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Sexual Harassment or Not: The Kissing Bandit

Today begins the All-Star Break for Major League Baseball. Today is also the day of baseball’s Home Run Derby. I’m guessing some of those hitters wouldn’t mind a little extra luck during the competition. From 1970 - 1999 luck was delivered to baseball players  and teams in the person of Morganna Roberts.

Morganna, the “Kissing Bandit,” was famous for running out onto baseball fields and kissing the players. Her first kiss was delivered, on a “dirty double dare,” to Pete Rose. As time went on, her “resume” read like an All-Star lineup: Johnny Bench; Nolan Ryan; George Brett; Don Mattingly; Steve Garvey; Cal Ripken Jr. Morganna even claimed to have All-Star numbers of her own. “I’m 60-23-39. Those are my baseball stats.”

An incident at Houston’s Astrodome, where Morganna was charged with criminal trespassing, led to an interesting argument by her defense attorney. “We won the case on the gravity defense,” she said. “I just leaned over the fence and gravity took its toll… Who’s gonna argue with Isaac Newton?”

Here’s Morganna on an episode of To Tell the Truth.

Major League Baseball both embraced and admonished her. She was arrested on trespassing charges about 20 times but also asked to participate in the TV special “Baseball’s All-Star Comedy Classic ’88.” How did players react to being kissed? Nolan Ryan knelt down in anticipation of her arrival while Steve Garvey made a dash in the opposite direction. For the “Kissing Bandit,” it was all in fun.  

Talkback: Could Morganna’s actions be seen as sexual harassment? Share your thoughts!

To learn more:

Gravity Did It

An All-Star Memory Sealed with a Kiss

Morganna Kissing Bandit’s goal to strike every field

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Reader Comments (5)

i think this is sexual harassment overall. Because the players didn't ask to be kissed. as the article said, one of the players ran in the opposite direction. But others let it happen. Even if they let it happen, its still considered sexual harassment to me. and she should have gotten more severe consequence than what she received.

April 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersean

I feel like these occurences could be labelled as sexual harassment, however it seems to be a largely semantic issue to me. There are plenty of avenues that could be taken by any player who doesn't want to be caught up in this, and I feel that part of the responsibility lies with them making it clear they do not wish it to happen. I do believe the whole thing to be wrong though and it seems odd that people would find it entertaining but that's just my opinion.

April 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCullen

I WAS RIGHT!!!!! haha i guessed number two :P I really don't think it could be sexual harassment when no charges were set on her and then she gets put on a game show, if someone thought that was sexual harassment they would have done something about it since like a great number of people saw her do it and she did it more then once. But on the other hand yea i guess it could be if it unwanted but from the look of her and the actions taken they all liked it. Well expect the grauds when she jumped the fence.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKassidy Bumford

This is sexual harassment. She was running on to baseball fields kissing random people. She did not know weather or not these people wanted to be kissed. They could have been married. its like illegal in the mental mind.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Kimball

i think it was sexual harassment because she was randomly going on to the baseball fields kissing random dudes.

April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarren Carlton

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