The Long, Strange Journey Of Lefty O'Doul's Arm

An unidentified person holds Lefty's left arm on Lefty's travels. i i

An unidentified person holds Lefty's left arm on its travels. Courtesy Nick Bovis hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Nick Bovis
An unidentified person holds Lefty's left arm on Lefty's travels.

An unidentified person holds Lefty's left arm on its travels.

Courtesy Nick Bovis

On Tuesday, the owners of popular San Francisco bar and restaurant Lefty O'Doul's received a mysterious package filled with packing peanuts, photos, a typed letter — and a left arm.

"We got a package and our cocktail waitress opened it up and it scared her to death," Nick Bovis, the owner of Lefty O'Doul's, told NPR's Robert Siegel. " ... She thought it was a live body part."

It wasn't a real left arm in the package, but still a very famous one. It belongs to the mannequin at the entrance to Lefty O'Douls.

Three years ago, a pair of tourists ripped the left arm off the mannequin Lefty. The real-life Lefty was a San Francisco baseball legend who died in 1969. In 1929, he led the National League in batting with a .398 batting average. He managed the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League from 1937 to 1951.

The mannequin Lefty greeted diners and barflies in a baseball jersey, but since the theft, minus the arm for which the real O'Doul was renowned.

Now, the arm is back at O'Doul's, along with documentation of where it has been.

The letter read: "It has been over three long years since my abduction from my home at the left shoulder of my mannequin by a drunken patron. Imagine my terror as I boarded the plane and was shoved into an overhead storage bin for my first flight away from San Francisco to Des Moines, Iowa."

A person wearing a Santa hat pretends to bite the mannequin arm. i i

The arm stands in for hors d'oeuvres at a holiday party. Courtesy Nick Bovis hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Nick Bovis
A person wearing a Santa hat pretends to bite the mannequin arm.

The arm stands in for hors d'oeuvres at a holiday party.

Courtesy Nick Bovis

"Everywhere they went with the arm, they took pictures," Bovis says. "They have it with the sculptures, the state capitol with this big cannon and it went to, I guess, Christmas parties. ...It even went for a sled ride."

Bovis says the bar owners are still trying to get more details on all of the places the arm traveled.

"They didn't give me all of the details, but it was other places. But the pictures that came back weren't always labeled. But it looks like it had a good time."

Bovis says the bar plans to have a re-attachment party at Lefty O'Doul's to celebrate its return.

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