Last Saturday I discussed the global economic woes that have trickled down to many American cities in the past year, including Bootleg City. The recession has led to crippling budget cuts here, and now there’s even more bad news — I’ve had to sell the Bootleg City Boutonnières baseball team.

The Bouts were a symbol of civic pride and, most importantly, gratuitous wealth, but I’ll be the first to admit that the games never drew big crowds outside of prom season. Thankfully, we were able to unload plenty of “I Went All the Way at a Bootleg City Boutonnières Game” T-shirts during that time.

I first tried to sell the French-sounding team to Montreal, the former home of the Expos, but after my bad joke two weeks ago about Quebec’s biggest city being “a desolate backwater” — and my refusal to pronounce the English translation of “boutonnière” without making the second syllable silent — negotations quickly broke down. Your loss, buttonholes.

(By the by, the Expos were the best team in baseball in 1994 before that season was cut short due to an infamous players’ strike. It wasn’t until four years later that fans’ goodwill in the game was restored with the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run race. Is it possible upper management encouraged them and other players, like Barry Bonds, to take steroids and display feats of superhuman strength so strike-jaded fans — not to mention their children, the next generation of stats hounds — would be lured back to the stands? Discuss.)

Eventually I was able to make a highly profitable deal with neighboring Tuxedoville: instead of buying the team outright, they’re going to rent it for each game. They have a strange way of doing things over there in T-ville, but you won’t hear me complaining.

Now that the Boutonnières are gone, all I have to offer you in terms of vaguely baseball-related entertainment is English pop-rock group the Outfield, performing at Harpos in Detroit in the fall of ’85 and at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler, Texas, the following summer. (Trivia buffs, take note: “Turn and Run” is an early version of the song “Winning It All” from the Outfield’s 1992 album Rockeye.) Thanks once again to Matt Wardlaw for another fine bootleg. Even after all these years, “Your Love” still knocks it out of the park.

Harpos, Detroit, MI, 11/22/85
Mystery Man
61 Seconds
Turn and Run/Your Love
Say It Isn’t So
Taking My Chances

Caldwell Auditorium, Tyler, TX, 8/20/86
(taped for broadcast on The King Biscuit Flower Hour)
61 Seconds
Somewhere in America
Say It Isn’t So
All the Love
Everytime You Cry
Your Love

Finally, though he’s more suited for the basketball court than the baseball diamond, all of me here at Bootleg City would like to congratulate Jeff Goldblum on still being alive.

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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