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Bert Convy: Actor, Singer, Host, Baseball Man
2004-03-25 12:41
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If you've never heard of Bert Convy, first of all, you're too damn young. Second of all, you missed out an a unique personage in American entertainment history.

Allow me to quote from a a 1976 article appearing on this Bert Convy tribute website:

Just about everyone knows Bert Convy. Afternoons the ladies drool over his great, lean looks when he hosts Tattletales, and evenings their spouses envy his near physical perfection, his easy singing style and casual wit during frequent Tonight Show appearances. Recently, nightclubs have been added to his repertoire so the entire family can marvel at Bert's versatility.

From film roles in such pictures as The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (also featuring Bucky Dent!) to his own prime-time series, The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show, Convy was everything, I suppose, that Ryan Seacrest aspires to be - and more.

Only today did I learn about Bert Convy, Baseball Player.

According to this excerpt from Majoring in the Minors, a book by John Hall:

Bert Convy played left field in minor league baseball. Bert threw and batted left handed. The teams he played for were the 1951 Klamath Falls, Oregon Far West League and the 1952 Miami, Oklahoma KOM League and Salina, KS Western Association. He lost his starting spot to a boy named Don Ervin and the Philadelphia Phillies moved him to Salina, Kansas of the Western Association later in 1952.

Bert was introduced to Mickey Mantle in 1952 during one of Mickey's absences from the New York Yankees due to a bad leg. It was also reported they met in 1954. After seeing the body that Mantle possessed, Bert realized the physical and economic realities of the sport and got out. However, Bert was out of baseball for two years prior to 1954, so this author believes that the story had a whole lot to do with hype and the apparent lack of exceptional baseball talent.

I hope my tone doesn't insult anyone with memories of Convy, who died in 1991. Thinking of him does bring a smile to my face. While he was alive, he always seemed to pop up in the most unexpected places - and this latest revelation, in my mind, adds to his legacy.

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