Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eyes, Crossed

Technically, it’s called “strabismus.”   Familiarly, it’s just plain old “crossed eyes.” 

It’s actually hard to imagine, though, that it’s a topic that would ever come up in baseball.  It’s hard enough seeing a 5-ounce rock coming at you at 90 miles per hour from 60’ 6” away, without seeing two of them.

Hmm, it just struck me – maybe these guys are all pitchers.  Yeah, and maybe they issued a lot of walks too.  ;^)  A quick look at my candidates below shows them to be pitchers all, and with nary a Whitey Ford or Warren Spahn in sight.  Hmm, I might be onto something here …

Perhaps, though, it was some “artist” touching up the eyes.  I really don’t know.  (But see Something Wrong with the Eyes for more.)

I do know, though, it’s an unfortunate look.  You could have a PhD in particle physics and still wouldn’t look bright enough to figure out that one finger’s a fastball, two’s a slider, and three’s a curve.

So, here’s looking at you kid, both of you …


Pretty tame, but that special look is definitely there. 

Ray Crone was up for a couple of years with the Braves and Giants.  The back of this card says that Ray is “a tremendously talented hurler, his fine curveball keeps the hitters guessing and his sneaky fastball is just as hard to hit.”  I have no doubt he was, and they were.


Same deal. 

Ron Negray got 162 innings in over 4 years with the Dodgers and Phillies.  Comparable pitchers include Rube Peters, Floyd Chiffer, Brent Gaff, and Bill Slayback  Nope, I never heard of any of them either. 

That did, however, seem to be enough to get Ron into the Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame.  Way to go, Ron!

Yup, more of the same.

Apart from the great last name (hey, didn’t Bobby Wine play on the same team?), John Boozer’s main claim to fame seems to be being only the second major leaguer ever ejected for using a spitball.  To make it even better, all this happened in pre-game warm-ups.  Boozer died heartbreakingly young, at age 47, of Hodgkin’s.


Still pretty subtle. 

Tom Brewer’s a local boy, a Wadesboro NC native, Elon alum, and lifetime baseball coach at Cheraw SC High.  He also spent his whole career with the Sox, so this guy’s doubly blessed in my book.

Holy Siamese cats!  The three previous cards may have been errors on the part of the illustrators, but this is definitely the real thing.  Google Images doesn’t lie.

Another local boy – Goldsboro NC and UNC.  Clyde King's career didn’t amount to much (32 wins and 11 saves over seven seasons), but his post-playing career sure did. 

Clyde managed the Giants, Braves and Yankees.  He also became something of George Steinbrenner’s aide-de-camp, serving as scout, pitching coach, general manager and – some say – spy. 

More Clyde right here.

You guys at Topps are making these up, right?  The eyes, the goofy expression, the glasses …  One of you posed for this one, right?

Tom Gorman came up with the Yankees, then finished with the Athletics.  Mostly a reliever, he finished one behind league-leader Ray Narleski in saves in ’55, with 18.

There are actually three Tom Gormans in baseball history – our Tom, another pitcher from the ‘80s, and an ump.  I’m sure the others cannot even approach our Tom in all his glory though.

Here's another look at Tom.

* - author has this card


  1. Is that Clyde King or Bruce Dern?

  2. Clyde. It's those crossed eyes that give it away.