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Top free agent to announce signing in hourlong appearance on … ‘The Mike Douglas Show’

As the world revels and cringes in preparation for the impending “Where in the World is LeBron James?” megaconference, I thought some historical perspective might be in order.

On Tuesday, SportsbyBrooks posted an episode of “The Greatest American Hero” that featured William Katt’s Ralph Hinkley going undercover as the top free agent in baseball history, a pitcher with a 200-mph fastball, in an effort to corral some gambler-henchmen who are taking out members of the best (and ugliest uniformed) team in baseball, the California Stars.

Mike_Douglas-703001 The Stars are owned by Deborah Dante, played with charming spunk by a pre-“Fall Guy,” pre-“Night Court” Markie Post, who says such immortal lines as “Can you take a bit of advice from a girl who lived in Mandeville Canyon and used to grow organic vegetables?” But the most timely moment is at 13:25 of the episode, when Deborah tells Ralph that they will announce his signing on “The Mike Douglas Show.”

“I’m gonna be on ‘The Mike Douglas Show?’ I don’t believe this!” Hinkley marvels.

ESPN, eat your heart out.

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