Not totally sure what’s going on with these dudes. Knowing ballplayers – especially ballplayers from way back then – I’m assuming it’s just the common hangover.
Maybe these guys really were coming down with something though. And a couple honestly look more concerned than sick (though that’s definitely a look you can get when you’re real sick).
So, whatever their problems actually happened to be, here are some guys who really need to be looked at. Trainer! Medic!
Bobby Locke hit his only major league home run in his pitching debut. After that, unfortunately, it was all downhill. Only once did he break 100 innings, and his highest win total was just four. Somehow or other, though, he managed to stay nine years in the bigs.
I found this repeated about Bobby on several websites: “He was sometimes called Larry, and at one point worked as a hairstylist.” Though his real first name was Lawrence, I’m afraid the hairstylist bit may be a bit of an urban legend, repeated endlessly through the wonders of – and lack of fact-checking on – the Internet.
A lengthy bio at the Fayette County (PA) Hall of Fame website says nothing about any tonsorial skills. And, let me tell ya, it’s hard to get any more authoritative than that.
Hank Fischer was up for six years, being the number four or five starter in three of them. His best season was 1964, when he came in second to Koufax in shutouts (though only finishing 11-10)
Hank is in the Yonkers Hall of Fame.
Ron Piche was a French Canadian, from Montreal, and is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Not totally sure why. South of the border, he managed only a 10-16 record over six years and 221 innings in the bigs.
It does seem like he was a beloved figure up there however. He was known as “Monsieur Baseball” and has a senior league named after him.
Well, at least he's consistent.
Man, there are a lot of Daniel Murphys out there. On the Wikipedia, I count five baseball players, three soccer players, and the occasional computer scientist, philanthropist, and Irish hurling star – none of whom appear to be in any halls of fame, by the way.
Our Danny, interestingly, came up as an outfielder, then finished his career off as a pitcher (and with a six-year minor league hiatus between the two). His offensive career included three years, 132 at bats, and a .159 average. Pitching wasn’t much better: two years, 112 innings, 4.66 ERA.
Great old article from Sport Illustrated about Murphy’s signing for a $100,000 bonus, the biggest one of 1960, right here.
Harry Chiti broke in at age 17, then scuffled around for ten more years, four teams, less than 1500 at bats, and a .238 average. Yup, he’s a catcher.
Of those four teams, three at least were some of the worst teams ever – the 50s Cubs, the KC Athletics, and the original Mets. Maybe that explains Harry’s expression.
Actually, poor Harry wasn’t even good enough for the 62 Mets. They traded for him in exchange for a player to be named later. That player just so happened to be Harry Chiti – when the Mets saw enough and sent him back. Thus, Chiti was the first player ever traded for himself.
Like Carl Mays, Jack Hamilton may be most famous for seriously hurting someone with a baseball. Mays killed Ray Chapman. Hamilton was the pitcher who beaned Tony Conigliaro, almost killing him and subsequently forcing him into retirement.
The incident seemed to effect Hamilton as well. The following year, he went 3-1, but it was 0-5, 0-2, 0-3, and out of baseball after that.
He now runs a restaurant in Branson, MO called Jack’s Plaza View Restaurant. Y’all come!
Maybe somebody just shot his dog. I dunno.
Sammy Ellis was a pretty decent player, so I’m not sure why he looks so down in the dumps here. For the Reds, he was an All-Star and a 20-game winner, and led them in saves one year as well.
Unfortunately, he went from a 20-game winner to a 19-game loser, and from a 3.79 ERA to a 5.29 one. Classic case of arm trouble.
Man, that arm musta really hurt. Give that guy a Percocet, will ya!
Hey, wanna see Sammy in a hat – and with a slightly less bummed expression on his face? Click here!
* - author has this card
And don't forget to check out these ill dudes from the 50s.