Friday, December 23, 2011

Cap, Backwards ('52 Bowmans)

Okay, now on to some ’52 Bowmans.  For some reason, it seems every catcher that year had the same pose.  I’m not sure what that’s all about, but my guess is “particularly unimaginative photographer.”

Interestingly, though, that photographer also managed to capture some pretty unusual expressions, from narcoplepsy to nirvana.  Here we go ...

Matt Batts again (see here for another version).  Not too sure what’s going on here.  Matt’s body is telling me he’s not too concerned about that pop-up.   His eyes, though, make it look like something very unusual, almost epochal, might be going on up there.

Smoky Burgess again,  I’m not sure if ol' Smokes here actually looks more determined or more just plain peeved.  If the latter, I’m assuming that’s directed at the photographer, though, and not the pop-up.

I really think “Smoky” should really have been “Pudge.”  He ‘s officially listed as 5’8” and 185 lbs.  I understand he was pushing 300 in his late 30s.

Little known fact: Burgess was behind the plate for Harvey Haddix’s 13-inning perfect game.  You’d think he’d get at least a little credit for that.

More Smoky here, here, and here.

Ed here definitely has some concerns about that pop-up.  Will he be able to snag it?  Where should he throw his mask?  What’s that batting cage doing directly behind him in the middle of a game?

Ed Fitz Gerald (note the spelling) was a classic back-up catcher, getting 300 at-bats or more only twice over a 12-year career.   He was a league leader once though.  Unfortunately, it was in passed balls.

Del, meanwhile, looks like his whole career might depend on snagging that thing.  Considering he looks like he’s about 70 on this card (he was actually only 32), I can’t say I blame him.

Another classic back-up backstop, Del Wilber got over 200 at-bats only once in an eight-year career.  He was a longtime major league coach and minor league manager, and won the only game he managed at the major-league level.

His full name was Delbert Quentin Wilber.  Not to be confused with Wilber Quentin Delbert, Quentin Delbert Wilbert, or Dilbert Wilbert Quilbert.  His nickname was “Babe.”  With an average of just over two homers a year, he’s probably just as confused as I am as to where that nickname came from.

Another Del, but this guy just looks plain weird.  Not only does he look totally unconcerned about that pop-up, I’d go as far to say he’s on some serious pain medication.  I think he's having a hard time keeping his eyes from crossing.

Del Rice was a pretty decent catcher, getting over 4000 at-bats, but known mostly for his defense.  He also managed the Angels for a year.  A considerable 6’2” (for then), he also played in the NBA for four year, with the Rochester Royals.

Did you catch last week's catchers with their caps backwards?  Want some more?  Here are some from the '60s.

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