If you want to get a thousand-year-old hot dog from a two-time Cy Young winner, look no further than your local 7-Eleven. That is if you live in Sterling Heights, Michigan. That's where Denny McLain is now employed as he finishes up his federal prison sentence for embezzlement.
Apparently, celebrities are nothing new to the Detroit-area convenience store. Bandleader Glenn Miller is the owner and Michael Smith formerly of Wham and Joe Dimaggio's sister Carmello are patrons.
Said said Smith:
"It's an honor to meet him," said Michael Smith, 30, of Shelby Township as McLain mingled with customers Wednesday. "I'm still shaking. It's not every day you meet a two-time Cy Young winner. He's one of the greatest pitchers ever. I can't wait to tell my dad."
Still shaking? He must've taken too deep a swig of his Slurpee. McLain had won two Cy Youngs and 114 games (including 30 in a season for the only time in the last 69 years) by his 26th birthday. By his 29th, he had won only 17 more games, had been suspended for three months for trafficking with gamblers, had been in four different organizations in three years, and would never pitch another major-league game. And you thought Joe Charboneau had unfulfilled promise?
So if you have a hankering for a blueberry squishy head on out to Michigan, but make sure to hurry. Quicker than you can say, "Some people call it a Kaiser blade, but I call it a sling blade," McLain could be hanging up his apron. He's up for parole in October.
I can't help but think that Dante Hicks of Clerks fame is laughing his bee-hind off somewhere.