where the writers are

In March, 1961, the McAllister Hotel in Miami, Florida was teeming with minor league baseball players in the Baltimore Orioles farm system. Minor league baseball players are, with the possible exception of rock stars, the horniest people in the world. Put them together in a place like Miami, and you have a recipe for disaster. In light of revelations that NFL playeres jhave been staring at Philadelphia Eag;les cheerleaders for years, the following story remibnds one that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Three of the wildest Orioles were promising left-handed pitchers. First, there was Steve Barber, a hard thrower who had control on the mound, not so much off of it.

            Next, Steve Dalkowski. Dalkowski was a short, blocky guy with horn-rimmed glasses. To this day, those who saw him say he was the hardest throwing pitcher in the history of baseball. He is said to have thrown faster than Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, or Nolan Ryan. He had no idea where the ball was going, however. He also was an alcoholic of the first order.

            Finally, we have Robert "Bo" Belinsky. The only reason Belinsky had signed a professional baseball contract was because he was getting in too deep with the rackets in his home town of Trenton, New Jersey, and figured he should split town before the cops got too close.

            Throughout his minor league career, Belinsky had barely evaded the law and other precarious situations, based on his adventures as a pool shark, con artist, and gigolo, which led him to the beds of underage girls, the wives of Army generals, and to pool rooms where the action was cut straight out of "The Hustler." The guy who did for Bo what Jackie Gleasobn did for Paul Newman was a somebody known only as The Farmer.

            The general manager of the Orioles, the man responsibility for their actions, was Paul Richards. For some reason, Richards was considered a baseball genius. If you wanted to know if he really was a genius, he was happy to confirm it for you. He also was only slightly less dictatorial than Napoleon Bonaparte.

            Our cast is not complete without Juanita. Juanita was a gorgeous, dark-eyed beauty from Bogota, Colombia, who was in Miami as a reward for having won the Miss Universe pageant a short while earlier. She was accompanied by her mother, who had the disposition of the wife of a concentration camp commandant. Her sole job on Earth was to save her daughter from the animals of North and South America.

            Juanita and Mom were staying in room 814 of the McAllister Hotel. As fate would have it, Bo Belinsky was assigned to room 812, right next door.

            Barber and Dalkowski, who hung out with Belinsky because they figured they could get some of his "leftover" women like Phil Esposito picking up "garbage goals" around the net for the old Bruins, showed up one day just as Juanita, wrapped up in a delightful 36-24-36 package, was leaving the room with Mommy Dearest. Dalkowski almost passed out with excitement.

            "Bo, Bo, fer crissakes, did you see the broad in the next room? asked Dalkowski.

            "Oh, Juanita, sure," replied Bo, cool. "Nice, heh?"

            "Are you getting any of that?" asked Dalkowski.

            "I'm too busy," said Bo.

            "Too busy," said Dalkowski, almost losing consciousness. "Bo, you gotta be out of your mind. She's the greatest thing I've seen since I've been 10 years old."

            Dalkowski was almost going out of his mind. Barber was slightly less excited. Bo played it cool.

            A plan was hatched. Dinner was post-poned, and Dalkowski went down stairs to the maintenance room of the hotel, returning with a drill. He and Barber drilled holes all over the wall, looking into Juanita's room. Bo did not engage in the activity, but he watched with amusement.

            Word then spread like wildfire, and by 10 o'clock, Bo's room was filled with the Baltimore Orioles 1961 farm system.

            When voices in Spanish were heard, the boys found their places and turned out the lights. Barber and Belinsky laughed. Dalkowski panted. Miss Universe entered the room, took off her shoes and earrings, and pulled her dress over her head. Mom turned on the TV, then went to the bathroom, returning in saggy pajamas. Miss Universse stared into a mirror, combing her hair endlessly, as if to say, "mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all?"

            Finally, Miss Universe tired and went to bed. Mom turned out the lights.

            Now what? No fear. One of the players had a flashlight. When the light hit her, she let out a scream. The players scattered into the Miami night light cockroaches from an opened cabinet.

            Of course, it was Belinsky's room.

            Mommy Dearest called security, who called Richards, who immediately called for Belinsky, Barber and Dalkowski.

            "When anything goes wrong around here, Belinsky," said Richards, the veins popping out of his forehead "you're the first one I suspect. Did you drill the holes?"

            "What are you talking about, Skip?" said Bo.

            "The holes, who drilled the holes in your room?" yelled Richards.

            "Oh, those holes," replied Bo, all innocent.

            "Were you looking in the holes at the next room?" "asked" Richards.

            "I don't know, I might have, I forget," said Bo.

            Then Richards turned to Dalkowski, who admitted drilling the holes. At first he owned up to two or there, then eight or 10. With Richards almost apoplectic by now, Dalkowski claimed he did not look through the holes to see the girl. He said he just liked to drill holes.

            Dalkowski and Belinsky were immediately shipped to Little Rock. Barber, who was the best of the three, made the club.

            Belinsky would pitch a no-hit game for the Los Angeles Angels one year later, and become famous for dating such Hollywood starlets as Ann-Margret, Tina Louise, Connie Stevens, and Playboy Playmate of the Year Jo Collins.

            Dalkowski never pitched in the Majors, and eventually became a street bum and migrant farm worker in Central California.

            The activities these guys engaged in are known as "beaver shooting," first exposed by Jim Bouton, who said Mickey Mantle would lead the Yankees on beaver shooting expeditions to the roof of Washington's Shoreham Hotel, known for its angles which provided perfect viewing of the rooms of "stewardesses staying at the Shoreham," wrote Bouton, "or better yet, a stewardess and a `friend.'"

            Another beaver shooting incident of note occurred in the minors. An outfielder liked to drill holes in the dugout and look up the skirts of girls sitting in the first row. One day he caught a girl wearing no underwear, and went crazy. The whole team soon was staring through that hole at the girl. The inning over, the player was late rushing to right field, pretending to be fixing his sunglasses. The rest of the team spent that inning staring through that hole at the girl.

            When the inning ended, the player came running in, all excited to get another view. He looked up to see who the girl was. She waved at him with a big smile. It was his wife.

            Gives new meaning to the term "box seat."