Monday, July 30, 2012

Yogi: Hall of Fame Ugly

He’s one of the best catchers ever.  He was a pretty darn good manager as well.  He also seems like a really nice guy, someone who’s down to earth, can laugh at himself, and has a big heart.   He’s the guy that everybody loves, Yogi Berra.

That said, there’s no getting around the fact that Lawrence Peter (“Yogi”) Berra is probably one of the ugliest guys ever to play organized baseball.  He really does have it all, doesn’t he?  Big ears, big nose, dumb look, goofy grin, rubbery face.  I think only Don Mossi can beat Yogi at this game. 

So, here they are, a couple of decades of serious ugly …

1953.  I realize these cards were painted, but this one looks like somebody else.  How much did Yogi have to pay the illustrator?  It’s probably the least ugly he’s ever looked in his life.

1956.  The ears are definitely grabbing all the attention on this one.  Amazing how those white outlines help make anyone’s ears that much more prominent (see here for more).

1957.  An ugly card design meets an equally ugly subject. 

Hey, at least we’ve got him trying to crack a smile.  He is trying to crack a smile, isn’t he?

1960.  An interesting expression, and very un-Yogi-like.  Not sure what’s going on here. 

And how about the mini-me over on the left?  Poor Yog’s looking a little deformed and rather toad-like.

1962.  It’s the ears again.  Great smile though. 

1963.  Starting to show our age a little.  And for a guy like Yogi, that means bigger nose, bigger ears, bigger ugly. 

I have to admit, though – I don’t see a big difference between this and the 1957.  How did he get so youthful for that ‘62 card?  That’s either a lotta makeup or a lotta airbrushing.

1964.  We’re approaching some sort of apotheosis here.

1965.  The last year.  I love seeing Yogi go out with a genuine smile.  He’s still ugly as sin though.

You may be wondering what happened to ’the 61, or  ’59, or ’54 cards.  It’s hard to believe, but in some of those missing years, Yogi actually didn’t look that bad.

Click here for some more ugly mugs from baseball’s Golden Age.

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