Monday, April 16, 2012

Just Plain Ugly (‘50s Version, The Later Years)

The ‘50s were pretty fruitful when it came to ugly.  Last week, we looked at some mirror crackers from the early years of the decade.  Here, we’ve got some aesthetically-challenged fellows from the latter years.  I tell ya, they just keep on coming …

I’m sorry, Sam here is just kind of funny-looking.  I don’t know if it’s his long, skinny face (he was known as “Toothpick”), his expression, or his unusual coloring (he was mixed race).   

Sam Jones is actually one of my favorite players.  Nobody’s heard of him, he only had a handful of genuinely productive years, he moved around quite a bit, but, boy, could he dominate.  I’m talking leading the league in strikeouts three times, in ERA and wins once, and pitching a no-hitter.  He died heartbreakingly young, at age 45, of cancer.

Here's another look at ol' "Toothpick."

Not sure what Minnie’s looking at.  Not sure why his hand is on his shoulder like that.  I do know, though, that he is one ugly dude.  Youch!

An excellent player, Saturnino (his real name) batted over .300 nine times, was an All Star seven times, led the league in stolen bases three times, and was a Gold Glover three times.  Many think Minoso’s the best player not in the Hall of Fame. has him ranked right behind Hack Wilson, Jesse Burkett, and Gabby Hartnett, all Hall of Famers.

And here's a little more flattering one of poor Minnie.

I’m pretty sure this guy was on Hogan’s Heroes.  Corporal Schnitzle or something. 

Max Surkont once set the record for most strikeouts in a row (8) later broken by Tom Seaver (10).  I’m sure Tom was all, like, “Who?”


Remember Whammy?  (Now, how could you forget someone with a name like that?)  When we met up with him previously, he was having a little arm trouble.   Turns out he’s a real looker too. 

I don’t believe I mentioned it last time, but Whammy’s a local boy, having been prescient enough to be born in Carrboro, NC.  Oh, by the way, his real name was Charles.  Booooring.


I don’t know.  I look at poor Leo here, and all I can think of is the Westminster Dog Show.  I’m thinking Toy Group.  I’m thinking Grand Champion Yawkey’s King Kiely of Jersey.

Leo Kiely’s major league career was pretty uneventful.  He did interrupt it in mid career, though, to be the first major leaguer to play in Japan full-time.  Isn’t that where those dogs come from?

Am I right?  Am I right?

All we got to do is get Leo to crack a smile, and we can move these two to the identical twins page.

* - author has this card

Need some more ugly? How 'bout a little from the '60s and '70s?


  1. Sam Jones was called "Toothpick", because of the constant presence of one in the corner of his mouth when he pitched. He was sometimes referred to as "Sad Sam", because of his usual forlorn look (the pictured card is a rare case of his smiling ... as is a great shot of him and Juan Marichal mugging for the TV cameras on a YouTube excerpt from a "Game Of The Week" telecast). Part of his failure to sustain long term success in the majors can be attributed to his "drinking corn", as Hank Aaron suggested in his autobiography, "I Had A Hammer".

  2. There was also a "Sad Sam" Jones from the '20s and '30s. I'm sure that had an effect as well.