I was fortunate enough to interview “The Genius” Lanny Poffo before he makes an appearance at the upcoming ’80s Wrestling Con in Freehold, NJ on April 27th. In this second part of the interview, Lanny talks to me about the time he met baseball legend Ted Williams, he shares the details of his father Angelo Poffo’s amazing sit-up record, reads me a poem about “The Real Italian Stallion” Bruno Sammartino and touches upon his Hall Of Fame induction of his brother Randy Savage. Quotes from the second half of the interview are below:
Lanny Poffo reads the poem he wrote that made Ted Williams cry and talks about introducing him to his father, Angelo:
I must say that the greatest moment of my life is I got an opportunity to introduce Ted Williams.
‘Through all of the magnificence that is Joe Robbie Stadium,
The Marlins and the Dolphins happy home
It gives me pride to introduce a man who was to baseball,
What Romulus and Remus were to Rome,
Take 95 until you hit the Massachusetts Turnpike,
Get off at Fenway Park and there you are,
For back in 1941, this man hit .406,
And even now Ted Williams has no car,
America anticipated every turn at bat to watch him knock the ball to smithereens,
521 home runs are even more incredible because he gave five years to the Marines.
The boys who wrote the sports page never did him any favors,
But for Cooperstown they had to tell the truth,
That Theodore Samuel Williams brought a splendor to the game,
Reminiscent of the late George Herman Ruth.’
And he starts crying and he says, “If I’d have had you for a press agent I’d never had any problems!” And then he flew back to Tampa on my flight and I asked him in Miami if he would meet my father and he said yes and I didn’t have cell phone back then, nobody did. So I called my mom and I said, “Make sure that dad is at the carousel in baggage at American Airlines and I’ll introduce him to Ted Williams.” And just like I said, I didn’t have a cell phone back then it was the early 90s and unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, but it meant more to me to introduce Ted Williams to my father than it did to meet him myself.
On if he has the itch to do a podcast again:
I’m taking a hiatus from talking too much. I liked doing it. What I didn’t like about it was sometimes it felt like I was being interviewed. I wanted to interview other people and be on the side that you’re on, because I get a little bored about myself sometimes, but I felt we covered a lot of interesting topics, but there is more to life in wrestling and in the 36 years I have left (or I might be dead tomorrow, you never know) I’m going to spend it doing what I want to do, and since I don’t have to anything, I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do.
Lanny reads the poem he wrote about “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino:
So you’re in Pittsburgh, right? That’s the home of one of the greatest wrestlers that ever lived, maybe the best ever, Bruno Sammartino.
“Once upon a wrestling ring, but not so long ago,
Mr. Bruno Sammartino was the only name to know,
He stood up to Buddy Rogers and the Nature Boy went down,
Less than 60 seconds later, Sammartino wore the crown.
He’s the real ‘Italian Stallion,’ that’s a fact you can’t ignore,
His career had more success than Rocky I, II, III & IV,
The Living Legend lives again for every wrestling fan,
He’s on the microphone each week right next to Vince McMahon.”
So that was what I wrote back in the 80s. And then they had a little falling out and they got back together, so everything’s going to be okay.
On part of the reason he felt he should induct his brother into the WWE Hall Of Fame despite Randy’s wishes of wanting the entire Poffo family to be inducted:
You know, all of Bruno’s fans were dead by the time he got into the Hall Of Fame so I didn’t want that to happen to Randy, so I put him the Hall of Fame against his wishes, but with the approval of the millions and millions of wrestling fans and like they said in Star Trek, “the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few or the one.”
You can listen to our entire chat below: