Morganna Roberts, commonly known as "Morganna The Kissing Bandit," was perhaps the most famous baseball fan ever, going to show how powerful love can be.

Her claim to fame was simple: She would buy a ticket to a baseball game, and then she would quite illegally jump on the field, run over to a pre-selected player and kiss him. Then Morganna would be escorted out of the ballpark by security guards. Her work was done.

Her first kiss was in 1971, when as a 17-year-old she accepted a dare to run on the field and kiss Pete Rose. A Cincinnati sportswriter dubbed her "Morganna The Kissing Bandit," and the name stuck.

She did her best work in the late '70s and early '80s, with her most famous smooch coming during the 1979 All-Star Game in Seattle (the recipient was George Brett.) In the '90s, she moved to the minor leagues, barnstorming the country with her lips. (In contrast to Major League Baseball teams, minor-league teams actively welcomed her to their games and would not threaten her with arrest. Minor-league baseball teams are by necessity masters of showmanship.)

I wouldn't call Morganna spectacularly attractive, but she wasn't ugly, and her breasts were quite large. She claimed her measurements to be 60-23-39 (though other reports said her size was a more pedestrian 44-23-37¹), and she insisted that her knockers were unaugmented. Whatever their size, Morganna knew how to "shake her moneymakers" -- she was photographed by Playboy, and made a living as an exotic dancer. Morganna was also no dummy: When some lame-o distric attorney tried to actually fine her for running onto the field, she successfully argued to the judge that her natural dimensions threw her on to the field when she leaned over the railing too far. (This was later called "The Gravity Defense.") Morganna also once said Dolly Parton was "flat-chested."

She visited just about every big-league stadium, and of the victims, I've been able to confirm Brett (twice!), Rose, Cal Ripken, Jr., Johnny Bench, Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Nolan Ryan, Steve Yeager and Len Barker (in the 1981 All-Star Game²). Morganna is very reluctant to give interviews, turning down requests from Sports Illustrated and Playboy -- even though the latter had previously photographed her.

Morganna announced her retirement in January of 2000 in very odd fashion -- by calling the Seattle Post-Intelligencer at 4 a.m. According to the P-I:

She identified herself by saying, "This is Morganna, formerly the Kissing Bandit, which is sort of like being formerly known as Prince."

She is currently living happily with her husband Bill Cottrell in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. They've been married for 25 years.

I could not imagine there being another Kissing Bandit to take her place. Even forgetting the threat of terrorism, baseball players have changed in the last 20 years. Their salaries have increased about 20-fold have even less in common with normal people. If a current baseball player saw a large-breasted fan running at him, he would probably run away. Not to mention the impossibility of an exotic dancer purchasing field box seats -- expensive seats are all owned by corporations these days, who buy season tickets and go to about 20 percent of the games. But that's another node for another day.

¹ -- Thanks to mauler for helping me out here.
² -- Thanks to admiralh for this one.


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