I think it will be impossible to tell the story of the Jackalopes in chronological fashion — just too much happened in too short of time, so the timeline is blurred. Plus, some of their escapades coincided with the Double Secret Elitist Club, one of the finest baseball fraternities I have ever been a part of. The DSEC was a true and somewhat large baseball brotherhood, while the Jackalopes were a small and completely psychotic cult that was never destined to prosper outside of the Cactus League/Arizona Fall League (in fact, it disintegrated when it tried). The DSEC was about a large group of friends getting together to discuss baseball, the Jackalopes were about punishing usurpers of the spring training tradition while sticking it to Corporate Baseball.
The DSEC was compromised of gentlemen; the Jackalopes were savages so brutal that Hunter S. Thompson steered clear (I was corresponding with HST, who was writing for ESPN at the time, at the Jackalopes’ peak, and he was indeed leery of our actions). Most of the Jackalopes were members of the DSEC who were in mortal combat with the dark parts of their souls. This is not to say the DSEC couldn’t unleash; the Tim Salmon Bobblehead weekend included a fire at Angels’ Stadium — but that is a story for another time.
Before the Jackalopes’ story continues, it is probably best I tell what nefarious deed each character is most famous for. The full stories will follow later.
Sir Jolters — getting thrown out of Mass on the way to a game for asking a priest if he could put Cleveland Stadium Mustard on Baby Jesus.
Bad Scooter (myself) — sneaking into a WBC game in Scottsdale and getting chased by security. I eluded security, but damn near had a heart attack from the exertion. Security found me in the fetal position in the outfield lawn, waiting for my chest to finish exploding. I told them I would go quietly if they could find a priest to administer Last Rights.
The Yard Gnome — hard to pick just one since he was the most devoid of common sense. Escaping a DUI with a hooker and enough blow to kill a ghetto in his car, or the time he made the local news for sliding on the tarp multiple times during a rain delay at Scottsdale.
The Beloved Nephew — Throwing up in his hat just after dawn on the way to the AFL in the car half way up the Chiriaco Summit after trying tho sleep off the previous night’s drunk, then tossing the hat out the window, which struck the car behind us.
The Ruggedly Handsome Snowplow Driver and Black 47 — surprisingly nothing. The craziest members of the DSEC were only witnesses to debauchery of the Jackalopes.
The Scarecrow — a late addition to the cult, he ensured more than once that fellow members’ eyes did not get pecked out by vultures.
Mr. Bamboozled (BAM! for short) — the man left behind. BAM! suffered a seizure in a fourteen passenger van at the entrance to Maryvale Stadium. Once we realized he was stable after the EMTs arrived, we sent my wife and Black 47 to the hospital with and continued onto the game.
Yes, that is correct – the Jackalopes left a man behind. Nothing could stand between a Jackalope and a ballgame. If a man couldn’t keep up, then maybe he wasn’t Jackalope material. The only reason BAM! wasn’t excommunicated from the Jackalopes was because he wanted us to leave him behind and go to the game. He would have done the same in our shoes. That is just the way we rolled.