SBD/Issue 13/Sports Industrialists

Semi-"Charmed" Life: Catching Up With Actress Alyssa Milano

Milano Touches Them All With
Her Various Baseball Duties
Plenty of Hollywood stars get extra face time by showing up at big sporting events, some only occasionally gracing the sidelines for a quick wave to the camera. There are celebrity fans like Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee who have, through years of visible passion and loyalty, become inextricably linked to their favorite teams. Then there is ALYSSA MILANO. A faithful Dodgers season-ticket holder, Milano also has a licensed MLB clothing line “Touch,” pens one of MLB.com’s most-trafficked blogs in “'touch' 'em all,” and has recently begun work as an online personality for “TBS Hot Corner,” the net's new baseball broadband channel on MLB.com. Staff Writer Preston Bounds caught up with the actress on the cusp of the MLB playoffs.

Someone in Hollywood you’d like to work with:
Christian Bale
Best athlete- or actor-turned-musician: (laughing) No comment
Best MLB uniform: Dodgers, followed by Yankees
Worst MLB uniform: Tie between Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay
Favorite ballpark food: Nachos

Q: The Dodgers are going to let fans vote online for their favorite Dodger memory and for the 50th anniversary team. What’s your Dodger memory, and who’s the first pick on your anniversary team?

Milano: The same for both, KIRK GIBSON. The walk-off home run and what it represents: If you believe, it can happen.

Q: What can MLB do to better market the game to female fans?

Milano: I think first of all to know that you have female fans, to acknowledge them, and to know that they’re no different than your male fans. And we don’t like pink.

Q: What is an under-marketed aspect of baseball?

Milano: What I love about baseball is the family, community aspect of actually going to a game, how people can come together that are of different races, different religions, different ethnicities and find a common goal and a common interest. And those 56,000 people, minus a few, are focused and rooting for the same goal. Also, especially with fantasy baseball happening and being so huge, we’ve gotten into the habit of thinking of it as performances and stats. And really, it’s a magical game. It’s one that’s not linear, it’s not about back and forth. It’s got a beautiful, melodic pace to it. 

Q: If you were Dodgers GM for a day, what would your first order of business be?

Milano: Get a third baseman that can hit for power.

Q: What is the inspiration for the name of your clothing line, Touch?

Milano: I think it was a lot of things. It was about how I’m blessed to be in the position that I touch a lot of people. I’ve been doing that since I was a little girl with my acting. So, it was to be able to sort of touch the fan. It was also about the little details that we paid such attention to within the line. You know, those little touches. And also just to touch base.

Q: What other MLB blogs do you like?

Milano: I love the fan sites. I love, obviously, Inside The Dodgers, but I also love a lot of the fan sites that I link up to on my blog. I like to hear fans talk about their team and their passion. TOMMY LASORDA has a blog, but I don’t know if any other celebrities have baseball blogs.

Q: One of your recent postings was on the nominees for the ROBERTO CLEMENTE Award. Who do you feel is best carrying on his legacy in the game today?

Milano: It’s hard to pick just one. That’s the weird thing about awards, especially a humanitarian award where all of these guys should be recognized for the great work that they’re doing. I think any time a celebrity or athlete or anyone who’s in the public eye uses their voice to affect positive change, whether it be moments with the fans or raising money for something, I think that should be acknowledged. And I think Roberto Clemente is pretty amazing in that he was one of the first athletes to really do that and recognize the importance in that. So they’re all carrying on his legacy.

Milano Feels Wells Is MLBer With Best Chance
Of Successful Transition To Hollywood
Q: What baseball player has the best potential as an actor?

Milano: Well, now that DAVID WELLS is on the Dodgers, I’ve been watching him on the mound and he is a character. I hear he’s a character in the clubhouse, too, so I would say David Wells. Plus he’s a lefty and they’re usually more artsy.

Q: What will be the biggest surprise of the MLB postseason?

Milano: It’s so hard to predict with baseball. Less than a month ago the Dodgers were in first place. So, it’s all a surprise. Nobody knows, and that’s one of the things I love about it. You can prepare, you can think you know everything, but it just doesn’t happen that way. [The NL West division race] is amazing, especially considering the NL West was the weakest division in years past. And now it’s just on fire, which is awesome. But baseball in general this year has been amazing and full of surprises.

Q: What’s tougher, being in front of the camera as a character or what you’re getting ready to do for TBS, being in front of the camera as yourself?

Milano: I definitely think it’s harder to be in front of the camera as yourself. When you’re playing a character, you’re able to get caught up and lose yourself in the dialogue. But when you’re kind of winging it -- and for me to be around this sport that is my passion and to be interviewing these players, I get really nervous. I get nervous meeting them anyway, let alone interviewing them on camera.

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