Friday, October 31, 2008

Card Spotlight: 10-31-08

2001 Topps #492 - Ray Durham

It is well documented that Ray Durham is a big fan of Halloween. Just take this 2001 Topps card. It shows Ray's costume in 2000. He went as Diana Ross.

Stop! In the name of love!

He did the entire song in front of a capacity crowd. Baseball fans ate the act up and he toured ballparks during the offseason. For his final performance in 2000, in Dodger Stadium, he donned a full vintage Diana Ross outfit from her days with the Supremes. It was a show stopper!

Before the Dodger Stadium appearance, he had been dressing up in his uniform. He had the choreography down pat, but he didn't pull off the whole performance until that night in Los Angeles. Once the wig and dress came on, it was a complete transformation. Ray Durham was Diana Ross of the Supremes.

He thought of retiring the act, but was called back in 2001. After the United States was reeling from attacks in New York, Ray did the only thing he could think of. He planned an entire Supremes night in New York. The first night would be in Shea Stadium. The next and final night would be in Yankee Stadium.

The two nights in New York became stuff of legend. Ray called in favors and employed the services of Carlos Lee and James Baldwin to round out the rest of the Supremes. It would be two complete concerts in full dress for all three ballplayers.

After the concert in Yankee Stadium, Ray retired the Supremes act. Diana Ross and Mary Wilson had separate lawsuits against Ray and the realities of bitter singers sucked the fun out of the project.

Ray went back to baseball and still plays, as of this writing. He never went back to the world of sold out Supremes concerts, but for one brief shining moment, Ray was living the dream.


Andy said...


I thought of you this morning, Steve, when I had the briefest of all layovers in Chicago. I was on the ground for, literally, less than 1 minute. I came out of a redeye flight from California, and my connecting flight to the east coast was directly across the hall, with that door closing as I approached. I went from ass-in-seat on one plane to ass-in-seat on the other plane in something like 45 seconds. Made it home, though!

Steve Gierman said...

Connecting flight coming from California? I'm guessing O'Hare. Too bad. I'm about a ten minute drive from Midway.


Thanks for thinking of me.

Andy said...

Well I've been to Midway too...Stayed at that shitty Comfort Inn across the street.

Steve Gierman said...

For that I am truly sorry.

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