Long before starring in the 1981 Universal Pictures release of An American Werewolf in London, actor David Naughton was cheering for the New York Yankees. Growing up in West Hartford,Connecticut,visiting his grandfather on Sundays meant for Naughton watching on of two baseball games on TV. His dad Joseph Naughton,a teacher,favored the New York Yankees. The […]
Long before starring in the 1981 Universal Pictures release of An American Werewolf in London, actor David Naughton was cheering for the New York Yankees.
Growing up in West Hartford,Connecticut,visiting his grandfather on Sundays meant for Naughton watching on of two baseball games on TV. His dad Joseph Naughton,a teacher,favored the New York Yankees. The Boston Red Sox was granddad's club to root for.
“Whatever game was on we watched,” Naughton recalls at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona,New York,as he prepares to greet horror film fans at the annual Scare-A-Con convention.
Although Naughton,who's TV and film credits range from appearances on The Love Boat,Murder, She Wrote,MacGyver,and The Twilight Zone,to Midnight Madness and Amityville: A New Generation has lived for the past 30 years in Los Angeles,his memories of living on the east coast are fond,and surrounding the Yankees.
“I remember the first game I attended. I was maybe 10-years-old – New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds at the Polo Grounds,” tells Naughton,67. “It was a fun experience,but not exactly happening (the Mets and Reds were a combined 61 games out of first place in the National League in 1963). But, yeah,I've always loved baseball.”
As the doors open to the Event Center for horror fans,Naughton is making last minute preparations at his table. Several color photographs are being neatly placed for purchase,and a sign stands with them reminding each passerby that signatures are $40.
Naughton cracks a smile,as he reminisces his interactions with various members of the Yankees of the late '70's.
“Reggie (Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson) was personable. Then there was the time Ron Guidry brought me into the Yankee clubhouse for the first time,and Graig Nettles gave me a bat. Ron did a Dr. Pepper TV commercial with me,and was a little nervous at first thinking that he would have to dance in it”.
Among the An American Werewolf photographs for sale on Naughton's table is a glossy of the actor/singer pictured in ad for the soda that he pitched. The ‘Be a Pepper” ad campaign was in full throttle from the late '70's through the early '80's. As Naughton sang the jingle and danced throughout the commercial,the Connecticut Yankee was as popular as any agent in Hollywood could wish for.
From pitching soda, to acting, singing was another entertaining outlet Naughton was achieving huge success at. Although in 1979 the ABC short-lived TV series “Makin' It”,which starred Naughton became history, his singing the title song to the show also translated into mega success for him. Naughton's “Makin' It” reached #5 on the Billboard Top 40 charts in 1979.
Naughton's baseball roots run deep in the east coast.
“I've never settled in making the Dodgers or Angels as “my teams.” But, Mike Trout – how did he get away from one of the New York City teams? What a scoop for the Angels.”
As for Naughton's assessment of this fall's World Series,there's no hiding his opinion of this season's champion Red Sox.
“They (Boston) were just so good. I'm glad for Alex Cora. Remember his 18-pitch at-bat (2004)?”