Monday, April 22, 2013

Etchebarren: Son of Moon

Baseball has many stars … as well as many players with unibrows.  Only two, however, combine these two qualities.  Only two really stand out as true unibrow gods.  And those two are Wally Moon and Andy Etchebarren.

In addition, these two also effectively define both ends of the unibrow spectrum.  Wally, on the one hand, represents the Apollonian ideal.  He’s a fairly handsome guy, but with mysterious mutant eyebrows that pause not a wit as they plow straight across his forehead.  Andy, on the other hand, represents the Dionysian extreme.  He’s ugly as sin, with coarse, bushy black hair that seems to sprout from every available surface.  There may be no room in the unibrow universe for any other than these two. 

About Etch …  Apart from his bushy eyebrows, Andy Etchebarren was a minor star at best.  A light-hitting platoon catcher, he also happened to be a defensive whiz  who played for one of the best teams of the modern era, the Orioles of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  His leader board appearances include numerous top 10 finishes among classic catcher stats such as assists and caught stealing, as well as more SABR-y stuff like range factor and total zone runs. 

And that, I believe, is what’s behind his two All-Star appearances.  At least, I’m pretty sure it was that, and not the lifetime 49 homers and .235 average.


1966.  We only get six at bats and one hit this year, but as a “rookie star,” the green light is on and there’s no holding us back now.

1967.  Andy’s rookie year – and his first All Star year, to boot.  It’s the best season in his 15-year-long career.  He’ll set records in at bats (the only time he breaks 400), homers (ditto 10) ... and strikeouts (ditto 100). Look at that shit-eating grin, would ya?

1968.  Another All Star year, but I’m not totally sure how he makes the team, as he finishes the season with a .215 average.  Man, that musta been a torrid first half.

1969.  From here on out, we’re never going to break 250 at bats or 30 RBIs.  

Andy’s really into the catching pose.  I wonder if he ever considered wearing his mask though.

1970.  Ooh, long distance.  That can only help.

1971.  My favorite.  In fact, I think every card of Andy should be an action shot, preferably from as far away as possible. 

1972.  Sideburns really do complete the caveman look, don’t you think?

1973.  The closest Etch will get to the Mendoza line – .202.

1974.  I almost forgot …  Did you know Andy’s a Basque-American?

1975.  The profile is definitely a good idea.

1976.  Moved to the Angels.

If Andy’s ears were just a little pointy, I’d swear he was Mr.  Spock.

1977.  Mr. Etchebarren, time for your close up.

1978.  Starting to show our age a little.  Er … a lot.
I can’t end this post without mentioning Andy’s managerial …  Well, I was going to say “career,” but I think the better word would be “antics.”  Andy’s quite the star on YouTube.  Start with this clip, and enjoy!

* - author has this card

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