Chicken! They've made you a federal case!
A $2 million damage suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Davenport, Iowa: minor league pitcher Don Schulze v. The Chicken Co., over a shoulder separation incurred when the San Diego Chicken tackled him. Can you stand it, Baseball Bunch ?
June 21, 1981, Quad City Cubs (Class A Midwest League) against some old-timers in exhibition play. The Chicken -- that is, Ted Giannoulis in costume and antics that wow sports fans the country over -- there as part of the show. Schulze hits a home run, rounds the bases, passes third, heads for home -- but doesn't get there. Bam. Tackled by the Chicken. Lands on his left shoulder.
The pitcher and his attorney have "mixed feelings," Schulze saying, "I know it wasn't done maliciously but I don't think he should have tried any maneuvers." Yet --
"He was out for much of the season," Schulze's lawyer says. "Suffered an injury which has impaired his ability. There are some future problems with that . . . continuing problems . . . Our allegation is that Don's ability as a pitcher has diminished."
Schulze pitches right-handed. He was 8-5, 2.31 ERA his interrupted '81 season; compared to 2-7, 4.09 in Gulf Coast Rookie League, 1980 -- and 13-7, 2.84 (California League's eighth-best ERA) for Chicago Cubs' Class A Salinas club, 1982.