Later that same episode…the second contestant, going for $64,000, is faced with the question “in 1947, who became the first African-American baseball player to play in the American League?”, and the choices Larry Doby, Satchel Paige, Dan Bankhead, and Jackie Robinson.
He says that he knows it’s not Jackie Robinson because the Dodgers are in the National League, but then makes the mistake of polling the audience. The poll results: 55% for Paige, 23% for Doby, 18% for Robinson, and 4% for Bankhead. Then he takes the 50/50, which leaves Paige and Doby, says “I should have trusted the audience instincts,” makes Paige his final answer, and leaves with $32,000.
If only it had been a question about Rob Dibble!
On the November 28, 2000, episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” the four answer choices were “nib,” “tang,” “bail,” and “dibble” for the $125,000 question “what is the name of the unseen part of the knife blade that secures the blade to the handle,” and the following ensued:
Regis: Well, I drank some Tang once, if that helps. Somebody bailed me out, as a matter of fact. And I do dibble well.
Contestant: Rob Dibble — he was a pitcher with the Reds at one time.
Regis: There you go. Good reliever. (Although as Regis said it, it sounded more like “reliefer.”)
The contestant chose to quit, and left with $125,000. If only he had been able to think of Frank Tang-nana!
Levi: Is it the nib?
Jim: No, it’s the tang, hence my reference to Frank Ta(ng)nana, and not to, um, Nibbles.
A nib is the metal part you write with on a fountain pen; a bail is, among other things, the metal bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen; and this is a dibble (used to make a big enough hole in the ground so that you can put in a bulb or a seedling).
The Subservient Chicken will play baseball, if asked. But he doesn’t know how to steal home, and when asked to cork his bat, he just plays baseball.
Luke, hanger-on: I think the truth is that it’s actually a Subserviant Cub inside a Subserviant Chicken suit. It does not know how to “go to the World Series” or even “win,” but it does know how to “lose,” “make questionable trades” and “raise, then dash, hopes and dreams.”
Levi: Speaking of stealing home: I learned today that Jackie Robinson stole home 19 times in his career!
Why, oh why is there not more stealing home? It’s one of the greatest plays in sports. But I’ve never gotten to see it live.
Time to clone Jackie Robinson!
Jim: I saw someone steal home live in a minor-league game involving, if I recall correctly, the Lancaster Jethawks and the team that was then known as the Mudville Nine in an ill-conceived attempt to disguise the fact that they were from Stockton.
I’m sure it would have been slightly more impressive if it happened in a level higher than Class A, where the players are slightly more skilled.