A warm breeze threatened bad hair pieces all across Cafaro Field in Niles, Ohio, last Wed nesday as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and fans said an emphatic thank you to Jim Traficant, their follicularly bewildering ex-congress man and current resident of the Allenwood federal prison in White Deer, Pa.
On "Jim Traficant Night," the Cleveland Indians' Class A affiliate waved admission for anyone sporting a toupee or claiming to be the "son of a truck driver," as Traficant often did. "Unless it was obvious—and a lot of them were in jest—then we just had to trust people," Andy Milovich, the team's general manager, says of the toupee judging. Much as the Portland (Ore.) Beavers did in July with "Arthur Andersen Appreciation Night," the Scrappers organ ized a host of high jinks, including a Traficant look-alike fleeing the FBI and a mock election, in which Traficant took 63 percent of the vote—beating Democrat Tim Ryan, Republican Ann Womer Benjamin, independent Warren Davis and the team's bulldog mascot, Scrappy.
An hour of rain before the game scared some people off, but the turnout of 4,800 was above average. "Jim has a major, major follow ing here," says Milovich. "We thought it was a good time to say thanks for every thing he's done for the area and for the team."