Nowadays, sex scandals in sports are commonplace. Whether because of camera phones, or Twitter, or whatever newfangled doohickey athletes use to email naked pictures of themselves to women, we now have an unprecedented look into the bedrooms of sports figures (whether we want to or not).
But things were different in 1973, when Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, two young lefties for the New York Yankees, made an announcement at spring training. You see, Kekich had fallen in love with Peterson’s lady, and Peterson, likewise, had taken to Kekich’s. So, they decided to do something that, while acceptable in 70’s swingers circles, was hardly mainstream: they swapped wives.
And they didn’t stop at the wives. They pretty much swapped everything: kids, homes, dogs, cats.
Although there was no internet at this time, there was still media. And this story garnered plenty of media attention. Let’s allow the Daily News to sum it up in 70’s newspaperspeak:
Well, talk about sports invading the front pages, this story was a beaut. It sold papers like crazy and became the subject of steady bar fodder.
Well, now Matt Damon and Ben Affleck want to make a movie about the famous Yankee wife swap. And although some will dismiss it as some sort of smear campaign launched by two known Red Sox fans, or the acting out of a fantasy the two have secretly harbored for years, you can’t argue that it will be an entertaining movie.
Unfortunately, one of the Yankee wife swappers, Mike Kekich, isn’t on board, and is withholding information from Damon and Affleck.
A source tells us, “Kekich is panic-stricken. He has moved away and has a new identity. He is freaked out that those working on the movie found out where he is. He isn’t too keen on having the scandal dredged up again after all this time.
It should be pointed out that, after the swap, one of the newly formed couples got married, while the other one broke up. Kekich was a part of the latter couple, and, understandably, doesn’t want to see a movie made about what ESPN called the 6th most shocking moment in baseball history (which they ranked ahead of Bill Buckner’s first base biff).
The difference between then and now, of course, is that if, say, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez decided to swap girlfriends, it would live on the internet forever, and on a much larger scale. And while there are mentions of the ’73 swap on Wikipedia, and a plethora of Google results on it, Kekich probably has been able to attain some semblance of normality almost 40 years later. A movie about this whole (swingin’) business, though, would certainly change that.
[h/t The Big Lead]