Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are You Sure You’re Famous? (70s Version)

I’m sure you’re familiar with the “before they were famous” meme.  I hate to use that word, but there is a ton of great stuff out there on the Internets.  I’m sure you’ve seen the Springsteen high school shot, the Hilary Clinton college one, and maybe even some of those early David Bowies (they’re really cool).

So, here’s my contribution, with a definite emphasis on the ol’ National Pastime.

Incredibly cute shot of current star Jason Heyward to start you off.

It’s okay, Gary.   It won’t hurt the ball.  Really.  Swing hard!

How appropriate that Gary Carter’s nickname was “The Kid.”  I love this quote about him from sportswriter Tom Verducci:

I cannot conjure a single image of Gary Carter with anything but a smile on his face [hmm, how about this one?].  I have no recollection of a gloomy Carter, not even as his knees began to announce a slow surrender ...  Carter played every day with the joy as if it were the opening day of Little League.

On the other hand, even at a young age, everyone knew not to mess with George Foster. 

And, to my knowledge, nobody ever called him “Bananas either.  (Nor was he any relation to Leo, as far as I know.)

Groovy.  Wait a minute …  Tim McCarver played for the Sox?  Did he paint that B on his cap himself?

Everyone knows Tim McCarver as a long-time (and long-winded) announcer.  I’ll bet a lot of folks don’t realize what a great ballplayer he was. 

Over a 21-year career (as a catcher!), he got 5,500 at bats, tallied 1,500 hits, and appeared in the postseason five different years.  Probably my favorite stat of his, though, is his leading the NL in triples (triples!) in 1966.

Whoa, surfer dude!

Interestingly, Robin Yount was not from California, but from Danville, Illinois.  That appears to be in the middle of absolute nowhere, and about 800 miles from the nearest rolling breaker.

Jack White?  White Stripes?

You’ve met Sweet Lou Piniella before, where I shared his playing and managerial highlights.  But did you also know:
  • He played rec ball with Tony La Russa
  • He was the first player to come to bat in Royals history
  • He’s the only Mariners’ manager to finish above .500 for his Mariners career

Hey, it’s the kid from the gas station.  You know, the one with the Camaro.  The one with all the spackle on it.  No, no, not on him.  On the Camaro!

Is it totally obvious George Brett’s from West Virginia?

Man, he really needs that ‘stache, doesn’t he?

Yup, Eck started out with the Indians.  You may already remember that he began as a starter.  In fact, he won 20 once, was an All Star twice, and came in second in Cy Young voting one year.  And that’s all before he headed to the pen.

Man, he really needs that beard, doesn’t he?

So, what I want to know is, if this guy’s in the Hall of Fame, why isn’t Lee Smith? 

Sutter: 300 saves, 4.76 ERA, 861 Ks, five times leading the league in saves

Smith: 478 saves, 3.03 ERA, 1,251 Ks, four times leading the league in saves

And how about this cute one of bigtime headhunter and brawler Zach Greinke to close things out?

More unlikely-looking celebrities right here (from the '50s) and here ('60s)


  1. Eckersley looks so strange without his trademark 'stache.

  2. Yup. He's actually had that thing since 1977. That's 38 years. Gas cost 65 cents back then. It's when the the Apple II came out. Jimmy Carter was president. Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. The Concorde took off for the first time. Saturday Night Fever and Rocky were at the local theaters. Thee Bee Gees and Hot Chocolate were on the radio. The author was a teenager.