Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Happy Heckler - Revisited

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Starting tonight, the baseball world will be front and centre in St. Petersburg, Florida. But unlike last season, the cries of the Happy Heckler will probably go silent. That's because instead of the usual 15,000 fans at Tropicana Field, there will be over 40,000 Rays fans to go along with the Happy Heckler.

Last September, I did a post about Rob Szasz - better know at Tropicana Field as The Happy Heckler. I'm sure you've either seen or probably heard him during a Tampa Bay Rays game. He sits behind home plate at most Rays games, and heckles opposing players to no end.

Obviously with the Rays in the World Series this season, much more attention is being paid to the Tampa Bay Rays - and that also includes their famous fans like Rob Szasz. So much in fact, that I was very pleasantly surprised to be interviewed by the Wall Street Journal as a Jays Fan about my thoughts on the Happy Heckler. Hopefully my interview will be published in this Friday's publication - I'll keep you posted.

So after doing a little bit of digging, apparently The Happy Heckler is a native of Toronto and actually went to many Blue Jays games as a young boy. So in a weird way, we can thank the Toronto Blue Jays for the birth of one of baseball's most infamous hecklers.
Although the cowbells might drown out the taunts of the Happy Heckler, Rob Szasz will continue his heckling at Tropicana Field. But I'm thinking that maybe we should invite him up to Toronto for a Jays/Rays game at the Rogers Centre next season. I'm sure he'd have a grand old time after we have a couple of $9.50 tallboys.

4 comments:

  1. The Wall St. Journal - Ian, that's incredible! Please let me know when the interview is published, I def. want to read it.

    As for Rob Szasz, I don't recall hearing him this season at the Trop. But, man, was he ever annoying. I guess that means he's a good heckler. And from Toronto to boot.

    I'd definitely be down to have a few brews with him at a ball game.

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  2. Thanks man - it's not a "for sure" yet, but I'm hoping that it makes the cut. I'll post the link as soon as I find out.

    No one is going to hear the Heckler at the Trop tonight, to omany cowbells!

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  3. I couldn't hear the cowbells- it's too loud!

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  4. I can imagine - over 45,00 screaming fans all at once in an enclosed dome ... I'm surprised you could hear anything!

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