Hearing the news that local officials voted to permanently revoke the license of the Foxy Lady in Providence, Rhode Island, reminded me of the last time I stepped foot inside that club.
It was a Saturday in Boston in the summer of 1998. My friends and I hadn't come up with anything interesting to do for the day, so someone finally said, "Screw it, let's go to the Foxy Lady." My response was, "Sounds good. Hell, maybe we'll see Mo Vaughn there," as the then-Boston Red Sox first baseman was known to be a frequent visitor of the establishment.
We hopped in the car and drove down to Providence. The Foxy Lady was busy, but there was no sign of Vaughn, so I let go of that idea.
Fast-forward a few hours, and a few too many adult beverages. I needed to find the men's room, and as I wobbled away from the bar, I walked past the front entrance right as a large, bald, African American man came in. "Holy crap," my booze-soaked head yelled internally. "Mo Vaughn's here!" I paused for a minute as he walked in, and as my eyes started to focus again, I realized I was mistaken. As that guy walked past the bouncer, another man walked in behind him.
That was Mo Vaughn.
I eventually made my way back to my friends to tell them the news. Mo and his group made their way to a roped-off VIP section of the main floor. It seemed like they were immediately joined by 75% of the female employees, and the party was underway. I wasn't sure what the proper protocol was in that situation. This was long before selfies were a thing, and asking for an autograph was clearly out of the question. We just watched them enjoying themselves for a while and remarked that celebrities lead different lives than the rest of us. At some point, it seemed awkward that we were just watching, so we eventually headed out. It was probably after 1:00 in the morning by that point, and Mo's gathering was still going strong.
I sat down on the couch the next afternoon to watch the Red Sox play the California Angels and was particularly interested to see how the big guy would perform. He must still have been at the Foxy Lady around 3:00 a.m. at least, and that was only eight hours earlier, so he clearly hadn't gotten a full night's sleep. I was not expecting much out of the guy.
If memory serves me correctly after all these years, Vaughn went something like 4 for 5 with multiple RBI and made at least two diving plays at first. I feel like he also stole a base, but BaseballReference.com says otherwise. All in all, it was a remarkable performance, and I can only assume that the "Legs and Eggs Breakfast" did him a world of good.
Mo Vaughn left the Red Sox after the 1998 season and went on to play with the California Angels and the New York Mets. He was never the same player after leaving Boston. Some would claim it was because he injured his knee, but I think he just missed the Foxy Lady. Hopefully he has a strong support system around him now to help him process this news.
Mo Vaughn knew where to find his motivation. (pic via boston.cbslocal.com)