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Feast of Balboni the Ample

Today we celebrate the life of Steve Balboni as part of our on-again, but mostly off-again, feast-day series.

Balboni the Ample

Life: A native of noted City of Champions and Bare-Knuckled Violence (i.e. Brockton, Massachusetts), Steve Balboni parlayed two plus tools (power, mustache) into a major-league career that saw him hit home runs in over 5% of his plate appearances. That his peak seasons overlapped with the increased popularity of card collecting in the mid- and late-80s has likely contributed to his own enduring popularity among the children of that era.

Balboni the Ample teems with animal desire.

Spiritual Exercise: While Balboni’s actual Feast Day does not occur until January 16th, we begin today (January 15th) to allow ourselves the requisite time to prepare a feast worthy of Balboni’s considerable appetite. Ask yourself how said appetite — and its manifest virtues — does or does not contradict Epicurus’s warnings against vain desire.

A Prayer for Steve Balboni

Steve Balboni!
To suggest that your mustache
inspired a generation
is an exercise in understatement —
probably one that,
like other forms of exercise,
you regard with suspicion.

To say, meanwhile, that you own
a t-shirt from REO Speedwagon’s
Wheels Are Turnin’ Tour of 1984
represents an instance merely
of “stating the facts.”

Born in Brockton, Mass.,
to an emotionally distant roofer
and overstuffed deli sandwich,
you were frequently cast as Pantagruel
in your school’s dramatic productions
regardless of whether or not
that was an actual character in the play.

As a young man,
you were arrested three times
on charges of “raping and pillaging”
and, on all three occasions,
had those same charges dismissed
by virtue of what legal scholars now call
The Balboni Defense.

Studies show that,
while your left hand
is completely unaware
of what your right hand is doing,
that your biceps remain
in perpetual communication
and have developed a complex language,
not unlike the sort constructed by twins,
or the Welsh.

We celebrate your feats of strength —
and would celebrate your weaknesses, too,
did they not so closely resemble
your feats of strength,
for which we have just now accounted.