Monday, October 13, 2014

Uniforms II

Last week, we looked at some ‘70s fashion abominations. You know, stuff like moon boots, elephant bells, big ties, even bigger lapels … and baseball uniforms as well (which may actually be worse than all the rest). Tell ya the truth, there were so darn many of those that I had to break ‘em into two posts. Enjoy!
       

Mustard yellow.  A color only the ‘70s could love.

Bill Greif’s been here before, in close up. I talked about his (pretty woeful) stats in that post, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that Bill:
  • Pronounces his name “grife” (no, his last name - his first name’s pronounced “bill.”)
  • Is 6’5”
  • Was signed by Texas to play football
  • Threw a knuckle curve


Nice to see the Pads toned things down a bit.

Don Reynolds’ major claim to fame is having a brother named Harold. In other words, Don is Tommy to Harold’s Hank, Billy to his Cal, Henry to his Christy. To wit:

Don Harold
Years 1 12
At Bats 132 4782
Hits 32 1233
Runs 14 640
RBIs 16 353
HRs 0 21
SBs 1 250


Like I say …

Things sure started out with a bang for Bill Almon. An Ivy League grad (Brown), Almon was National College Player of the Year and the first pick in the draft. 

All that never really translated into major league success however. Though Almon was up for 15 years, he was a starter for only a handful of them.  Overall, he finished with 3330 at bats, but only 36 home runs and a .265 average. He also bounced around quite a bit, playing for six teams.


Whoa, turn down the lights!

Jerry Reuss has been here before, where we made fun of his hat and discussed his (not unimpressive) stats. 

Since retirement, Jerry’s done some announcing and coaching, as well as penning an autobiography, Bring in the Right Hander! (and, yes, Jerry is in fact a lefty).


I’d be bummed too, if they made me wear a silly uniform like that

Al Oliver was one of my boyhood heroes, being a real mainstay for some of those great Pirate teams in the ‘70s. That said, he actually played for six other teams over his 18-year career.

“Scoop” finished with a .303 average and over 9,000 at bats, 1,000 runs, 1,000 RBIs, and 2,700 hits. There’s a fair amount of folks out there who feel he should be in the Hall. In fact, if you Google him, four of the first ten hits discuss this very topic.

Baseball-reference.com makes a good argument that he possibly might ... maybe. Similar players in the Hall include Zack Wheat, Joe Medwick, Roberto Clemente, and Enos Slaughter. And here are his ratings compared to typical Hall of Famers:

Rating Al Likely Hall of Famer
HofF Monitor 116 100
HofF Standards 40 50
Black Ink 16 27
Grey Ink 127 144


It’s like he’s got a giant caterpillar for an arm.

Grant Jackson’s no Al Oliver, but there are some peculiar similarities. For example, both played for 18 years, for six different teams, and both were on a Pirate World Series champ. Jackson’s similar players, on the other hand, include guys like Hank Aguirre, Paul Lindblad, and Eddie Fisher (hey, wasn’t he married to Elizabeth Taylor?). And I don’t recall any of those dudes making it to Cooperstown. 
      

Magenta goes particularly well with baby blue … and a deranged expression … and spit curls.

Like Bill Almon, Eric Raich is another number one draft pick. Things turned out even poorer for Erich however. I’m talking two years, a 5.85 ERA, a 1.636 WHIP, and a 7-8 record.


Plush velour track suit?

Jackie Brown is a 1997 crime drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation …

Wait a minute. Wrong Jackie Brown. 

Our Jackie Brown was up for seven years, playing for three different teams. He finished 47-53, with a 4.18 ERA and over 500 strikeouts. Also, he has never been portrayed by B movie queen Pam Grier.


Magenta explosion!  Also, is that a dress?  I mean, what happened to the guy’s crotch?

Wow! What a great name. Would you believe, though, that Larvell’s nickname was even better? Yup, Larvell Blanks was the original “Sugar Bear.” According to Wikipedia, that name came from Larvell’s "aggressive batting style" (nah, I don’t get it either).

His stats? How about nine years, 1,766 at bats, 20 homers, 9 stolen bases, and a .253 average?

Sounds like Larvell had a hard time giving up the game. After his nine-year stints in the bigs, he played with the interestingly named Coatzacoalcos Azules of the Mexican League and the Orlando Juice of the Senior League.