Frankie Guy doesn't think he'll fit into his hot pants anymore. So he said he would get a new dress for today's ballgame.
More than 20 years have gone by since his softball team, the Clements Cuties, has suited up to raise some money and make people laugh. This game will be the team's last, he said; some of the guys have died, some are getting too old to play.
The competition will be tough: a whole new team of men dressed as women, some of them current softball players, to be known as the Hollywood Beauties. The lineup includes three St. Mary's County commissioners.
"I am flattered," said Tommy McKay, president of the Board of County Commissioners, laughing. "I am from Hollywood . . . but I didn't know that I would be considered a Hollywood beauty."
Well . . . the mustache.
It's all to raise money for the St. Mary's County Softball Hall of Fame, McKay said.
"Softball has been a part of the culture in St. Mary's for as long as I can remember," he said. People tuned in to the radio to hear play-by-play, crowds filled the stands and people young and old, male and female, played. "It was just a game for everybody -- everybody loved it, talked about it, enjoyed it."
Guy said: "It's about the only thing that's down here. We're so far there's not much else you can do."
Softball isn't as big as it used to be, although the teams are better than ever. "It was more fun then, less competitive," said Bubby Spalding.
But there are thousands of people who have played in St. Mary's, McKay said. "Having that Hall of Fame building and commemoration of those players is very important to all of us."
The Cuties started back in the 1970s, dressing up as women and cracking softballs and jokes to raise money for a girl who knocked her shoulder out of place on the softball mound. Her family couldn't afford the hospital bills, and Guy, who had seen a similar stunt on television, asked his friends if they would pitch in.
So Frankie and Johnny, Bubby and Biggie, Dink and Dirt and the others got all dolled up. "The first time I asked them, they said, 'Well, I'm gonna have to have a few beers first,' " Guy recalled. "After the fourth or fifth game a couple of them said, 'I don't even need the beer anymore -- I'm having too much fun.' "
Back in the day, when someone was sick or hurt, residents would help. In 1981, they headlined a three-day benefit tournament for a woman badly injured in a boating accident. At one game they raised $4,000 for a guy who threw out his back: They charged $2 admission, but lots of folks stuffed in more than that.
Besides lifting their crinolines to run to home, they would pitch grapefruits and maybe use a crab net instead of a glove, even though a league softball team was playing real ball against them. Once they gave away baby bunnies to children in the stands. Once a priest played -- until his parishioners complained. Aggie Owens, who is organizing today's fundraiser, even got "married" at home plate to a Clements Cutie; Guy wore a wedding gown for the occasion.
In a photo from St. Mary's old sports newspaper, the Pilot, the Cuties are lined up under the lights in floppy hats, mini-dresses, purses and -- for the brave -- high heels.
"I couldn't even stand up in them," Guy said. "I don't know how women do it."
Spalding can't play this afternoon, now that he's 70 and all, but he's going to the game. He used to wear a wig, "a red dress and whatever I needed under it."
Guy can't even remember the last time they played. "We've gotten right old in the meantime."
Today he'll bring his new dress and his old brunette wig to Anderson's Bar in Clements, where the team's former beautician will help the Cuties with their lipstick once again before the 2 p.m. game at Chancellor's Run Regional Park in Great Mills.
The Hollywood Beauties roster will include Commissioners Dan Raley and Kenny Dement, too.
McKay said he'll get a wig but pull it back into a ponytail so he can see the ball.
And he's not going to shave the mustache; he figures he's got the legs to pull it off. "If I wear a miniskirt, then no one will be looking at my mustache."