Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mae West is topless while rain falls in the "Bottom of the Sixth"

How steaming mad would your wife be if each year, a super hot movie star, let's say Scarlett Johansson in this instance, offered up to you her best holiday wishes via a Christmas card that included a photo of her, you know, totally buck naked?

My wife would pop me with the sweet spot of a Louisville Slugger.

But you know whose wife, or so she claimed, did not get ticked off?

Beans Reardon's wife, Eugenia, that's who.

I've been researching through a bit of baseball history recently and came across Beans, a National League umpire from 1926 to 1949. He was known for his beer drinking (not on the diamond, I hope) and strong language (you bet that happened on the diamond). He was behind the plate when Babe Ruth hit his 714th and final home run.

Scarlett Johansson, not Mae West
From what I gather from a little research, the Boston native – yeah, tha's how he got the nickname Beans – lived a spectacular life.

You may not know the name Beans Reardon, but you've seen him.

You remember the Norman Rockwell 1949 Saturday Evening Post cover and paiting "Bottom of the Sixth" featuring three umpires standing together under a slight rain? Beans, with his face all scrunched up, is the umpire in the middle.

In addition to appearing in Rockwell paintings, Beans owned an Anheuser-Busch beer distribution business – he later sold it to Frank Sinatra – and he appeared in several movies.

That brings us back to Mae West.

Beans and West were friends, and according to rumors or whatever, West was said to have sent nude photos of herself to Beans each year at Christmas.

Reading about Bean's life, all of his accomplishments and what not, this is the item that piqued my curiosity, as you can imagine.  

So I dug a little deeper and found an interesting Los Angeles Times story from way back in 1988 about Bean's wife, Eugenia, who in the interview confirms Mae West annually sent nude photos of herself, or as Eugenia suggest in the article, the same photo each year, to her husband.

Mae West
And apparently, Beans enlarged the photo and hung it on his den wall.

The last paragraph of the aforementioned L.A. Times story places Eugenia in the den, describing the room's contents"

"And Beans, who also was an actor, can be seen with Gary Cooper and other movie stars on a wall dominated by a large nude picture of Mae West. 'She always sent him a copy of that picture every Christmas,' Eugenia said. 'No, I was never jealous.'"

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