Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Death has been busy lately

There have been quite a few fatalities the last few days, so it's time to catch up.

Betty Garrett may be remembered more for the television roles that resurrected her career in the 70's than the work she did in movie musicals, starring with the likes of Frank Sinatra & Red Skelton, among others, years before. Our generation is familiar with Ms. Garrett from supporting roles on All In The Family and Laverne & Shirley. Betty passed away on Sunday at 91.

While he never headlined his own show, Kenneth Mars was a reliable supporting player, having appeared in Mel Brooks' original "The Producers" & "Young Frankenstein", and had a recurring gig on He & She back in the 60's. Mars was 75 when he passed away last weekend.

Chuck Tanner's only World Series win was as the manager of the "We Are Family"-era Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979. Tanner also managed in Chicago (White Sox), Atlanta, & Oakland during his career. He was 81.

Finally, the New York Buzz of World Team Tennis became the latest local sports franchise to disappear, merging with the downstate NY Sportimes for the 2011 season, and thus the Buzz have "died" after 16 seasons (1995-2010), the last couple of which were played indoors in Albany, first at the Washington Avenue Armory, then at SEFCU Arena on the campus of the State University at Albany, where two matches will be played this summer.

What killed the Buzz was, predictably, a lack of buzz at the box office. People weren't willing to support the team unless they were able to bring in A-list stars from the pro circuit, which happened 2-3 times a year. The Buzz had a short season schedule, anyway, and most people might've considered them an afterthought, especially with the NY-Penn League's Tri City Valleycats right across the river. In order to pay for the opportunity to bring in the likes of Martina Hingis, among others, the Buzz had to charge extra for tickets, a practice that gets decried in New York City when the Mets & Yankees jack up prices for games involving marquee players from visiting teams (i.e. Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Ichiro).

Rest in peace.

No comments: