Monday, February 4, 2013

C'mon Get Happy!

The 1960s were a fun decade.  Hee Haw was on the tube, It’s a Mad, Mad World was at the local movie theatre, and Buddy Hackett was wowing them in Vegas.  Americans were also rioting in the street, drugs and crime were rampant, assassinations were a yearly event, and Charles Manson was on the loose.  Good times, good times. 

And, you know, isn’t that what we really need today?  Enough of this recession, partisan division, and long, slow slide into post-imperial ineffectuality.  Let’s get off our duff, America!  As the Partridge Family once implored, “C’mon get happy!”


Nick Willhite had a pretty uneventful career.  He was out of baseball by age 26, having compiled a major league record of 6-12 with an ERA nearing 5.00. 

Life after baseball was not so happy for Nick.  He divorced three times and eventually ended up on the streets with multiple addictions.  Thankfully, he finally got the treatment he needed – courtesy of MLB’s Baseball Assistance Team (BAT – get it?) – and was able to turn his life around.  Here’s the complete story right here.


Jim Dickson was up for four years with three teams.  He finished with a 5-3 record, 4.36 ERA, and 1.49 WHIP.  His final stats would have been a lot worse except for one year where he got in 68 games and had a 3.47 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.  I’m afraid that’s about all I can find on him, unfortunately.  It does look like he was having a good time though.


“Hee hee hee.  Here comes my fastball.”

You’ve met Dave Wickersham before, where I made fun of his skin.  Dave is one of four players who played for both the Kansas City Athletics and Kansas City Royals.


“So, whaddya think of that changeup?  Did you like it?  Huh, huh?”

Pat Jarvis was an important starter for the Braves in the late ‘60s, winning 16 games for them twice.  He also just so happened to be Nolan Ryan’s first strikeout victim as well as the pitcher of record for Willie Mays’ 600th homer and Ernie Banks’ 500th.  I don’t know …  He seems kinda desperate to get into the record books, if you ask me.

Hope you don't mind my sneaking in this beaut from the '70s. 

Tom Burgmeier was a major-league reliever for 17 years, finishing with just over 100 saves. He was a one-time All Star, in 1980. More than you'd ever possibly want to know about Tom you'll find right here.  Some of the fascinating information we learned from there include:

  • Tom's dad was an  electrician for the Cold Spring Power and Light Company
  • Tom was a member of the Monogram Club in high school
  • He was the first major leaguer from central Minnesota since Rip Repulski
  • Sporting News writer Bob Fowler named Tom and fellow Twins reliever Bill Campbell the top "Bicentennial bullpen" for 1976 


Bob was so proud of his new teeth.

Bob Tillman was a decent catcher, getting in over 2000 at-bats in nine years.  He had 79 homers overall, but batted only .232. 

Some career highlights include hitting a homer in his first official at-bat and catching two no-hitters.  Incredibly detailed bio right here.

With a last name like that, you’re kinda cursed for life, aren’t ya?

A Pittsburgh native, Bob Purkey was drafted by the Pirates, but made a name for himself after getting traded to the Reds. He went 23-6 for them one year and was a three-time All-Star.  After he retired, he returned to the ‘Burgh to sell insurance and do color commentary for the Bucs on KDKA.

Another incredibly detailed bio.  Thank you, SABR.

Oh oh, looks like Uncle Donnie got into the liquor cabinet again. 

Now, I have no idea if Don ever touched a drop.  Somehow or other, though, Don managed to make every card interesting.  Here, for example, he is with eyes closed.  You’ll be seeing more of him, I guarantee it.


I'd go so far as to say that Gus has passed beyond happy and is now approaching completely insane.

You probably already know that Gus was the patriarch of the Boone family. Yup, he was Buddy's dad and David's grandpappy. 

He was a pretty decent player himself. A four-time All Star, he finished his 15-year career with over 1700 games, 200 homers, 900 RBIs, and a .281 average.

* - author has this card


  1. Tom Burgmeier looks like Pete Gray, with no right arm!

  2. Uh ... Gus is the patriarch of the BELL family ... (the late) RAY held the similar position in the BOONE family.

    Pat Jarvis became sheriff of DeKalb County, Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), and was later convicted of fraud.