Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Many Moods of Larry Christenson

You may have heard of this particular meme before. It’s typically associated with some tough guy actor whose emotional range goes from tough to, well, tough. A quick search of Google Images shows me these guys in particular (primarily on T-shirts):
  • Chuck Norris
  • Batman
  • Steven Seagal
  • Darth Vader
  • Danny Trejo
  • He-Man
  • Mike Woodson
  • Godzilla


Oddly, I wasn’t able to find Larry Christenson out there on any of ‘em. I’m thinking, though, you could probably print several hundred thousand with Larry’s mug on ’em, sell ‘em all at whatever price you want, then retire and move to the Bahamas. Whattya think? Wanna go in on it with me?
 

Here he is! You’ll be seeing this look for the next six years.

1973. Larry’s first year. Unfortunately, he would only go 1-4, with an ERA north of 6.00. BTW, he’s the youngest player in the majors this year, at age 19.


Larry! It’s you again. No, no, just turn your head slightly. That’ll do. Great!

1974. Larry’s sophomore season is a little better, though he doesn’t get as much action. He goes 1-1 with an ERA in the 4’s.


So, guy, what’s with the jacket?

1975. Larry is one of the Phillies starters, and does pretty well. He goes 11-6, with an ERA in the 3’s.    


That’s more like it.

1977. Another good year. The ERA goes just over 4.00, but Larry finishes just one win short of being a 20-game winner. Larry also leads the league in something for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s errors committed by a pitcher.


My God, Larry! As if the jacket wasn’t crazy enough!

1978. Another decent year. Larry’s in double figures again, but finishes one game under .500. He does have the best ERA of his career, at 3.24. He also leads the league in fewest walks per nine innings, at 1.85.


Larry would pitch for five more years for the Phillies. He would never ascend those heights of the middle and late ‘70s again however.

Nor would we see quite that same deadpan pose again year after year after year. Instead, we’ve got a couple where Larry might arguably be deemed to be looking in for a signal (kinda hard to really tell for sure, though):


Topps (and Fleer) also threw in a couple of action shots. In fact, there’s even one of those where Larry appears to be sporting a beard (gasp!):


Oh, and there’s also this monstrosity: