Recently we were asked to discuss some of our favorite moments in 17 years at Late Show with David Letterman. Included are some stories you might not have heard about covering the Olympics with Dave’s mom, remote segments with Rupert Jee and Biff Henderson, Dave’s Super Bowl Promo with Oprah and Jay Leno and America’s sweetheart Lyle the Intern. It was an honor to be included and was a lot of fun. Enjoy…
I know the date it started. October 19, 1980. I saw Dan Fouts and Air Coryell destroy the New York Giants on TV. It was the greatest football show I had even seen and while I had watched some games here and there at that time, I didn’t really have a team I could call mine. This was the moment I knew I found my squad. They were exciting. They were powerful. And they looked damn good in those uniforms. The future was bright.
Since then, I can’t say it has been a rollercoaster ride since rollercoasters go up and down. It’s been in a word- traumatic. One singular Super Bowl appearance ending the 1994 season which was decided in the first quarter while I was still on my first plate of nachos. The following years saw awful decisions, draft pick busts, but then a glimmer of hope. Future Hall of Famers and stacked rosters that for whatever cosmic reason couldn’t get it done including a 14-2 team which fumbled a playoff win to the hands of the Tom Brady and the Patriots.
This season my team battled through injuries (mid-way through the season, analytics determined them to be the most injured team in the NFL this season by far) to make it to the playoffs, only to lose their big target deep threat wide receiver Mike Williams in a meaningless regular season game. How the hell could that happen?
No matter, they took a 27-0 lead in a prime time playoff laugher against the Jacksonville Jaguars only to fold and lose 31-30. The text messages flooded in from people I didn’t even know had my number. It was THE low moment in a fandom of low moments. Rock bottom.
I needed help. I decided to discuss my issues with an A.I. therapist I found. This is unedited and the therapist’s responses were instant, so I’m quite sure it wasn’t someone typing on the other end. Perhaps this will help you. Here is our session.
What started out as a dream, has now reached a new milestone as Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel have signed with their 10th team, the Norwich Sea Unicorns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this organization,” said Eric. “This goes out to all the haterz who said we suck and we were just wasting everyone’s time.”
His brother Justin was just as excited. “Anyone who knows me knows I like the sea and I like unicorns. My unicorn name would be Rainbow Buttons.”
Sea Unicorns General Manager Lee Walter Jr. made things official with the Stangels on a Zoom call. The GM sealed the deal by offering Eric and Justin the opportunity to also make PA announcements during a game, something baseball historians suggest has never previously been included in a baseball contract.
The Stangels have now signed with the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers, St. Paul Saints, Akron Rubberducks, Carolina Disco Turkeys, Hudson Valley Renegades, Kingsport Axmen, Spearfish Sasquatch and the Norwich Sea Unicorns.
The Sea Unicorns play their home opener Monday May 30th at 6:30 pm at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut. Tickets are available at http://goseaunicorns.com.
Nine is an important number in baseball. It’s the number of innings in a game. It’s the number of players on the field and in a lineup. It’s also the number of baseball teams who have signed Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel to one-day contracts.
Today the Spearfish Sasquatch, a South Dakota ballclub in the Independence League made it official.
“We’re proud to join the team. Growing up in the suburbs of New York, it was every kid’s dream to join a South Dakota collegiate baseball team. I am now living that dream,” said Eric Stangel.
“A lot of times when I walk in the woods people confuse me for Sasquatch, so it’s kinda perfect,” said Justin Stangel.
The Sasquatch added a special perk to the Stangels’ contract. In addition to joining the roster, each Stangel brother will also be allowed to model a piece of merchandise for the team website, SpearfishSasquatch.com.
Game tickets are now available on the site. The home opener is Friday May 27th.
Video of the signing can be seen below. Eric Schmidt, Sasquatch Owner and General Manager mentioned a special promotion this season, July 3rd’s Baseball Card Night. It’s an attempt to get kids and adults interested in the hobby. Fans have been sending in packs and boxes for the team to give away. If interested, DM the team on their twitter page @sprfshsasquatch.
The Kingsport Axmen have some unexpected relief coming this season. General Manager Logan Davis announced Saturday that the team has signed Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel, two comedy writers and producers with no professional baseball experience, to shore up the back end of the bullpen for the Appalachian League squad.
This is the 8th team the brothers have signed with since 2020.
“We are excited to be part of the Axmen. This brings us one step closer to our lifelong dream we’ve had since we started this two years ago,” said lefthander Eric Stangel.
When asked what he thought about the role he’ll be playing in 2022 this season from the pen, Star Trek fan Justin Stangel said “I have no idea what that means. The uniforms are sweet though.”
The Axmen are so excited about the new season, which opens June 2nd, and their 2 new pitchers, that they’re offering a special 22% discount on all merchandise for all fans who use the code “signingday” at checkout on Saturday April 2nd. The team store can be found at http://kingsportaxmen.milbstore.com
The Axmen have a special connection with their Tennessee community. This season they’re sponsoring a Little League squad they’ve dubbed the “Mini-Axmen” as well as a travel ball tournament called the Axmen Classic.
Eric and Justin have previously signed with the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers, St. Paul Saints, Akron Rubberducks, Carolina Disco Turkeys, and Hudson Valley Renegades.
