Monday, April 1, 2024

Happy Dyngus Day!


On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish. On Cinco De Mayo, we celebrate all things Mexican. Today, I embrace my Polish heritage! It's Dyngus Day, which you've probably never heard of unless you are from Buffalo or Cleveland. 

Dyngus Day is a Polish holiday celebrated the Monday after Easter. It is a day for all of us Poles to eat kielbasa, listen to polka music, spray your loved ones with water, and whip pretty ladies with pussy willow branches!
I know what you're thinking - no, this isn't an April Fools Day joke. This is a legit holiday!  
Now granted, I'm not 100% Polish. Both of my grandmothers were, making me a half-Pole. (Fun Fact: The first swear word I ever learned was from my "Busha"!) I still plan on celebrating this obscure but well-loved day with some delicious perogies, and maybe looking up some YouTube videos of my favorite Polka legends, The Smenge Brothers:
"Cabbage Rolls And Coffee - mmm mmm good!"

Did you know that there have been four gentleman born in Poland that have played Major League baseball? The last one being World Series hero Moe Drabowsky, who was born in Ozanna, Poland in 1935. 
1967 Topps
#151 World Series Game #1 - Moe Mows Down 11
Fitting for April Fools Day, Drabowsky was also a world-class prankster. From his Wikipedia entry:
Drabowsky was well known as a prankster whose jokes involved, among other things, being rolled to first base in a wheelchair after claiming to be hit on the foot by a pitch while with the Cubs. (Teammate Dick Drott obtained the wheelchair and pushed Drabowsky to first—and was ejected from the game.[51]) Frequently, he would make prank phone calls with the bullpen phones. While on the road at Anaheim Stadium in California, he once ordered a takeout meal from a Chinese restaurant—in Hong Kong.[8] The year after he left Kansas City, when Baltimore was playing the Athletics on May 27, he called Kansas City's bullpen and, imitating former manager Alvin Dark's voice, ordered Lew Krausse Jr. to warm up, then sit down again. Not until the third call did someone recognize his voice.[5] "You should've seen them scramble, trying to get Lew Krausse warmed up in a hurry," Drabowsky said. "It was really funny."[8] Once, he inserted three goldfish into the other team's water cooler.[52]

Snake pranks were a specialty of Drabowsky's; while he was with the Orioles, he cultivated relationships with a number of pet shops around Baltimore. The stores would loan him their snakes, and Drabowsky managed to scare such famous players as Brooks Robinson, Paul Blair, and Yogi Berra.[5][8][44] During the 1969 World Series, a biplane flew over Memorial Stadium during Game 1 with a banner proclaiming, "Good Luck Birds: Beware of Moe." For Game 2, he got the Baltimore Zoo to deliver a seven-foot black snake to the stadium. Though he was with the Orioles for their next World Series against the Reds, Drabowsky was more subdued in 1970: "When you're in the Series, you have to be careful because [pranks] might backfire."[44] However, this caution did not apparently apply to people off the field, as Drabowsky gave Commissioner Bowie Kuhn a hot foot during the Orioles' 1970 World Series celebration.[8] "You never saw a shoe come off so fast in your life," Drabowsky assessed the effectiveness of that prank.[5]

In 1971, sportswriter Hal Bock was twice the victim of a Drabowsky hot foot during a series in New York (NL President Chub Feeney responded with an official censure.) During the same year, Drabowsky also threw cherry bombs in Chief Noc-A-Homa's teepee on a road trip to Atlanta. After retiring, he continued his jokes during his coaching days. Once, he even got arrested for cruelty to animals; Drabowsky wondered if he had done something unacceptable until he was informed at the police station that it was a joke arranged by his players.[5] In the Jim Bouton book "Ball Four", one of Drabowsky's teammates claimed that Drabowsky got sick on a team flight and "puked up a panty girdle."[53] "There is no bigger flake in organized baseball than Drabowsky," Bouton said.[54]
Happy Dyngus Day everyone! Miłego dnia!




  1. Happy Dyngus Day! I was planning on going to Costco today. It's a shame that they don't serve Polish dogs (at least at the location near my house) anymore... because I'd definitely eat one to celebrate.

  2. I just returned from Buffalo 20 minutes ago and all the talk there was about Dyngus Day. I never hear about it anywhere else. It's also gotten much, much bigger there than what I remember from 30 years ago. Pub crawls and festivals and, yikes, we literally did nothing for this day in the late '80s.

  3. Happy Dyngus Day! You're right. Never heard of it before, but I'm not about to turn down an opportunity to enjoy good food.

    Love the Drabowsky stories.

  4. Happy belated Dyngus Day, Matt! :)