Monday, August 13, 2012

Don Mossi: King of Kings and Host of Hosts

Admit it: Don Mossi pretty much had it all.  Jug ears?  Check.  Long, lumpy face?  Got it.  Multiple chins?  Yup.  Eyes pointed in slightly different directions?  Check.  Nose slightly askew?  Got it.  All he’s really lacking is the classic unibrow (see Unibrow for more), though he’s not that far away, even on that.

Turns out Don wasn’t a bad ballplayer.  Heck, you had to be halfway decent to stick around for 12 years.  Don was in the rotation for six of those years, going 17-9 for the Tigers once.  When he wasn’t in the rotation, he was usually the number two man out of the bullpen, picking up from five to ten saves.  Not a bad career.

More importantly, though, it sounds like Don was also a pretty decent guy, being laid-back, pleasant, humble, and able to laugh at himself.  He sounds like the ultimate family guy too.  Looks aside, I think we should all be more like Don Mossi. 


1955, his rookie year, with Bowman. 

Warning: it’s not going to get better over time.

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1955, with Topps.  1956 was exactly the same shot.  He must have broken the camera or something.

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1957.  Don led the Indians in saves this year. 

Don’t you think these far-away shots work better?

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1958, the year Don made the All Star game.  That’s what I attribute the smile to.  I think it adds a little something.  Too bad this was the only card he tried it on.

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1959.  Like in the Topps 1955, the from-below shot doesn’t really help much.  It just seems to scream out, "DOUBLE CHIN!  DOUBLE CHIN!" 

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1960, the year he went 17-9.  Just the hint of a smile.

I particularly like the mini me, over on the left.  Poor Don looks like Gumby.

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1961.  Ooh, action shot!  Unfortunately, we’ve now added gangly to ugly.  Maybe he really did look like Gumby.

By the way, kind of boring card design, wouldn’t you say?

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1962.  He went 15-10 that year. 

Same action theme, same sad result.


1963.  Probably the best of the bunch.  The three-quarter shot makes the ears looks less prominent.  I’ve got to wonder what a full profile would have looked like, though it would probably have emphasized the nose too much.  Three-quarters definitely seems the way to go.  Too bad it was never used again.


1964.  Basically, the same pose from ’61 and ’62, just a little closer and a little uglier.

God, I swear the guy looks like a bat (the animal, not the baseball, variety).

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1966, his last year.  Wow!  Talk about going out with a bang.    This is like Justin Verlander breaking 100 mph in the 9th inning or Teddie Ballgame hitting a home run in his last at-bat.  Without a doubt, my favorite.

* - author has this card


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

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