Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do You Like My Hat? (‘50s Version)

Are you familiar with Go, Dog, Go!?  Perhaps you remember it from when you were a kid, or read it to your kids, or both.  It’s mostly silly, Dr. Seuss-like stuff about green dogs and blue dogs, big ones and little ones, some on top of a house and some below it.  Tolstoy it ain’t.

There is, however, a “slow-to-bud romance between the cheerfully oblivious yellow dog and the mincing pink poodle [that] explains more succinctly than most self-help books what goes on in many grown-up relationships” (Amazon).  Um, if you say so.

These two appear every so many pages, where the girl dog asks the boy dog, “Do you like my hat?”  He typically replies, “No, I do not like your hat.”  Until the end, when she finally conquers him with some incredibly over-the-top, Carmen-Miranda-like creation (not sure what this was telling the youth of America).

What does this have to do with baseball?  I’m not entirely sure.  I do know that my wife and I read Go Dog Do! to our two boys literally hundred of times.  As a result, one of our family catch phrases has always been “Do you like my hat?”  This is typically uttered in any situation where someone is wearing a hat.  Families are kind of creative that way.

So, without further ado, here are some hats where I think we can all say, “I do not like your hat” …


The card companies sometimes resorted to this pose when they were uncertain who the subject was going to play for between the end of one season and the beginning of another.  Funny thing, though, is that appears to be a Yankees cap the photographer’s trying so desperately trying to obscure.  Too bad.  It definitely gives poor Murry that Jim Nabors look.

Murry Dickson actually had a pretty good career, pitching for 18 years and winning 171 games.  Too bad it was mostly for the Pirates though.  In fact, he led the NL three straight years in losses.  Poor Murry. 


His name might not strike a bell, but Bob had a pretty decent career.  He was in the bigs for 16 years, getting into almost 1500 games.  After retirement, he managed the Cubs and A’s, as well as siring another player / manager, Terry Kennedy.

A tip of the hat to you, Bob!


Charley seems to not want to mess up his ‘do. 

Charley Rabe was in the bigs for a mere 27 innings.  He didn’t do too bad (3.67 ERA) but never recorded a win, finishing 0-7.  That, though, is an accomplishment in itself.  How do you lose seven games over a mere 27 innings?

That’s a hat?  It looks more like the top on my Solara convertible, or maybe a poorly-put-together circus tent.  C’mon, how hard can it be to draw a stinkin’ hat?

Bill Miller was up for four years, making the World Series (but not pitching in it) for two of those years.  Being a Yankee sure helped guys do that back in those days.

Bill was part of one of the biggest trades in MLB history, a 17-player deal between the Yankees and Orioles.  Needless to say, the Yankees got the better of it.

What do they calls those guys who stand outside Buckingham Palace?  No, no, not the Beefeaters.  You know the guys with the tall, funny hats, like Sheldon here.  Oh yeah, the Coldstream Guards.  Now, what do they call those hats …?

Sheldon Jones played 8 years in the Show, and was a regular starter for the Giants in the late 40s. 

Sheldon’s nickname was “Available.”  I was hoping there was some great story behind this involving doubleheaders and freak injuries, but it’s really just based on a character from Lil’ Abner.  Boring.


Hey, Tom, how do you get your hat to do that?  (Also, what’s going on with your mini-me over there?  In fact, I’m not totally sure that’s anatomically possible.)

Tom’s is quite an interesting story.  He signed out of high school for the then-unbelievable amount of $40,000.  It was all downhill from there though.

In his first year in the majors, Quarles had an ERA of 162.00 (six runs and one out).  He had a couple of more cups of coffee with the Phils, one real year with the White Sox, then retired with no wins in 34 games. 

And that’s Tom’s claim to fame.  Four baseball cards and not one win.  No one else has ever been able to match that!

Tom must have showed his trick to ol’ Granny here.

Yup, that was the guy’s nickname.  Terrible to start out as the rather aristocratic Granville Hamner of Richmond, VA and end up as “Granny” with the Filthies.

A very steady performer, Granny/Granville played 17 seasons, getting in over 1500 games.  All but one year was with the Phils.


No, really, how do you get your hat to do that?

Another local boy – Greensboro NC and UNC.  Hal Brown was in the majors for 14 years, was a starter for most of that time, but only ended up with 85 wins.  Playing mostly for the Orioles during that period will do that for you.

Hal was a knuckleballer, and went by the name of “Skinny.”  I’m not sure what he put under his hat to get it to do that.  I’m thinking can of shaving cream.

* - author has this card

Voulez-vous plus encore des chapeaux?  Et voila.

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