English rock-and-or-roll supergroup Bad Company, who combined with Foreigner to encourage sex in hallways and public spaces all across Christendom, once queried: “Are you ready for love?” The aria is a tale — a necessary tale — of the everyman who is rendered urgent, turgid, and veiny for want of immediate and driving coitus.
As it turns out, “Ready for Love” was inspired by right-hander Claude Raymond, who pitched to middling effect in the major leagues from 1959-1971. Bear nubile witness:
As implied by his 1966 and 1967 baseball cards, Mr. Raymond walked around for two full years in a state of partial and suggestive undress. This is because he was ready for love.
Chroniclers of Raymond’s day took to calling him “The Un-Bezippered Corsican Rogue.” While such a sobriquet misstated Raymond’s origins, the prevailing incrimination — that a pecker lurked in wait — could not plausibly be denied.
Just two years after Raymond retired from baseball, he served as a session backup dancer for Bad Company’s self-titled debut album. It was during those boozy marathon studio conclaves that Raymond’s story was told and subsequently put to vinyl.
While modern society has forced Raymond to leash his organ, he remains ready for the possibilities — love, pointy and prominent, among them.
(This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been revised and made even worse, probably.)