Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Brow Bros ('50s Version)

Eyebrows?  I got ‘em.  They’re not quite in the realm of a John L. Lewis or – hey, this is a baseball blog, right? – a Branch Rickey, but they’re close. 

I became aware of that fact when, in college, I found I could untwirl one of those suckers and stretch it all the way down to the tip of my nose.  That was also my signal that I might want to actually take some action about this particular fashion statement, a point that was seconded by a friendly barber.

It doesn’t seem like that was something that it ever occurred to these fellas, though.  No reason to get out the garden shears for these carpet samples now, is there? 

Go for it, man!

Those are pretty good ‘brows, but what I really like is Ralph’s look of total possession. 

Ralph Lumenti was a bonus baby for the Nats.  Seeing as this is the Senators we’re talking about here, don’t be too surprised to learn that Ralph put together a record of 1-3 with a 7.29 ERA before they could finally send him down.  Sandy Koufax he was not.

Do you notice anything unusual about this card?  You guessed it – that’s not actually Ralph.

Turns out this is Camilo Pascual (more Camilo right here).  Yup, they both played for Washington.  Yup, they’re both Italians or Spaniards or something (things weren’t real PC back in 1959).  And, yes, they both have impressive ‘brows.  But, no, they are not the same person.

Poor Ralph.  He just never got any respect. 

More zombie eyes.  I love it!

Bob Buhl was one of those pitchers from the ’50 and ‘60s who were quite good, but are now largely forgotten.  In Milwaukee, he won 18 twice, but was always overshadowed by Spahn and Burdette. 

Bob wasn’t so good with the bat.  In ’62, he set a record for offensive ineptitude, going 0 for the season (70 at bats).  Over his career, he batted .089, striking out 45% of the time.


Arnie was a decent pitcher on some awful teams.  I’m talking Kansas City A’s and ‘50s-era Orioles here.

Portocarrero sure is a mouthful.  At only 12 letters, though, it’s no rival for the Saltalamacchias and Vanlandinghams of the world.  Ouch, I think I just gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome.

What a great name.  Johnny Lindell’s.  Doesn’t it sound like a steakhouse or a bar?  Maybe one that’s been around since the ‘50s? 

Johnnie had quite an interesting career.  He came up through the minors as a pitcher, was an outfielder for the Yankees from ’43 to ‘50 (leading the AL in triples twice), then came back for a final season as a pitcher in ’53 (but going 6-17 – ouch!). 


Furry brows, ugly mug, and dumb look.  It’s a bad baseball card trifecta!

A local boy, Bobby was signed by his hometown Pirates, but quickly traded away.  Somehow, he managed to hang around the bigs for nine seasons (despite a .219 career average).  In a forgiving mood, Del Greco came back to Pittsburgh, where he pitched batting practice for the Bucs into the ‘90s (the 1990s, not his 90s).

Can you believe there's an even better shot out there of Bobby?

Danny Murtaugh will always be a favorite of mine.  Of the Pirates' five world championships, Danny skippered two of them.

Hard to believe Murtaugh was actually a player once.  He had a pretty decent career too, starting for the Phils and Bucs at second base during the ‘40s.  Led the NL in stolen bases one year.

What I like about this card, though, is its socialist realist style.  Look at that gaze off into a proletarian future.  The confident smile of victory over the imperialist lackies.  All he needs is a red star on this cap instead of a “P.”

The author, as a young man.

* - author has this card

Can't get enough brows.  Check out these babes from the '60s and '70s.


  1. Shows that strength is not a predictor of hitting ability. Lousy-hitting Bob Buhl was a former paratrooper who took on --- and defeated --- a gang of potential muggers. This, according to an up-close witness who watched the fight while one of the muggers held a knife against him. The witness was Hank Aaron, and the anecdote is from his autobiography, "I Had A Hammer".