“Fabberglasted” – Local Legend of Baseball and Fertilizer, Rod Allen


I blame Justin Timberlake. Without the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson, there wouldn’t be such a long delay of live television broadcasts–and I could just turn down the set and have the radio playing.

Anyone unfortunate enough to watch a Tiger game beside me knows that I’ve got a collection on my phone’s note-pad.  It’s a three year-old assembly that was created as a little therapy.

The title of the list: “Rod-isms.”

Rod Allen is a former Tiger who batted .333 for the club–for his 15 games.  At an ’84 reunion of the last World Series champions in the Motor City, I was very happy to look down on the field and see some of my favorites:  Gibson, Trammell, Whitaker, Parrish, Petry, Morris…”and Rod Allen.”

I don’t do double-takes too often, but I did that day at the ballpark.  I had to check my “Bless You Boys” book, Sparky Anderson’s diary, which offered the box-score of each game.  And there he was in April and into May. 

Perhaps an indicator of his short career as a Tiger was Rod's tendency to face the dugout during at-bats.

Perhaps an indicator of his short career as a Tiger was Rod’s tendency to face the dugout during at-bats.

But now he rules the airwaves as the color-commentator to Mario Impemba’s slow-pitch setups.  He reels back and slams one deep—dribbling slowly to the mound.

Rod:  “For some reason the fans didn’t appreciate Fernando Rodney.”.

Mario:  “I think it had something to do with runners on base.”

Rod: “Well that’s just part of the game.”

Hmm.,,  Before I started the list, I had to TiVo back to make sure I’d heard him right. Here are some of my favorites from last fall’s run to the World Series.

  • “He is the best player in the game–as we speak.”
  • “A touch of fall in the air here tonight–weather-wise.”
  • “Garcia has literally used his legs to get him all the way to third base.”
  • [About Infante’s high socks] “He looking fast and quick.”

Even during last night’s Orioles game I got a couple more:

  • “He has played shortstop his entire LIFE.”
  • “Verlander was able to punch out the rookie phe-nam…”

It’s right there for the picking–easy fruit.  And then there are some Hall of Famers:

  • “What an ath-e-lete.” (repeat)
  • “They’re tardy–they’re late.”
  • “Verlander’s got some skills.”
  • “You’ve got to be ready–and prepared.”
  • “He just looks fabberglasted.”

I know, what a jerk this Walsh is.  Leave the poor guy alone.  He spends 81 nights on the road and had to sludge through some of the worst baseball before Justin Verlander arrived on the scene.

But I’m not alone.  Back in 2006, some Detroit fans actually created a drinking game that is now in its fourth installment.  You can read more about it–and get a much more comprehensive list of his regular expressions at this great link


And sometimes I feel guilty, when I’m not wondering why one of the best sports-markets in the nation can’t find a veteran from its long Tiger tradition other than a player whose top highlight on YouTube is attacking a Japanese beanball artist–all to the Benny Hill theme song:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MLkIwnQIw4]

Oh well.  Maybe somebody in the Tigers front-office know something I don’t know.  Or perhaps Mr. Allen know something about someone in the very same front office.

Either way, he got the endorsement deal that really helps pay the bills for all former ath-e-letes.  And Ace hardware came a-calling:

Q.  What’s worse than a picky former English teacher listening to a broadcast?

A.  A former English and Video Productions teacher watching a local commercial.


At the risk of sounding too much like a former Biology teacher, let’s do some dissection of how the pre-game  for this ad played out…

“Okay Rod, we need you to introduce the product then we’re going to cut to you staring helplessly at the fertilizer rack.”

“Got it.”

“Next, we’re going to have the helpful-hardware man discover your dilemma.”

“Right.  Errr…What’s my dilemma?”

“You see grass a lot on the job, right?”

“This is true.”

“Okay, that’s the pitch.  You want your yard to look like the ballparks you visit.”

“Okay.  Can I use my hands when I talk.  I’m a big fan of the Sopranos and I think it helps.”

“Umm…Okay.  One more question.”


“Can you nod?”

Rod nods.

“Great!  Let’s start!”

“Should I tuck in my shirt?”

“Naw.  It’s Saturday and you’re getting ready to do yardwork.”

“But I live in Arizona.”

“What’s that?”

“Nothing, big fella!”

“Perfect! Say ‘big fella’ in the spot!  That’s what all Ace hardware guys like to be called anyway!”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiQ86NiWRAI]

And the best part is, this successful ad (minus its fictional green-room discussion) launched another series this season!

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About Kevin Walsh

Kevin began MyMediaDiary.com in 2013 as an experiment that was as simple as "What's a blog?" and ended up becoming a forum for fellow writers. He's been a high school teacher for 28 years and worked as an administrator and instructor in colleges for 6. Contact him at: kevin@mymediadiary.com He is also the producer of the web-series and blog, www.DiggingDetroit, founder and producer for MMD Productions at www.mmdphotovideo.com which offers quick, professional photography, video and multimedia solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses. His high school media production text, "Video Direct," has been used in 40 states--and he occasionally still sells a few. He is the current president of the non-profit DAFT (Digital Arts Film and Television) which sponsors the Michigan Student Film Festival. He lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, is married to Patrice and is tolerated by his two kids Aidan and Abby who have all graciously allowed him to write about them on occasion. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kwteacher

One Response to “Fabberglasted” – Local Legend of Baseball and Fertilizer, Rod Allen

  1. Kale says:

    I love Rod Allen.