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Remembering Morganna, The Kissing Bandit

May 17, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Morganna

It’s hard to remember a time when someone running out onto the playing field at a sporting event would not be chased, pummeled or tased. Or that we, as a society, wouldn’t find it uncomfortable and problematic for someone to run up to another person and give them an unsolicited kiss.  But the 1960s-80s were a very different time and place. A time and place that could produce Morganna, the Kissing Bandit.

People my age and older remember her. For those who don’t, all you really need to know is that she was an extremely buxom woman who would run out onto baseball diamonds — later in life it was more of a shuffle than a run — and plant one on various ballplayers. Pete Rose was her first target. Many others would follow. As would appearances on late night talk shows, “celebrity” panel game shows and in various places around our then comparatively barren pop culture landscape.

If you want to know more about her, go watch this mini-documentary about her. Which I found really interesting, even if I liked it somewhat better when I knew absolutely nothing about her apart from her strange, random appearances at now mostly-demolished baseball stadiums back in the era of big hair and plastic grass.

  1. bigmeechy74 - May 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I thought you meant she was dead. Misleading title.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      I took it the same way Meech.

  2. hittfamily - May 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Nowadays, she’d be peddling a sex tape to somebody.

    • hittfamily - May 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      Okay. I’m 5 minutes into this movie,and I’m positive a sex tape is classier than these people.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Is that on good authority? Please provide your references.

      • hittfamily - May 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        I don’t get it heyblue. Clue me in.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 17, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        I kid I kid, that’s where you pick it up and explain your expertise on the amatuer porn world via funny, serious, outraged/

        I was hoping for funny.

  3. Kevin Gillman - May 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Yeah Craig, you need to watch that title. I thought she had passed too. But you’re right, she couldn’t do something like that in today’s baseball. Or how about the two fans that ran with Hank Aaron when he broke the Home Run record just to pat him on the back, and give him a high five. Ahhh good times.

    • yahmule - May 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      The most remarkable thing about those two guys getting that close to him was that Aaron had received death threats as he neared 715.

      • Kevin Gillman - May 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        That is true, incredible what he did, despite the threats. I wonder though in today’s baseball if a woman like Morganna can do that? Anytime we see or hear about a fan jumping onto the field, it’s a man. Good memories.

      • forsch31 - May 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Which made what those two guys did all the more awesome.

    • hittfamily - May 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Or the father and son that attempted to light an American flag on the field to protest the Vietnam War, when Rick Monday snatched it. Or when Tom Gamboa was beaten by another father and son team. Remember how hilarious it was when Jimmy Piersall was attacked in the outfield by 2 fans. It was soo cool when Kurt Bevacqua got his head slammed by a fan who ran on the field and hit him with a beer mug. Wally Joyner was hit by a knife thrown att him in Yankee stadium. That was so much good ole fashioned fun. Remember those good times when the Senators forfeited their last game because the fans ran on the field and beat the shit out of the cops, stole the bags, and attacked the umpires. 10 cent bearnight had lots of fans on the field: That was just good ole fashioned fun, or a fight for survival depending on who you were. Or how about when Monica Seles was stabbed by a crazed fan.

      Ahh good times. I sure wish all these fun things could still happen. Let’s just get rid of security, and let whoever wants to run on the field run on the field.

      • Kevin Gillman - May 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        point well taken.

      • flosox - May 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        “10 cent bearnight had lots of fans on the field: That was just good ole fashioned fun, or a fight for survival depending on who you were”

        So many things wrong with how that sentence reads from one missplaced letter. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while!!

      • nightman13 - May 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        I think it’s more a longing for the days when 8 out of10 people weren’t batsh-t crazy and trying to kill people.

        Kids could go for a bike ride for an hour and not have to worry about being abducted, or go to the mall without getting shot, etc.

      • forsch31 - May 17, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        >>>>>”Ahh good times. I sure wish all these fun things could still happen. Let’s just get rid of security, and let whoever wants to run on the field run on the field.”

        Um, who said that?

  4. bdemps42 - May 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Agree with the other people making comments. Change the title. Having just seen that video within the past few days, I assumed you were telling us she had died.

  5. thomas844 - May 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Nowadays she would probably be tackled and tased by security the second she set foot on the field.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Ahhh, back when baseball players were players and not multi-million dollar investments in need of protection.

      • hittfamily - May 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        Back before Wally Joyner was inches from death by knife, and Monica Seles was stabbed in the back. They very much need protection from fans.

      • billybawl - May 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Yes, I think the shirtless dad and son who assaulted the Royals’ base coach pretty much ended any argument about when is it cute for fans to interrupt the game.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        While those points have merit, the base of what I said have some merit to them as well in how they now handle these investments. Contracts with off season clauses that could effect the contract, teams wanting more control of physical therapies, etc.

  6. sisisisisisisi - May 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    interesting fact from Wiki…she wanted to be a nun when she was a young girl

  7. agelardi - May 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Easy change from: Remembering Morganna, The Kissing Bandit

    to

    Remember Morganna, The Kissing Bandit?

  8. billybawl - May 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I think your photo of Morganna is as tasteful as exists and I commend you for your restraint.

    My favorite photo of her is of her running into Nolan Ryan’s open arms, which, if memory serves, is also safe viewing.

  9. theninfinger - May 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Opening day, 1985, in the Astrodome: Stevie Ray Vaughn performed the national anthem and Morganna bounced out onto the field to plant a kiss on Nolan Ryan who had dropped to one knee welcoming her. Phil Garner kept tipping his hat towards her hoping to get some action, but to no avail. Then the Astros went on to beat the Dodgers 2-1 in a sold out (and LOUD) dome. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    IIRC, Morganna was brought up on charges for trespassing, but was defended by Racehorse Haynes who invoked the gravity defense: “She was just leaning over the railing, and gravity took over.” I think the case was thrown out at that point.

    • fm31970 - May 17, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      LOL, the “Brick House” defense. Hasn’t failed a client yet.

      I guess just like streakers, even Mogranna fell out of favor eventually.

  10. pudgefisk72 - May 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Doug Henning yesterday and Morganna today. What’s inspired the trip down 70′s lane?

    • fm31970 - May 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      Can’t wait for Richard Simmons tomorrow.

  11. chadjones27 - May 17, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    A couple years from now we’ll be remembering the dude in jean shorts who ran out onto field after the Mets got a no-hitter

    • nightman13 - May 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      I believe the proper nomenclature is “jorts”

  12. bigmeechy74 - May 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    One more quick comment about the title: I’m a big fan of craig. But this seems like a cheap ploy to get page hits. If you are resorting to that, maybe you should put in an application over at bleacher report.

  13. jfk69 - May 20, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    Thanks Craig
    She was a character back in the day.
    I have two signed 8 by 12 photos of her bookending some very famous memorabilia on my shelf. Of course a hug and a cheek kiss came with them. They are priceless. The M at the beginning of her signed signature is a big as her bust. YES they felt real on my chest
    I only wish the Apple iphone was invented then. Personal picture….too expensive then. Memory free

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