Dennis the Chef by Frank McIlvaine


We were a wacky bunch of guys in those early days. I remember one of the

early drafts held In New Jersey at the Agostas, Dennis had a big sign made

that he attached to his house that said something like "Old time movies....

also baseball". So the directions were something like "go to elm street


look for the sign attached to the house!".


Well anyway, Dennis spent most of the day fussing over one gigantic pot

full of spaghetti sauce. He cooked it, he simmered it, he fussed over it.

It was just like the scene in the Godfather movies where the gangsters are

hunkered down after Brando got gunned down. I don't know what kind of draft

Dennis had that year, but I do know that I had one heck of a meal. Anyway I

clearly remember that everyone really appreciated the meal.


Well the next year the draft was being held at Jon Michals place in

Chicago. Dennis, who may not know how to draft pitchers, knew how to make

sauce. He then made this enormous pot of sauce again and then froze it to

transport it to Chicago. So now it is draft day and Dennis merely has to

somehow turn a 50 lb red Popsicle into a meal. Dennis make be able to make

a terrific pot of sauce from scratch, but this thawing process was new to

him. He put the pot on the stove and tried to thaw it out.... It didn't

seem to be thawing very quickly, so he turned up the heat. The net result

was that he ended up burning the sauce. Dave Thaxter, who was still in the

airforce at the time and just back from a one year assignment in Shimia,

Alaska <which is the Aleutian island closest to the Soviet Union that the

US used as a listening post in the cold war>, had just spent a year eating

in the mess hall and said "I've had worse" and ate it. The others in the

league didn't share his enthuism, so unfortunately most of it was wasted.