Pain in the neck

Posted: June 24, 2011

IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, you've watched the Phanatic dancing atop the home dugout thousands of times and wondered, "How does he not get hit in the head with a foul ball?"

Wonder no more.

Wednesday night, the Phanatic took his act on the road to Allentown, entertaining the IronPigs fans in Coca-Cola Park. In the top of third inning, with one of the Indianapolis Indians at the plate and the Phanatic standing atop the dugout on the first-base side, bop, the Phanatic was struck in the neck by a foul ball. Unfortunately, the neck is where the head of Tom Burgoyne, the man in the costume, is located.

A spokeswoman for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest told The Morning Call that Burgoyne was treated in the emergency room Wednesday night and later released. The Phanatic acted wounded but kept clowning for a while until he later left the stadium and went to the hospital.

As Billy Joel once wrote:

Well I'm living here in Allentown

And it's hard to keep a good (mascot) down.

Only closed until it opened

They officially reopened the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University yesterday. It had been closed for 9 months for a $3 million renovation.

Sportscaster Bob Costas was on hand for the reopening and shared some of Berra's famous malapropisms. Yogi always put life, death and baseball in their proper perspectives.

* "You should always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise they won't come to yours."

* "Little League baseball is a good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets and the kids out of the house."

* "Steve McQueen looks good in this movie. He must have made it before he died."

* Once, Yogi's wife Carmen asked, "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" To this, Yogi replied, "Surprise me."

- Mark Perner

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