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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries: Larsen was known for World Series perfect game and frog legs

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 12, 2020

By D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

Most of you know by now that the late Don Larsen of Hayden pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees against Brooklyn in 1956, the only no-hitter in World Series history.

That information was all over the news after Larsen died at age 90 on New Year’s Day.

But did you know that Larsen was nicknamed “Froggy” during his two-plus seasons as a reliever with the San Francisco Giants in the early 1960s?

Larsen earned the tag from teammates, according to Chris Taft of, because he liked to “gig” frogs in his time off. His wife Corrine had developed a marmalade for use in preparing frog legs.

Former Giants teammate Bob Bolin told Haft that the Larsen’s frog legs were “tender and good,” and that Larsen served the frog legs “as an appetizer, midnight snack or main course, depending on the circumstances.”

Larsen, known as “Gooney Bird” elsewhere during his baseball career, didn’t repeat his perfect game with San Francisco. But, in relief, Señor Froggy won a pennant-clinching 1962 playoff game against the hated Dodgers, then won Game 4 in the seven-game World Series that the Giants lost to the Yankees.

Handle with care

Scene in the women’s restroom in Concourse C at Spokane International on Christmas Eve day: An airport employee is emptying the trash while several women fidget in line, waiting to use the facilities. (Don’t ask how Huckleberries got this information.) First woman in line to female custodian: “You didn’t just reach in there with your hand, did you?” Nervously, the worker nods. Second woman in line: “That’s dangerous. People shoot up.” Worker bee stares blankly. Perhaps she is thinking of the slogan from Southwest Airlines commercial: “Wanna get away?” She hesitates. First woman, again: “Didn’t they teach you not to do that?” The employee shakes her head no. Second woman: “Use your foot. Use your mop handle.” The cornered employee is saved by nature’s call, as two stalls open. She quickly finishes her business before her interrogators finish theirs, relieved to be out of the line of fire.


Poet’s Corner: “I wish you good fortune/ and rest from your worries,/ wish you laughter and love/ and no snow but flurries” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A New Year’s Wish”) … Quotable Quote: Rick McKinley of Imago Dei Church in Portland on Christmas Eve: “God spoke to me in an odd sort of way. He never does this. But He said: ‘No talking politics during Christmas.’” Would that the padre’s sentiment could extend year-round … Another Sign That the End Is Near: Idaho was the top moving destination in the country in 2019, according to the United Van Lines’ 43rd Annual National Movers Study. Spud Staters used to get excited about such news. Now, they just groan … PSA from Kellogg PD Roll Call from an incident at Bunker and Cameron avenues: “It is not advisable to slide sideways through a busy intersection with the police sitting right there.”

Parting Shot

The “unhideable” version of “Whose Boat Is This Boat?” has sailed from its spot near the checkout counter of the Coeur d’Alene Library to a secluded location near the fireplace. “Whose Boat,” as you recall, was sent to the library by “The Late Show” after originator Stephen Colbert heard that a bandit was hiding books critical of President Donald Trump and conservatives. Many posed with the oversized book. On Tuesday, 22 political books, recommended by staff, were displayed near the library entrance. For the record, and paranoid partisans, the display was bipartisan. Nine favored Republicans like Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Karl Rove. Eight sided with liberals like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Five were neutral. The political balance of the display should appease everyone. But it won’t.

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at

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