Even if you never heard Ed Mooney zing an umpire or ask a trivia question, you've almost certainly heard his words. Remember this marketing phrase?
"It's Duncan Hines Delicious!"
Ed Mooney wrote that catchphrase. And that's his son, Ted Mooney, reciting it.
"He was working for Compton Advertising and representing a lot of food brands, he was in sales," said Mooney's oldest son, Ted Mooney. "He would try out a lot of his foods on us. I remember, we were reputedly the first kids in the United States to eat a Poptart. One of the brands that he was representing for Compton."
Mooney spent 60 successful years marketing, speaking and writing about the food industry before retiring in 1986. In retirement, he continued his way with words. Mooney sat behind the microphone at Eldredge Park in Orleans and began announcing Cardinals games for his beloved Cape Cod Baseball League.
"Ed was the one who coined the phrase: 'Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight'," said Sue Horton, the Cardinals' former general manager. "And we used it, and the League adopted it, and it's still in use, because there's never been anything that captures it so succinctly as that. It's really a perfect saying for what this league encompasses and all the kids who play here."
For nearly 20 years, Mooney commented from the press box he dubbed the "birds nest." And while there are photographs of Mooney, neither his family nor Horton know of any audio recordings of his announcing. Team official David Mitchell, and Mooney's friend Jim Nowak, the announcer for the Brewster Whitecaps, don't have any either. No recordings, but Horton, Mitchell and Nowak remember plenty of things Mooney said.
"If we had a raffle, whoever won the raffle, Ed would holler out, "The party's at your house tonight. Ha Ha!" said Horton.
"When a player on the opposition made a great play, he'd always tip his hat to 'em and say: "Nice play out there Johnny. But don't do it again!" said Mitchell.
"Back in 1993 when Nomar Garciapara played short stop for the Orleans Cardinals. I remember Nomar one time I was over there for the White Caps, and he took a dinger, he put it over the left field fence, beat the beejezzus out o fit. And Ed went, "Hey, I wonder what he put in his Wheeties today!" said Nowak.
Friends and family remember Ed Mooney for his sincerity and dedication. His son Ted said Mooney was always on the move, but fully devoted himself to everything he was involved with, including his eight children.
"For this kind of hard-edged, veteran, entrepreneur-type, he was very touched by children," Ted Mooney said. "It was a friend of my brothers who was here I believe from Egypt on a student visa, and the visa expired and he as going to be deported. He took a day off work to spend at the courthouse, sponsoring this young man in order to stay in the United States. It's not something he talked about. I didn't even know about it. My brother told me years later."said
In 1990, Mooney published a memoir of his time as a motor pool dispatcher in World War II titled, "Too Far Back to Get Shot At." In it, he comically recounts his time in military bases and how we saw no action during the entire war. Mooney brought the same measured wit to his baseball announcing. Former Cardinals manager John Castleberry said Mooney carved out his own niche in the announcing world, with his homespun commentary that could be a bit corny, but became an endearing part of a game at Eldredge Park.
"If you knew him, he had this real dry sense of humor," Castleberry said. "I remember one game we were playing against Harwich. And Harwich at the time had a guy name Joe Magrane, who is now announcing. He was in the big leagues for a long time. And there was a second baseman named Todd Haney, who ended up playing for our championship team the next year in '86. Anyway, it was the middle of the game, about the 7th inning, and all of a sudden I hear this announcement: We'd like to congratulate Joe Magrane on his engagement to Todd Haney's sister. Well Todd Haney never had a sister. So, ha ha, guys were like, what? What's going on? Magrane was pitching and it just froze him."
Frank Poranski is one of the present-day announcers for the Cardinals. He said Mooney could be a bit intimidating, and something of a rascal, but he was a very generous and beloved man.
"Ed used to, sort of like W.C. Fields, sort of have these asides he would say, after he would announce something, and he didn't always remember to turn off the microphone," Poranski said. "So oftentimes he would say something, and it would go out over the loudspeaker, and someone would have to run up and say, Hey, Ed, turn your microphone off. Ha. Ha. And he could get away with things because he had the respect of everyone who was there after doing it for so many years."
Mooney died on April 4 at age 88. On July 20, the Cardinals, now called the Orleans Firebirds, plan to host a tribute night to Mooney and his friend the late Russ Ford, another champion of the team who also lived a life that exemplified public service and a love for baseball.