Carmen Fanzone, Part 3

October 18, 2006

Case closed? The baseball impostures seem to have tailed off in the late-1970s, just as a comedic saboteur named Don Novello was gaining notoriety for his Saturday Night Live character Father Guido Sarducci (shown here). Blazing a trail later followed most notably by Sacha Baron Cohen, Novello pushed his Sarducci characterization beyond the limits of fiction by getting arrested at the Vatican in 1981 for impersonating a priest. For some reason, no inquiry was made at the time of the arrest into any other possible past impersonations, and the strange case of Carmen Fanzone aka Craig Swan was never solved. As recently as 2000, Novello seemed to wink about his unnoticed years as a mustachioed major league baseball cipher by writing the San Francisco Giants a sardonic letter containing an idea about employing Portuguese Water Dogs to retrieve home runs hit into the bay just beyond the borders of their new ballpark. The Giants, in addition to not recognizing Novello’s apparent desire to be punished for mocking baseball by leading the league in earned run average the same year he made several appearances on a nationally televised comedy show, also failed to fathom the satiric nature of the letter and promptly implemented the idea. When the Giants subsequently discontinued the program, Novello put a curse on the franchise.


  1. I’m new at this, but Fanzone was my college roomie,(CMU), bandmate and sometimes drinking partner. Have got a bunch of stories and pics. I’m writing this in hopes he sees it and tries to shut me up!!! (Don’t mention Yolanda!) He gave me my nic “Cha Cha.” (So, nicchacha)

    Am at a friend’s house right now but can be reached at ralan5@comcast.net

    Hope he sees this!!! And writes!

    Hey (his explicative nickname deleted), how ya’ doin???????? Luv ya, Cha Cha (Richard)

  2. great piece…..just curious if you have stats on which players/categories get clicked on the most…. that would be interesting.

    i assume boston….i wonder if players at the top of the page get read more than at the bottom of the page…i sort of randomly pick players….gives more of thrill….like opening a new pack of cards 🙂

    which are the most written about cards? You would have to account for all the boston comments that were really just blogging about the playoff games you were all watching….

    i want to know, do more people read about mark belanger than mark corey?

    have any comments been made from topps photographers or makers of the CBGs?

    you should put a random page link on the site.

  3. fredbeene: I think the most viewed post on the site is one of the ones I did on Mark Fidrych. But that’s more a function of the post being linked to by high-traffic sites than a reflection of what archived post a regular visitor to the site would most likely visit. (Though I’d like to think the Bird gets his share of visitors that way too.)

    There is a random post function for this site, when you’re signed into wordpress. It’s one of the menu options for the “blog info” heading at the very top of the page.

  4. Oh OK. I dug a little deeper into wordpress. I got excited about the dashboard, but in reality it very limited to what us baseball staticians demand 🙂

    I guess the other way I pick a category on the CBG’s is where the comment field i write aligns between the categories on the right hand page. Right now I am aligned with bert blyleven. Guess I will meander his way.

    FYI – i found your site through Wil McEnaney via google, hunting down info on a girl….details in his category.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: