quietly the best team in baseball.  Too many time zones away for me to follow. Sciosia seems a good egg. 

   I’m bored w/ Boston but they do have several Moochies too.

   Am I the only man on Earth who recalls a sports story called “Lay It Down Ziggy”.  

   It was a baseball short story by Larry Siegel published in 1951 in American Legion Magazine.  A minor league team signs a bunting midget (“Ziggy”) to entertain their fans.  In “the big game” the manager puts Ziggy in to bunt in the winning run.  “Ziggy” lays it down but into the folds of the oversized sloppy uniform of the opposing pitcher.  By the time the pitcher can find and extract the ball from inside his sloppy uniform the winning run scores and “Ziggy” is the hero. ….. that’s about all I can remember.   

   I think about Ziggy when I see CC Sabathia and the other sloppy uniforms being worn these days.

   The Twilight Zone episode about Casey The Robot Pitcher for the Hoboken Zephyrs is another story altogether.  Bunting midgets and robot pitchers are easy to get mixed-up.


    Lots of cool newspaper names submitted by readers.  My fave is The Toledo Blade.  What is the double entendre significance of that name?  A knowledge of Spanish history is helpful


   Remember me telling you about Dave Glenn’s new ACCSports.com ?  His website is up now and you can reach it right over yonder on the right.   It’s THE ONLY ACC Sports website you need to bother with ….. (unless you prefer reading Napoleon Dynamite and Al Bundy on “the boards”.)   Sign up for Dave’s 5-Star service.  Tell DG you are a BobLee Buddy and he’ll cut you $10 on the price. 

   In the next week or so we will be unveiling a brand new website platform.  I’m not sure what that means but for sure it will mean a week or so of added stress as I learn to navigate thru it.  The website will look pretty much the same, but different.

   BobLee’s new book – Seersucker Suits Me – is at the publishers’ and should be out in the next week.  It is SOOOOO Cool.  Contains Golden Oldies and a few you’ve forgotten about.  A book promotion tour is in the planning.

   With all these changes we are unveiling a new segment today ….. The e-Mailbag.  We will print the “best” e-mails we receive from you yahoos.  JDanWuff helped with the artwork.  As in all things BLSays, I have the only vote on what gets selected.  Some times it will be goofy, some times poignant, maybe even educational. ……   Our inaugural submission is from our old pal “LRP” on the subject of newspaper names …

“….. obviously…The Sampson Independent…and biting the dust even years earlier…The Sampsonian…..two papers battling it out in a county of 65,000 people and 85 million pigs…LRP


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x