Monday, September 17, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Forehead

“Low brow.”  No, it’s not a beer.  It means unsophisticated, philistine, uncultured, redneck, guido...  It actually comes from the old science of phrenology, where a high brow was supposed to designate superiority and a low one inferiority.  My guess is it also readily brings up images of Neanderthals and ill-fitting hairpieces.

Suffice it to say, it’s not the best look.  I’m sure all of these guys became professors of phenomenology or computational linguistics at major universities after they retired from baseball.  But I still have to wonder … just a little.

Not too bad.  Though it does look like a toupee affixed with Krazy Glue, or maybe heavy-duty staples.

Elmer Valo was one of three Czechs who played in MLB.  If you think Elmer’s an unfortunate name, do appreciate the fact that his birth name was Imrich.

Pretty good player.  Valo was up for 20 years and finished with an incredbile .393 OBP.  He also happened to be on three teams that moved – the Philadelphia / Kansas City A’s, Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins.  I’m not saying it had anything to do with Elmer, of course.

Dick’s nickname was “The Monster.” At 6’5” and 235 lbs. and with solid caveman looks, he certainly looks the part.

Dick Radatz was the model for the Goose Gossages, Rod Becks, and other here-hit-it closers of the modern era.  He was twice AL Fireman of the Year, All Star, and league leader in saves.  Overall, he had more strikeouts than innings – 745 to 694.  As a Red Sox fan, I also particularly enjoy the fact that he struck out Mickey Mantle 44 of the 63 times he faced him.

He might look a tad like a serial killer (the googly eye sure helps), but Billy Klaus actually had a pretty decent career.  He was up for 11 seasons, getting in over 2500 at-bats, though primarily known for his defense.  He was almost Rookie of the Year in 1955, coming in second to some guy named Herb Score.

Yup, those beetling brows are for real.  Nope, the photographer didn’t simply catch Billy on a bad day. 


This may be as close as you get before hair and eyebrows actually join together.

Signed by the Senators, Dan Dobbek was supposedly a “potential power hitter in the mold of Harmon Killebrew.”  When they moved to Minnesota, he was touted “as the second coming of slugger Bob Allison.”  Unfortunately, all it ever amounted to was three seasons, 433 at-bats, and a .208 average.  Dan did tie a major league record, however, when he received three intentional bases-on-balls in one game.  Not totally sure how that actually came about myself, but ...


The high top fade is not a bad idea.  Kinda elongates Dan’s otherwise miniscule forehead.  And years before “Vanilla Ice.”


I couldn’t decide whether to put Alex under Disappearing Foreheads or something about bad hairdos.  A little dab certainly did Alex, didn’t it?

You’ve seen Alex before, but with his hat on.  To be honest, I'm thinking that‘s a better look, guy.

* - author has this card

Too bad none of our guys had a unibrow.  The caveman look would have then been complete.

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