Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Are You Sure You’re Famous? (‘60s Version)

We’ve all got certain iconic images of our heroes.  For Willie Mays or Ernie Banks, it’s a huge smile.  Babe Ruth?  A smile and a wink.  Yogi Berra?  A crooked smile.  For others, it’s a more serious look.  And for some, it’s a downright scowl.

How strange to come across images that don’t quite match those iconic ones.  Ever seen Billy Buckner with grey hair (yup, it’s happened) or Earl Weaver in street clothes (I had to go 3 pages into Google Images before I could find one of those!)? 

So, here you go …  Cover up the name, and see if you can guess the star!  C’mon, give it a try.  Win free prizes!

You remember this guy, don’t you?  Maybe you know him by his nickname.  I think it was something hokey like Catfish or Crawdad or something.  I think he also might have swapped that KC for an A (Atlanta?).  And don’t I remember him in pinstripes?  Oh yeah, and with a really great mustache?  Hmm.  Actually, you know, I’m not totally sure it’s the same guy.

And you thought Joe Nuxhall was the youngest major leaguer, at 16.  Lou here looks like he’s got Joe beat by at least three years.  (He was actually 20 when this shot was taken.)  

By the way, would you believe Lou was on no less than three rookie stars cards?  That's gotta be a record.

More Sweet Lou right here and here.

So, this is the same guy I saw sitting next to George Bush in the last couple of World Series – a little paunchy, more than a little balding?  Are you seriously telling me that same guy set the all-time record for K’s, threw a record seven no-hitters, and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer?  Sounds like he must have accomplished quite a bit between gangly 19-year-old and aging ex-jock.

And this is that distinguished looking gentleman I saw in the Cards dugout all these years?  I ‘m just having a really hard time imagining anyone as dapper as Tony LaRussa having once sported a crew cut like that. 

You may not even have known that Tony was a playuh.  Yup, six seasons, 176 at-bats, .199 average, seven RBIs ...  Well, maybe not much of a playuh.

Well, it’s nice to know that even underwear models can look like gangly teenagers.  Jim definitely needs that Mark Spitz ‘do, doesn’t he?  (See what I mean?)

Just plain weird.  A little middle-aged spread and some graying sideburns sure helped this guy, didn’t they?

Johnny was 19 when he made his major league debut and this picture was taken.  And he sure does look it, doesn’t he?  (More Bench here and here.)

Looks like Joe really loved Mama’s pasta way back then.  (And more evidence of that right here.)

Joe was actually a pretty good player as well as a really good manager.  For the former, I’m talking 19 seasons, .298 average, NL MVP in 1971, a league-leading .363 average, and nine-time All Star.  Take that, Tony LaRussa!

No shortage of unlikey-looking Hall of Famers here ('50s) and here ('70s).


  1. Every time I picture Gaylord Perry, I see him as the gray-haired spitballer of the early '80s. The couple cards I have of him from the late '60s just seem...odd.

    I've got to get a copy of the '68 LaRussa, I'd never seen that one before this post.

  2. Nice cards! Maybe I should do a post on that Jim Hunter card... :-)

    I think that LaRussa's going on my wantlist as well...