Dan Gross: Rollins shows a fun side

Posted: January 08, 2009

JIMMY ROLLINS is a stand-up guy. He proved it again Tuesday afternoon, when a ballsy high-school student knocked on the door of his South Jersey mansion to ask the Phillies shortstop if he would place a call to Wired 96.5.

The radio station is giving away a pair of Eagles/Giants tickets to the listener who can get the biggest celebrity to phone in on their behalf.

John Buto, 17, a senior at Kingsway Regional High, in Woolwich, Gloucester County, knocked on Rollins' door after school Tuesday along with a few friends and politely explained the contest to Rollins. To Buto's surprise, J-Roll invited the gang into his home and called Wired host Kannon's show.

Buto says Rollins couldn't have been nicer and spent about 15 minutes with the group as the call-in line was busy. Buto says he's not worried about another listener getting a bigger VIP because "I don't know who's bigger than the shortstop of the World Series champion Phillies." If he does win, Buto plans to take his buddy Steve Borkowski, with whom he hatched the plan to ask Rollins.

The contest is open until 9 a.m. tomorrow, when the Chio in the Morning show will decide who the most famous celebrity was and award the tickets.

Have your VIP friends call 215-263- 9650 or 856-541-9650.

Smerconish getting syndicated

Michael Smerconish is going national. Starting Feb. 2 the Big Talker (1210-AM) host and Dial Global will be syndicating a new two-hour radio show that Smerconish will broadcast from the basement studio of his home.

The Daily News and Inquirer columnist will continue to broadcast his morning show heard from 6 to 9 here and on WHFS-AM in Washington, D.C.

The new program will be live from noon to 2 p.m. WOR News Talk Radio 710 in New York is the first affiliate to carry the two-hour show and will broadcast the program from 8 to 10 weeknights.

Smerconish, who used to fill in regularly on Bill O'Reilly's radio show, which the Fox News Channel host recently ended, started at the Big Talker in 1993.

Out and about

* Reputed mob boss Joe Ligambi ex-

changed pleasantries the other day with author/historian Celeste Morello around 12th & Oregon, where the pair chatted about the recent Biography Channel special on Nicky Scarfo. We're told Morello left a nice-size lipstick mark on Ligambi's cheek after the pair kissed their hellos.

* Sixers rookie Marreese

Speights will join the Philadelphia Gator Club as the local chapter of the University of Florida alumni association watches the BSC championship tonight at Field House (1150 Filbert). Speights played two seasons for Florida including the Gators' 2007 NCAA champs team.

TV judge honored

"Divorce Court" Judge Lynn Toler will be in town Jan. 19 to observe what would have been the 80th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Penn Law School grad will be honored by the Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence Inc. at its 27th annual awards luncheon. At noon she will symbolically ring the Liberty Bell in honor of the slain civil-rights icon.

Clearing the record

Musician Buddy Greco grew up on the 2000 block of S. Chadwick Street. We mistakenly reported yesterday that the singer and pianist, who's here Jan. 15-17 playing at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut), lived at 20th and Chadwick. Those streets are parallel and do not intersect.

* There's a change of dates to report on

actress Jane Seymour's art exhibition, which we told you about yesterday. Seymour, recently seen on "Dancing with the Stars," will appear at the Wentworth Gallery at the Court of the King of Prussia Mall from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 20 and 5-8 p.m. Feb. 21. The actress, memorable in "Wedding Crashers," will mingle with those who check out her paintings and other artwork available for sale. *

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest stories. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

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