Monday, October 15, 2012

The Nose Have It

Its basic purpose is to funnel air into the lungs.  It also just so happens to condition that air so that it’s moist and warm, which the lungs seem to really dig.  It points downward to keep out stuff like rain, and falling leaves, and sticks and things.  It also has little hairs in it, to filter even more gunk out.  And would you believe it also does double-duty and operates as a pretty sophisticated smeller?

Yup, in case you haven’t guessed it already, it’s the nose.  You may actually know it better, though, by one of its many nicknames – schnozz, beak, hooter, proboscis, bill, sniffer, snout, honker, conk, snotlocker (snotlocker?), the ol’ schnozzola …

Suffice it to say, it’s a prominent part of the face.  And they do seem to come in many shapes and sizes.  Here, let me show you …

This one isn’t too bad, just a little …  um, er … off kilter.  Seriously, what happened to this guy?  It’s like someone detached it, moved it to the left an inch, and then sent poor Hal on his way.

You’ve met Hal Smith before, where I made fun of his teeth.  No smile on this card, unfortunately.  So we’ll just have to get our jollies from that incredible honker of his.  You know, if you add in the hair (or lack thereof), Hal’s actually quite the triple crown candidate, isn’t he?

I’m having a hard time imagining Walt was actually born that way.  My guess is he was a former boxer, played football before face guards, or once caught a fastball with that thing.

Walt Dropo was not a boxer, but he was drafted by the NFL and NBA.  As for baseball, he was Rookie of the Year in 1950, leading the league in RBIs, hitting 34 homers, and batting .320.  “Moose” had a fine career after that, but never quite approached those heights again.

You're not going to believe this, but Walt made my funny place names blog. Turns out he was born in the awesomely named Moosup, CT. In fact, some folks say that's where his nickname comes from.

Sounds like we can definitely tie this one to something specific – an elbow in a high school basketball game.  That said, Hank’s probably got one of the most classically gnarled visages I’ve ever come across. 

Tommy LaSorda once said of Bauer, “This guy's tough. He had a face that looked like it'd hold two days of rain.”  Someone else – some guy named Anonymous – said Bauer’s face “looked like a clenched fist.”

You can see more of it right here.

Another full frontal shot.  With noses like these, guys, you really want to tilt it to the side, just a little

You’ve met Al before.   I forgot to mention there that, after his playing career was over, he went on to coach in the Cubs organization and then in high school, where he coached Keith Foulke and Jeff Bagwell’s son Jamie.

Wow!  This thing is vaguely obscene.  And don’t they say something about the size of a guy’s nose …  Wait a minute, that’s the hands, right?  Or is it the feet?

Eddie Bressoud was up for 12 years, a good five or six of them as a starter.  He really took advantage of a stay in Boston, using the Green Monster to total 14, 20, and 15 homers there, never getting into double figures anywhere else.  He subbed for an injured Luis Aparicio in the ‘64 All Star Game.


Kinda looks like a squid, don’t it?  Between the squid, the crewcut, and the maniacal smile, this has got be one of my all-time favorites.  This guy could be the star of his own horror film.

You may know Tito better as Terry’s dad, but he actually wasn’t a bad ballplayer himself.  Overall, he was up for 15 years, finishing with over 5000 at bats, as well as a .272 average and 125 homers.  He was an All Star, came in second for Rookie of the Year, led the AL in doubles once, and came in fifth for AL MVP one year.

His best year may have been 1959, where he had the highest batting average in the majors (.363), but fell just short of the required number of at bats (443 vs. 477).

* - author has his card

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