Monday, July 21, 2014

Old and/or Fat

You know, it’s not every sport that regularly has guys playing – and starring – into their 40s. (And, no, golf doesn’t count!). 

And, with the possible exception of football linemen, baseball’s also the only sport that encourages its players to be of Ruthian – or even Krukian – proportions. (And, no, bowling doesn’t count either!) And let’s not forget that the sport’s all-time hero had a body mass index of 27.6 (well into the overweight category and halfway to obese).  

So, take it away old, fat, and old-and-fat guys …
     

Did Leo Durocher pose for this one? He was the Cubs’ manager at the time.

Bill Heath was up for four years, for four different teams, but for less than 200 at bats total. He also finished with a .236 average, no homers, and only 13 runs and 13 RBIs. Can you say “backup catcher,” boys and girls?

Bill did, though, manage to catch a no-hitter, one of Ken Holtzman’s. Unfortunately, he also broke a finger in the 8th inning and was unable to finish the game. Interestingly, that was also his last game in the bigs as well.

BTW, Bill did make good after hanging up the spikes. He’s currently the Chairman and CEO of Barrington Financial Advisors. Call him up if you’ve got a couple of million you want to invest.


I had to check to make sure John wasn’t a manager. Dude, you’re only 34. It’s way too early to start letting yourself go like that.

Johnny Callison (as he’s typically referred to) was a pretty darn good outfielder. He played in three decades, from 1958 to 1972. Over his 16-year career, he racked up 226 homers, 840 RBIs, and 926 RBIs. A five-tool talent, he also led the league in triples twice (speed) and all sorts of defensive stats, including:

  • Putouts – 5 times
  • Assists – 4 
  • Double plays – 2 
  • Fielding percentage – 2 

And that’s not even counting wacky Sabermetric stuff like range factor (six times) and total zone runs (twice). The Phillie icon was also a three-time All Star and runner-up in MVP voting in 1964.


“Does this chest protector make me look fat? Okay... So, does this hat make me look stupid?”

Ted Simmons has been here before, where he was looking like a hippie freak. In that post, I also made an argument for putting Ted in the Hall, sharing plenty of his stats to do so. So, here’s some trivia / human interest stuff about the guy that I’ll bet you never knew:

  • He was a first-round pick
  • He caught two no-hitters
  • He twice led the league in intentional walks
  • His nickname was “Simba”


6’0”, 205 lbs.? I don’t know, baseball-reference.com. Do you think you guys might have transposed those last numbers, maybe?

Steve Foucault was a decent reliever who was up for only six years, but somehow managed to total 52 saves. He was his team’s closer in three of those years – though his yearly totals were only in the low teens for each one. 

His main claim to fame may be getting a black eye at 10¢ Beer Night, in Cleveland. And this may, in turn, have been the motivation for his later career, as a police officer, in Arlington, TX. After hanging up his nightstick, he switched to independent league pitching coach, leading various Bears, Otters, Ducks, and other assorted animals.

Check out the Cardboard Gods website if you want to read approximately 5% about Steve and 95% about the author.


Or maybe Dick’s sister Bernice … I’m not totally sure.

Dick Allen was one of the better players of the 60s and 70s and also, according to Bill James, the second-most controversial player in baseball history.

As for the first point, how about:

  • MVP
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Six-time All Star
  • League leader in homers twice, runs once, and RBIs once

As for the second point, I’m having a hard time believing Bernice would cause trouble to anybody.