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Cubs Fri Sep 04 2009

Holy Cow, Indeed

collins4.jpgBack in the 1980s when the Cubs REALLY were stinking up the joint (as opposed to their current performance of dropped fly balls and lackadasical managers), the team did whatever it could to get fans into the ballpark on a consistent basis. It was the era when they sold fans on the idea of the bleachers-as-bar (Thank you, Harry Caray). And it was the era of Marla Collins.

If the name doesn't immediately conjure up an image in your mind, you probably weren't a hetrosexual male during that time. Collins was the Cubs "ballgirl", a term created during that less label-conscious time. But she wasn't merely a female version of a ballboy, dressed up in an ill-fitting full uniform. Collins had curves and the Cubs weren't afraid to use them. In her case, she was given Daisy Dukeish shorts and a tighter-than-it-probably-had-to-be jersey, all done up in Cubs pinstripes. Her hair was Farah Fawcett-perfect and guys would stand up when she sprinted to pick up foul balls or deliver a new set of baseballs to the umpire. Since the Cubs weren't really hitting them out of the park during that time, there were people wishing they would at least foul one to the backstop just to see her in, um, action. Here profile was furthen enhanced when Harry started waxing poetic about her from up in the booth, and when WGN producer Arne Harris began giving orders to his camera men to follow her motion every now and then instead of Ryne Sandberg's.

But the Collins era came to an end when she posed for Playboy and offended the Cubs' "family friendly" sensibilities (which were apparently fine when they dressed her in the shortest shorts and tightest top and positioned her nearly in the middle of the field).

The Daily News Journal of Kankakee catches up with Collins and talks about her two daughters (!) and her, let's say social interaction with some of the top ballplayers of that era. She may not have done much to help the Cubs get closer to a World Series, but she made the waiting a little less painful.

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