Monday, June 18, 2012

Eyes Wide Shut

It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when you didn’t know how a photo was going to turn out until days or even weeks later.  Yup, you couldn’t just look at what you just shot on your camera right then and there.  You had to wait until the “roll” was complete, then take it to some pharmacy for “development,” then wait until it “came back.”  “Delayed gratification,” they called it.

Given all that, most photographers took a couple of shots, to make sure there was no grimacing, rabbit ears, closed eyes, and so on.   You’d think the fine folks at Topps would have done something similar.  I mean, we’re talking about runs in the thousands, of huge major league stars, right?  Wouldn’t you want to take at least a couple of shots to make sure?

Guess not …

I like these half-closed looks.  They pretty much make the subject look totally plastered.

Bob Mabe was up for a couple of years with a couple of different teams.  He was persistent – it took him eight years to fire that first major league pitch in the general direction of the plate.

Overall, Bob was 7-11 with a 4.82 ERA.  I really like his batting stats though – 1 for 36, for an .032 lifetime average.

Okay, here we go …  The old look-straight-into-the-sun-for-a-couple-of-minutes-while-I-try-to-figure-out-this-thing shot.

Hard to believe, but there were three different Ben Johnsons in the major leagues.  And that’s not to mention the famous Canadian sprinter, as well as the Elizabethan playwright.

Our Ben was up for two cups of coffee with the Cubbies.  Would you believe he spent 16 years in the minors?

Not sure where the sun was on this one.  Maybe Art just blinked at the wrong time. 

Art Schult was up for five seasons with four teams, for a total of less than 500 at bats.  His nickname was “Dutch.”  Why are all guys with German names called “Dutch”?

Pure ... unadulterated ... goofy.

Chris van Cuyk was up for three years with the Bums.  It wasn’t pretty.  His career stats were 7-11 with a 5.16 ERA. 

He was actually a lot better than his brother Johnny though.  Like Chris, Johnny pitched three years for Brooklyn.  Johnny, however, had an 0-0 record, over just 10 innings, and with a 5.23 ERA.  He also lacked the alliteration that made Chris a candidate for my funny names posts.

I swear they caught ol’ Hoyt napping on this one.

Hoyt Wilhelm has always been one of my favorite ballplayers.  He’s a very local boy (Mooresville, NC), was a knuckleballer, didn’t make the majors until he was 29, played until he was almost 50, and was a decorated WWII vet.

The local ballpark in Mooresville is named after Hoyt.  It’s got a really cute statue of him as a kid on the mound out front. 

Not sure how good a likeness this is.  Looks like the eyes are definitely open though.

But, wait!  There’s more.  Tune in next week for even more guys with eyes closed.

1 comment:

  1. I think Bob Mabe is thinking "Why aren't I wearing a cap to cover my flattop hairstyle".