Glenn Brenner grows on you, like a mosquito bite.
He made all-cafeteria at birth and now, at age 29, displays 232 pounds of baby fat to back it up, not including his tattoo tongue.
Here is Mickey Rooney with dry look, slightly taller at 6-foot-5, and he knows what to do with a comic cliche - recycle it.
Brenner says he knew he wanted to be a ballplayer at the age of 4 but had to comply with education laws in his native Philadelphia.
"I went to Father Judge High School for one year because they asked waivers on me because I had 30 'jugs' - you know, demerits - because I was always messing up," Brenner said.
"It was an all-boys school and by the end of the week without seeing girls we were Hell's Angels.I transferred to Lincoln High. I later went to Temple University, where I majored in communications and political science, finishing up at nights when I was playing baseball. I wanted to a Dan Rather if I didn't make it in baseball, but since there already was a Dan Rather, I figured I should be doing sports, although some people may differ with me about that.
"I was a better basketball player and had about 35 offers from colleges, mostly because of being 6-foot-5. Pete Gebrain, a scout for the Mets, signed me for a $2,500 bonus. I would have given them $2,500, fresh out of high school.
"I went to their Marion, Va., team in the Appalachian League. I was strictly a fast ball pitcher; I never fooled anybody; a righthander, no flake, I averaged a strikeout an inning; pretty good.
"But the higher you go in baseball you find out that nobody can blow the ball by batters for nine innings. You have to have a breaking ball. Birdie Tebbetts was the manager. He was coming back from heart trouble.
"I was with Ken Singleton of the Orioles at Durham and Memphis. The saying was that the opposing manager would not let his married men play in the infield when I was pitching - the ball went out at them so hard Ken said they wouldn't even let the marrieid men play the outfield.
"I hurt my shoulder while playing in the Florida Instructional League. You get only five to 10 pitches to warm up in the bullpen in the minors, then you have to be ready. I remember my shoulder popped when I was pitching against Willie Horton. And when you get a sore in the minors, you don't tell anybody or you're gone.You don't get an orthopedist like Catfish Hunter does.
"I was sold to Philadelphia in 1972. I couldn't tell the Phillies I had a bad arm. I recall being taken to spring training in Florida.
"I remember when they got ready to send all of us minor leaguers out. They read everybody else's name and told the players where they were going, except me. I had to ask and I was told, 'We're going to send you to Mexico. You'll get $700 more a month.' I was already earning about $1,500 a month.
"I was told, however, that there was no housing for me except in a motel. I was told not to drink the water and that my manager would be the only guy in the league who spoke English. I said I would think that over.
"I thought to myself that I probably was going to end up as a fringe player.
"I played on team with Frank Lolich, a cousin of Mickey Lolich. He had a barbeque grill in the bullpen and wore a chef's hat and a big apron over his baseball uniform. He sold hot dogs to the fans.
"When I was with Visalia, there was a catcher named Pete Capella playing for San Jose.He would leave his bullpen on the right side of the field, go outside the ball park and come back in our bullpen on the left side. He would bring over cigars and shoot off rockets - you know, Roman candles. He caught too many foul tips with his forehead."
Brenner decided to pass up Mexico and turned to broadcasting after reading an advertisement for someone with "a first-class radio ticket" for a station in Millville, N.J. "Most announcers have only third-class tickets." Brenner explained and said, "I lied so bad to get that first job. I told boss I was an announcer from Philadelphia and he thought I was a Philadelphia announcer. I had never even been in a radio station.
"I couldn't type and I was going to get the whole program together as the morning newsman. I memorized the control board during the interview and drew a copy of it so I could familiarize myself with buttons at home."
Brenner conceded that he came on a bit strong here at first, "but Mike Wolfe had alienated so many people he was an easy act to follow.
"I have no dream about going to work. I've seen them put put the blaze on too many guys and they become robots. Forget the money. if you make $50,000 to $60,000, how much do you need? Which I am not making now."
WTOP-TV thinks it finally has found the sportscaster to keep the Wolfs from the door, Mike or Warner.