Remembering Mets History (1978) Mets Wives Take On Happy Days Cast in a Softball Game

 August 20th 1978: The cast of the TV show Happy Days had a softball team that played charity events from the mid-seventies into the early eighties. 

The idea came from the great creator of the show, Gary Marshall. Gary Marshall was an Italian American, born in the Bronx & the older brother of Penny Marshall. 

Penny started out on the Odd Couple as Oscar Madison's secretary Myrna Tyrner. She then appeared on Happy Days as Laverne DiFozio before going on to star in her own series- Laverne & Shirley with Cindy Williams. 

A Young Howie Rose Interviews the Fonz
Gary Marshall directed all three of those classic TV shows mentioned -the Odd Couple, Happy Days & Laverne & Shirley. He would also direct movies like - Pretty Woman, the Flamingo Kid, Overboard, Frankie & Johnny & the TV show Mork & Mindy.

 The Happy Days soft ball team also featured other actors & actresses at times. They would play for charity & tour throughout major league ball parks across America. There were even times they took the game overseas.

Mostly all of the popular Happy Days cast would play on the team, with Henry Winkler "the Fonz" being an excellent softball pitcher. "Mrs. C"-Marion Ross, later stated that the softball team, kept the cast close together & was loads of fun to do.

Mary Valentine- Bobby Valentine's Wife Hugs the Fonz

Mets vs Dodgers: The softball event came before a game between the Mets & National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. On this classic evening as everyone was smiling on the field, with the Fonz, the Happy Days cast, The Mets & the Mets wives, but not in the Visiting clubhouse. 

Dodger Drama: All Star Dodger pitcher Don Sutton had previously made a comment to Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post saying, "all you hear about on our team is Steve Garvey, the All-American Boy. Reggie Smith was the real MVP, we all know it. Smith has carried us the past two years."

Steve Garvey also an All Star & the 1974 NL MVP, took offense, especially because Sutton didn't say it to Garvey face to face. 

That night Garvey approached Sutton at his locker in the visitors' clubhouse at Shea Stadium. The two started out speaking softly, but then all of a sudden, Sutton jumped up pushing Garvey into the lockers. 

Next thing everyone knew, the two were going at it, wrestling on the floor & throwing punches at each other. Their Dodger team mates quickly jumped in to break it up. Garvey later said that Sutton admitted he made the comments to the press & then made an inappropriate comment about his wife, Cyndy Garvey. 

Quotes- Steve Garvey: "I don't think these things should come out like this in public. If someone has something to say they should say it to my face. I'm only human. I have always tried to set an example for the Dodgers both on & off the field but when someone says something about my family, that's pushing it too far. This is the first time in my career something like this has happened.

After the game Garvey had some scratches on his face & a bloodshot eye. Sutton also had a bruise on his cheek.

Mets Dodger Game: In that day's game, the Mets took a 4-2 lead into the 9th inning. Elliot Maddox had four hits for the Mets, with an RBI. Willie Montanez drove in two runs & John Stearns drove in another. 

As for Garvey, he had two hits & drove in the Dodgers first run. In the top of the 9th the Dodgers drew a walk & Garvey then singled off starter Craig Swan. Manager Joe Torre brought in Skip Lockwood who could not close out the game. The Dodgers collected two more hits & scored three runs to win the game 5-4.

That year they went on win their second straight NL Pennant. The Mets finished in last place in 1978 going 66-96. 

TV Trivia: Happy Days would finish tied with Mork & Mindy as the #3 show of the 1978-1979 season. In the 1976-1977 season, Happy Days was television's #1 show, knocking out All In the Family after its five-year run at the top. Happy Days finished second in the 1977-1978 TV season.


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