Tom Paciorek and “Funny Nose Glasses Night”

Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Tom Paciorek will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Angels (1:05 pm) at Safeco Field as part of the Mariners 35th Anniversary celebration.

Tom Paciorek was an All-Star for the Mariners in 1981 when he hit .326, 2nd best in the American League.

Paciorek, who had an 18-year Major League Baseball career, played for the Mariners from 1978-1981. He was a stand-out baseball and football player in high school and college and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Dodgers in his senior year of college (1968). He signed with the Dodgers and was one of 14 players drafted that year by Los Angeles to eventually make it to the Majors.

While Tom was known for many things as a Mariner, including a great player, his humor was one of his greatest characteristics.

When the Mariners were creating their commercials for the 1981 in conjunction with local personality Pat Cashman, the “Funny Nose Glasses” spot was produced to promote “Jacket Night” in a humorous way.

Tom’s line “What am I going to do with 30,000 pairs of funny nose glasses?” generated many calls and letters to the Mariners from fans wanting to know when Funny Nose Glasses Night would be.  In fact, some fans came to the “Jacket Night” game in August and were disappointed – they wanted a pair of funny nose glasses.

During the next off-season, with still a lot of talk about funny nose glasses, the Mariners decided to give the fans what they wanted.  The club announced that Saturday, May 8, 1982, would be “Funny Nose Glasses Night” at the Kingdome.  Amazingly, 36,716 fans showed up for the game against the Yankees, the fourth largest crowd of the year.  Prior to the 1982 season, Tom signed with the Chicago White Sox, so he wasn’t here for the event, which took place one year to the day of the first of his two consecutive ninth-inning, game-winning home runs at the Kingdome against the Yankees.

Mariners Manager Rene Lachemann even took the lineup card to home plate before the game wearing a pair, and when the team photo was taken, one shot was taken with the entire squad wearing the glasses.

Former Mariners manager Rene Lachemann wore the “Funny Nose Glasses” out to homeplate when he exchanged lineups.

It was all in fun, and it was an event that many fans still remember.  And to the best of our knowledge, it was a sports promotion that has never been repeated….which is probably a good thing.

- RH

1 Comment

There is actually more story behind this. In 1980, I had season tickets in the first row behind the bullpen, and across from Tom Paciorek in Left Field. Dave Heaverlo, who was a relief pitcher back then, was bald and often got approached walking to his car by little kids for autographs (you could walk them to the car back then). One night he came out after the game in this horrible wig to try and avoid all the kids because he was in a hurry. The next night, I broughtI him a pair of Funny Nose and glasses from the store I worked at (Ace Novelty), and teased him that these might be more subtle than the wig. Dave was wearing them in the dugout, when Tom P. saw him from Left Field. Next thing I knew Tom was running over asking for a pair. THe next night I brought a couple of pairs of these glasses to the game, and Tom and a couple of the other guys were wearing them. Fast forward a few weeks – and here comes the commercial!! I was at that game in August, I helped to hand out jackets, and I was there for Tom’s two big homers against the Yankees. This was one of the best weekends, and Tom had homers against the Yankees in two of the games, and I still remember it clearly. So in my own way I felt like I had a part in Mariner’s History!! And BTW – I have a picture of Tom in these glasses from the night I gave them to him. Tell him Hi from the girl who used to sit next to Granny during the home games (he might remember her!)

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