Is it true you were the star of the DC softball team?
– David Wohl ([email protected])

The ?star? might be pushing things a bit, but it?s safe to say that for the first few years of the existance of the DC Bullets, I was one of the very few team members who actually knew HOW to play the game.

The DC Bullets team was created back in 1976 with the sole intention of playing against Marvel. Our friends downtown had been playing against other publishing companies and were happy to take us on. So one Friday afternoon in July ? back in those days, we used to get off at 1:00 on summer Fridays ? we met in New York?s Central Park and played.

I don?t recall too much about that game, but there are a few things that stand out:

  • DC won.
  • After a dispute over a play ? we had no umpires ? Jim Shooter got ticked off and stormed off the field.
  • I was pitching; artist Trevor von Eeden was playing third base. On a routine pop-up in the infield, he and I collided. Well, he collided and ended up flat on his back; I was about twice Trevor?s size and he said it was like running into a wall. Ever since, whenever I would see Trevor I would shout ?Third base? and he would duck.

I caught the ball, by the way.

DC and Marvel squared off for a rematch in ?77 and, again, the details are lost to history, except for these couple:

  • DC won again.
  • With runners on first and second with nobody out, the DC Bullets managed to hit into an unassisted triple play on a pop fly to the second basemen. The Marvelite caught the ball (1 out), stepped on second base since the runner there had left the bag (2 outs), and then waited calmly until the runner from first arrived at second, where he was promptly tagged (3 outs). It was in this singular moment when I quoted the famous baseball manager Casey Stengel and said, ?Can?t anybody here play this game??

The Bullets did not play again until 1981, when we once more faced off against our downtown rivals. And this time:

  • Marvel won
  • On a ball hit to the outfield, Marvel baserunner Jim Shooter attempted to score. The DC second baseman, seeing this, fired the relay throw from the centerfielder at home plate. Jodi Saviuk (then the secretary in our Production department and wife of artist Alex) was catcher. She saw Jim charging towards the plate, lost sight of the throw, and ended up getting hit in the eye. Thankfully, she wasn?t not seriously hurt, but she sported a black eye for weeks to come.

All through this period in DC Bullets history, I would say that in order to work for the company, you had to have flunked gym in high school. Such was the sorry state of sports ability among the staffers.

But finally, in the mid-80s, when the company had grown in size, we actually hired some people who knew how to play. (They were mostly the guys in the accounting department, as I recall.) With this influx of talent, we brought back the team and actually started playing more than one game a season. A number of publishing companies fielded teams and we were able to set up games with a few of them.

We played a few games against Marvel as well, but the results of those are lost to history. Leave us to say that they won some and we won some.

I was the team manager, as well as the pitcher, into the 90s, after which I turned the reins over to Doug Cowen of the accounting department. I did come out of ?retirement? for one game in ?97 ? I singled and hit a home run. After that, I decided there was no better way to end my DC Bullets career.

Just for the record, I still play softball every Friday night in the local over-40 league. Can?t hit home runs any more, but I?m six-for-seven in the past two games and one of those hits was a triple.


FROM THE EMAILBOX:

I was reading through some old DC comics that had your Answer Man columns in them. In most of them, the drawing of you has a mustache, but there were a couple in which you didn?t. Is there some kind of story behind that?
– Fred

I did not have the mustache when the drawing was first done, but grew it not long after. However, rather than just change the drawing once, we went through a four week period in which it actually ?grew? on the picture. Columns from those four weeks show a little bit of stubble, then the first short hairs, then the growing mustache, and finally the finished product.

And in the department of ?more than you ever wanted to know about BobRo?s facial hair,? I recently shaved it off, the first time in sixteen years. The last time I shaved it was when my daughter Sammi was about a year old; whenever I would hold her, she would pull on it, which was rather painful. [I wonder if SBC editor Jason is going to try to doctor that photo on the left? If so, be sure to remove the 25 pounds I?ve shed as well.]


MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

I have recently received some comic books from 1942-1944 and wonder how I might find out their value.
– Jamee ([email protected])

I need to know about prices on my comics. Superman, Batman, Spider- Man, Hulk, so how much?
– James ([email protected])

How can I find out how much a comic is worth?
– V Staples ([email protected])

How can I find out if my comics are worth anything.
– Haylu Parris ([email protected])

There are the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and the CBG Comic Book Checklist & Price Guide, among others. These will give you some idea of current market values for comic books. However ? and I seem to be repeating this regularly ? your comic books are really only worth what somebody else is willing to pay you for them!

*****

What would a 1980 Spider-Man comic book in good condition be worth?
– Robert ([email protected])

They catalog for about $1.25 in good condition.

*****

I have BATMAN #176. Can you tell me what year this is and what it is worth.
– Vince Sparks ([email protected])

This 1966 80-PAGE GIANT catalogs for $8.15 in good condition.

*****

I was recently going through some of my old stuff and found a 1977 Super DC calendar — complete and in good condition. Could you tell me if it’s worth anything please? And if so, where could I sell it?
– Saul Barran ([email protected])

Repeat after me: ?It is worth whatever somebody will pay me for it.? Selling? Try eBay.

*****

I have the first 50 issues of SUPERMAN in excellent condition. I would like to know if these comic books are worth anything today, and if so how would I go about selling them?
– Charles R. Marsden ([email protected])

Well, Charles, I suppose that will depend a great deal on whether these are the first fifty issues from the Golden Age or the first fifty from the 1980s reboot. If it?s the former, I suspect you?ll have collectors and dealers climbing out of your emailbox as soon as they read this; if it?s the latter, don?t plan on paying for a college education or a summer home with the profits.

*****

I have the whole set of CRUSADER comics (religious comics). Are they worth anything?
– Colleen DeBord ([email protected])

They?re catalogued at $1.00 each in good condition.

*****

Why is BIRDS OF PREY #8 worth $50 suddenly?
– Nathan Kushnier ([email protected])

Now that the Birds of Prey TV series has been announced as part of the WB Network?s fall schedule, there may be some interest in back issues. But it?s only worth $50 to somebody who wants to spend that amount for a copy!

*****

I have 235 Pokemon trading cards that I would like to sell, They?re in mint condition. I have a list of what I have and how many I have of the same card. Please e-mail me as soon as you get this.
– Matthew

Matthew, I don?t want to buy your Pokemon cards, so you?ll have to forgive me for not emailing you. I don?t want to buy ANYBODY?s Pokemon cards!


FROM THE ?MY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT IS?? CORNER:

What is Ernest Hemingway’s middle name?
[email protected]

Miller.

*****

How many B-26s were shot down at the Battle of Midway? Beat that, chump!
[email protected]

Three.

*****

Who received credit for the invention of the calculator?
– Unsigned

I did. The character first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #463, battling The Atom.


AND FINALLY, THE ?I LOVE A STRAIGHT LINE? DEPARTMENT:

How cool is your job?
– Victor Cruz ([email protected])

Cooler than six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

*****

Can you tell me where I can buy the 2-sided, no edges, prism jigsaw puzzle or any prism jigsaw puzzle for that matter?
– Deborah ([email protected])

No.

*****

How do one become a great artist like yourself?
[email protected]

You begin with no ability to draw, realize it early in your career, then learn to type so that you can be a writer instead.

And on that note, I am out of here till next week. Meantime, check out my daily Anything Goes Trivia at http://www.wfcomics.com/trivia.


Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.

Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


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