Whistling a few bars from Take Me Out to the Ball Game? Dreaming about the sure-fire shortstop moves of Ozzie Smith? Sure, but it's the pitch of a hot dog vendor we really look forward to this time of year. Tommy Walton, "the singing hot dog man," tosses the tube steak along with a winning rendition of that baseball tune as well as an eclectic mix ranging from Born in the U.S.A. to Oh, Canada at St. Louis Cardinals spring training games at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
But the songs, the dogs and the money he earns may prove a strike-out, if the team owners' lock-out is not resolved. To complicate matters, Walton underwent foot surgery a few months ago and has accumulated nearly $8,000 in medical bills. He has no insurance.DL:
So, radio station WYNF (94.9-FM) and morning guys Ron & Ron (aka Bennington and Diaz), are staging a benefit for Walton on Wednesday night at Ron Bennington's Comedy Scene in Clearwater. The show will feature comedy by Ron and Ron, Ken Sons and Buzz Southerland, an acoustic set by The Attitude and appearances by sports television anchors Dick Crippen from WFLA-Ch. 8, Al Keck from WTSP-Ch. 10 and Bob Alvarez from WTOG-Ch. 44.
The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $7.95 in advance. Reservations are necessary. The Comedy Scene is at 401 U.S. 19 S, just north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in the Rodeway Inn. For reservations or information, call 791-4477.
WYNF and the St. Petersburg Pelicans have also set up a bank account for donations.
Make check payable to Tommy Walton Medical Assistance Fund, c/o Florida National Bank, P.O. Box 1689, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33731-9943 or drop by any Florida National Bank office.