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    Entries in Dubsdread (1)


    The man who struck out...

    This is a story about Charles Franklin Glazner

    Way back when, over thirty years ago, I made the rounds when it came to watering holes. I had an old friend, Wayne Trout, who said on many occasions, “If you stay inside your triangle, you’ll never get in trouble.” What he meant by that was simple. Your home and two bars made up the triangle. If you ventured outside of it, your risk of getting pulled over increased. While I quit drinking years ago, I did my best to follow Wayne’s rule.

    One of the establishments in my triangle was the Tap Room at Dubsdread Golf Course, a city owned 18-hole facility located in College Park, a very nice suburb of Orlando. The Tap Room was always a friendly place to drink and I had the occasion to eat a delicious lunch there a few weeks ago. It brought back many memories of when it was one of my old haunts; my old drinking friends, and one person in particular… Charlie Glazner, who passed away in 1989 at the grand old age of 95.

    For years, two framed pictures hung on a wall above the bar. They were pictures of Charlie from many years past, in uniform, and they were no longer there. No one knew what I was talking about when I asked employees, including the owner, Steve Gunter, truly a really nice and helpful guy. No wonder the restaurant is such a huge success.

    Charlie was a grand old fellow and we had many wonderful conversations over the years. One time, he lamented about how disappointed he was; that his mind was still so sharp, but his body was wearing out. (I do recall driving on Interstate 4 through downtown Orlando one afternoon when a car came whizzing by. It was him, and I was speeding. He must have been 90 at the time. And doing 90.)

    Charlie had been a professional golfer. That was his second career. The city of Orlando gave him a lifetime membership to Dubsdread. I don’t know if he got the key to the city, but he could play golf any time he wanted. Free. And if you had a 9:00 o’clock tee time, you’d have to wait if he wanted to play. Without a doubt, he still had that swing.

    Those two pictures on the wall were from the 1920s, when he was a right-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies. He last pitched on September 24, 1924. Charlie had 266 career strikeouts, and there’s one more important fact that intrigued me.

    In all of my 65 years, I’ve met some interesting sports figures, including Arnold Raymond Cream, otherwise known as Jersey Joe Walcott when he was the NJ state boxing commissioner. A consummate gentleman, he beat Joe Louis in a title fight. I used to pal around with Davey Johnson back in the day, and even tried on his 1986 World Series ring. Nick Buoniconti, part of the Miami Dolphins perfect season, was as down to earth as they get. I could name more, like golfers and NBA players, but why gloat? This is about one man, a living legend when I knew him.

    In the 1920s, Charlie was known as Whitey Glazner. One day, I walked up to him and asked, “Charlie? In all my years of knowing you, I never shook your hand. Can we do that?”

    “Why, Dave? We’ve known each other for many years. Why do you want to shake my hand?”

    “Because I want to shake the hand that struck out Babe Ruth.”

    All these years later, his handshake still means a lot to me.