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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

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Monday, October 11, 2004


It's pretty tacky how some people use another's death to make it all about themselves, but I'm going to venture into the realm of tackiness to take a moment to reflect on the death of former Padre, Astro and Ranger Ken Caminiti.

Growing up, I was never the biggest baseball fan, but in the Army with a lot of hours to kill and TV being just about the only thing to eat up those hours, I grew to love the game. The first time I visited San Diego on leave from Monterey, I caught a Padres game and instantly fell in lust with Ken Caminiti, or Cammy. He led the charge as the Padres went from being perrenial also-rans to the National League Champions. He was the NL MVP. He also had an appetite for two things; steroids and cocaine.

HOT. (apologies to Joe. My. God.)

In those early days of the internet, I was one of the first people I knew with an AOL account. These were the days when 23 people in the ONE Gay & Lesbian chat room was a big night, and sign-on names were pretty easy to grab. My first AOL screen name? CammyFan.

The first webpage I ever designed? The Cammy Worship Page.

When Cammy made the cover of Baseball Weekly in his sleeveless t-shirt, breaking a bat with his huge arms, I bought four copies, mounted one, had it laminated with no-glow laminate and framed it. It hung on my bedroom wall for years.

When Cammy was selected for the 1997 National League All-Star Team, I got wet. That year the All Star Game was played at Jacob's Field in Cleveland. That Christmas my ex bought me an official NL All-Star jersey with "Caminiti" across the back. I still have it.

I once drove two and a half hours to Pittsburgh to watch Cammy and the Padres play the Pirates, since being an NL team in those days prior to inter-league play, they never made it to Cleveland. I shot two rolls of film, all of Cammy - at the pre-game warmup, batting practice, playing first.

At the time, I had no idea his private life was so troubled. I found out about the cocaine abuse years later, after he left/was pushed out of baseball.

As I grew older, my tastes changed. My AOL screen name changed. My bedroom wall changed. Cammy changed.

But I remember him in only good ways. You were someone special, Cammy. I'm still a CammyFan. Rest in peace.


Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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