A long, black limousine pulled up to a taxi-stand as dusk cloaked an intersection of Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. Two men loomed inside talking with the chauffeur as the door opened. One wore sports clothes of the flashy colorful kind suggesting a tropical sunset. His companion was a study in conservative somber browns, topped off by smoked glasses and a fedora snapped down over his forehead.
They got out and hailed a cab, directed the driver to the Dodgers baseball stadium, less than three blocks away.
Ordinarily, cabbies dont mind short-haul fares. They mean quick cash. But three blocks! What kind of shadowy foul balls could these characters be?
Shadowy, yes! Foul balls, no! The characters were right off the MGM-TV lot nearby, and on the town with thousands of others who were going to the ball game.
Mr. Flashy was a movie agent; his somber friend was the studios top property: U.N.C.L.E.s David McCallum (alias Illya Kuryakin).
Indestructible though McCallum may appear to his fans, he is nonetheless quite human -indeed! Shy, quiet, persevering, stick-to-it, 100-proof Scot. Thats McCallum. He is also 100% hooked on a new kick, baseball. He gets a boot out of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same Magnificent Bums who have put the whammy on Doris Day, George Raft and a raft of other movie stars.
Somebody once described bonafide Dodger fans as being long on loyalty and lip, characteristics that surface when the home club is down on its luck. A Johnny-come-lately to be sure, McCallum is taking to Americas favorite pastime with the gusto that David took Goliath. Already the tell-tale symptoms are there.
A Dodger pennant festoons the wall of his MGM dressing room; McCallum munches hotdogs, swigs beer and bellows at umpires.
But a few such displays do not a Dodger fan make. Yet how many lukewarm fans will take the trouble to jet in from Europe to make the scene at a ball game? McCallum did.
Having missed the seasons April 12th opener against Houston at Chavez Ravine (he was filming MGMs Three Bites of The Apple in London and Rome), McCallum and his agent chalked up what must go down as the best triple play since Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance.
They booked a jet flight from Europe, landed in Los Angeles, where an MGM limousine picked them up and drove them to the taxi-stand three blocks from the stadium. The cab hustled them to the ballparks VIP entrance, to avoid the milling throng.
Because McCallum fans invariably spark mob scenes, maximum security is always out to spare life and limb - mainly his! Many baseball fans are teenagers, so the threat is always there. Hence, the secrecy attending a McCallum entry anywhere - ballpark or personal appearance - is rivaled only by the fabulous Scots cloak-and-dagger shenanigans on U.N.C.L.E.
Small wonder he keeps his newly found baseball kick a secret. Even his best friends dont know. But not for long. The baseball bug has bitten David deeply. And with his house barely home run distance from the stadium, you can be sure that David McCallum, whatever the disguise, will be too familiar a figure at the ballpark not to be recognized.