by Karl Kurtz
Oklahoma State Senator Randy Bass is a former baseball player who after a successful career in the major leagues had an even more stellar stint in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers, winning four batting titles and two triple crowns (best batting average and most home runs and runs-batted-in).
Japanese fans thought that Bass looked like Colonel Sanders. After Bass led the Tigers to the Japanese championship in 1985, street crowds in Osaka threw a statue of Col. Sanders from a KFC restaurant into the river in celebration. The statue was not found in the river, and the Tigers have not since won the championship. Fans of the Tigers refer to this as "the curse of the colonel."
Now the statue has been recovered from the river, and the Hanshin Tigers faithful think that it means that the curse will be lifted. Here's a release from the Oklahoma Senate's communication director, Malia Bennett:
For background on this story, please go to http://www.oksenate.gov/news/press_releases/press_releases_2009/pr20090311d.html
The story has now been picked up by USA Today, The New York Times, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, The Daily Telegraph and Guardian newspapers in the United Kingdom, Reuters in India, Bloomberg, AP, and numerous Japanese media outlets.
You can listen to streaming audio from “All Things Considered” at www.npr.org.
A rose from The Thicket to Tom Clapper.