The Stangels are currently tied with Bobby Bonilla, among others for Most Baseball Teams with 8. The All time record is Edwin Jackson, who played for 14, but unlike Eric and Justin never won two Emmys. (Yes we realize that’s the major league record, but we couldn’t find the minor league record so we just went with it. Calm down stat nerds.)
Video of the signing can be found below. Trigger warning: You see A LOT of Justin. Like a lot.
Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Jeter, Stangel. What do they all have in common? As of today, they are all members of the New York Yankees organization.
Eric and Justin Stangel have signed with their 7th baseball team, inking a one-day contract with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the High A squad of the Bronx Bombers.
“The Renegades have made a terrible error in judgment,” said Eric, a lifelong Yankees fan. “There’s no reason this should have happened.”
But the team is confident with their move. Team Vice President Rick Zolzer and President/General Manager Steve Gliner welcomed the Stangels on a Zoom call (which can be seen below) and included a special bonus in the contract: the chance to throw out the first pitch at a future Renegades home game.
In an odd coincidence, Justin Stangel also said “The Renegades have made a terrible error in judgment. There’s no reason this should have happened.”
Team officials were proud to discuss something special they do annually. D3 Day (Disability, Dream and Do) is a camp where kids with special needs can work with players and coaches to practice the game of baseball. This year’s D3 Day will take place Saturday September 4th. The Renegades have been hosting this annually in Hudson Valley since 2017. More info can be found at https://www.d3day.com/what-we-do. To contribute visit https://www.d3day.com/contribute.
In addition to the Renegades, the Stangels previously signed with the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers, St. Paul Saints, Akron RubberDucks and Carolina Disco Turkeys. They have now signed with A, AA, and AAA teams.
It was announced on SportsNation, but now it’s official.
Eric and Justin Stangel have signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Disco Turkeys of the All-American Amateur Baseball Association. The Disco Turkeys, who are in their inaugural season, made a smart decision to bring on two people considered by many to be “good clubhouse guys.”
Team President and co-owner Greg Sullivan offered the Stangels a contract with an interesting perk. Show up this season at Truist Stadium in Winston-Salem and Eric and Justin will each get one of their world famous turkey legs. According to a google search, that has never been included in a baseball contract before.
“When you put in the kind of work we have put in and then the call comes in, you can’t believe it. What an honor to be part of the inaugural roster of this Disco Turkeys squad. It’s humbling,” said first baseman Eric.
“I like turkey,” said Justin.
The Disco Turkeys are a hit locally and nationally. The team has already connected with their community, scheduling events for locals to meet the players. And their funky jersey logo has gotten a strong reaction online. Fans can purchase items from the Fowl Territory Team Store at www.carolina-disco-turkeys.myshopify.com
This is the 6th team the Stangels have signed with, following the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers, St. Paul Saints, and Akron RubberDucks. Their story was featured on SportsNation on ESPN+.
Exclusive footage of the signing can be seen below.
Sportsnation, the popular morning sports show on ESPN+ didn’t realize it, but they were about to get an exclusive. The Stangel brothers had just signed with their 5th baseball team, when a producer from the Worldwide Leader In Sports reached out for a booking.
Eric and Justin quickly accepted and went to work to prepare. When they taped the segment with Ashley Brewer, Christine Williamson and Treavor Scales, the Stangels told the tale of where this idea began, and took us through signing one day deals with the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers, St. Paul Saints and Akron RubberDucks.
Then the bombshell. No one realized at the time, but they Stangels were about to reveal team #6. Spoiler below the clip.
That’s right, the Carolina Disco Turkeys. A perfect fit. The actual signing will be in the next few weeks, but it’s a formality at this point. The world now knows.
For the 5th time in less than a year, Eric & Justin Stangel have signed a one-day contract with a professional baseball team. This time, the AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, the Akron RubberDucks.
“We’re hungry for a title run with the RubberDucks,” said first baseman Eric Stangel. “We’re also hungry because the team promised if we showed up to the stadium this season, they’d give us a free 21 scoop ice cream sundae served in a full-size batting helmet.”
Shrewd General Manager Jim Pfander put the bonus in Eric’s contract, which according to sources sealed the deal. The sundae is called The Screamer. It’s 5 pounds of Ruggles ice cream, 1 pound of crumbled brownie or famous Gardner apple pie, a banana, whipped cream, cherry, hot fudge and sprinkles.
For Justin Stangel, signing with Akron is a dream come true. “When I was a Little League outfielder, whenever a ball was hit my way, I’d do one thing. Duck. Makes sense that today we sign with the RubberDucks. It’s fate.”
Pfander added something special from the Extreme Food Menu to Justin’s contract. If he shows up at Canal Park this season, he gets a RubberDucks signature Nice 2 Meat U Burger, a two pound burger featuring 1 1/4 pounds of beef, a half pound hot dog and a quarter pound of cheese, bacon and onions.
Connecting with the community is a priority for this squad. For the past 8 years Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has been the beneficiary of the team’s nightly 50/50 raffle. The team and the fans have helped raise over $200,000 to build homes in the greater Akron area.
Pfander and the RubberDucks are looking forward to getting back to baseball. Opening Day is May 4th at Canal Park. Go to AkronRubberDucks.com for more information.
In addition to the Akron RubberDucks, since 2020 the Stangel Bros have signed with the Portland Pickles, Cleburne Railroaders, Lake Erie Crushers and St. Paul Saints.
Exclusive footage of the signing can be seen below.