Monday, March 4, 2013

Major League Pinheads

Zippy the Pinhead is without a doubt the strangest comic I have ever read.  Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, has called it “nothing but a clown with a small head who says random things.”  Wikipedia points out its use of “literary nonsense, including a near-absence of either straightforward gags or continuous narrative,” as well as plenty of “philosophical non sequitur" and “verbal free association.”  My guess is it has something to do with someone taking a lot of drugs in the 1960s.  I’m amazed it’s still in syndication.

Par exemple

  • He wears a yellow muumuu with large red polka dots; puffy, white clown shoes; and a bow on top of his head
  • His wife is named Zerbina and his children Fuelrod and Meltdown
  • His favorite foods are taco sauce and Ding Dongs
  • He is the source of the quote “Are we having fun yet?”

What does this have to do with baseball?  Apart from the random physical resemblance between Zippy and these guys?  Absolutely nothing.

Not too bad.  The crew cut sure doesn’t help any, though, does it?

Bob “Hawk” Taylor was one of the bigger bonus baby flops.  He set a then record for signing bonus in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves.  He subsequently went 0 for 7 for them for that year. 

The rest of his 11-year career wasn’t much better.  Overall, he finished with a 218 average and got over 100 bats only twice, both with the early Mets.


I’m thinking a little bigger hat might have helped here.

Chuck Hiller was a light-hitting middle infielder who played for four teams over eight years.  Somehow or other, though, he managed to hit the first NL grand slam in World Series history, with the Giants in ’62.  That year and the following one were the only years he could really be considered a starter.  Upon retirement, he had a long career as a coach and minor league manager.

Also, nice zombie eyes!

And any kind of hat would definitely have helped Dick.  Maybe even a hairpiece.  Seems like most of these pinheads are getting a little thin upstairs.

Dick Gernert was not a bad ballplayer.  He was up for 11 years, getting in almost 2500 at bats and hitting just over 100 dingers.  He made someone’s top 100 Red Sox, coming in at #92

Dick was also involved in the first official interleague trade, on November 21, 1959.  Boston sent him to the Cubs for first baseman Jim Marshall and pitcher Dave Hillman. 

Love the sneer. 

Not too much on ol’ Mel out there.  Here’s his Wikipedia entry, in its entirety:

Melvin Frederick Nelson (born May 30, 1936, in San Diego, California) is a former professional baseball player who played six seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, and Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball.


I’m assuming this is a shot from below.  If not, we’re really in trouble.

Jose Vidal, unlike Mel, had a much less distinguished career, but somehow or other got 420 words out of it on Wikipedia.  As for the career, I’m talking four years, 146 at bats, and a .146 averages.  As for the verbiage, we learn that:
  • His nickname was “Papito”
  • He played in Japan for a year
  • He led his league three times in errors in the minors
  • His first and last big league hits were both triples


This shot seems pretty straight on.  Which I’m finding a little disturbing.

Ken McMullen was probably the best third baseman the expansion Washington Senators ever had (and I’m including Aurelio Rodriguez in that estimate!).  Overall, he was up for 16 years, got over 5100 at-bats, and clubbed 156 homers.  He probably would have gotten some Gold Gloves in there too, but unfortunately played at the same time as some guy named “Robinson.”

More Ken here and here.

Zippy. Note the resemblance.

* - author has this card


  1. Cliff,

    The 1969 card of Bob Taylor (above) is the player more commonly known as Hawk Taylor, who had an 11-year career as a backup catcher the Braves, Mets, Angels, and Royals.

    Your text is referring to the Bob Taylor found in

  2. Damn, that's embarrassing. Good catch, Jim. I've updated the entry. Hawk had a much better career (though it's all relative, ain't it?).

  3. Mel "Snotnose" Nelson! Someone hand him a tissue, if it isn't already dry and crusty.

    Pinheads. Delightfully bizarre.

  4. I'm thinking (er, hoping) that's just perspiration