Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bill Buckner: In a Brow of His Own

“Billy Buck” was quite the ballplayer.  Up for 22 years, he finished with almost 10,000 at bats, 1200-some RBIs, over 1000 runs, 2715 hits, and almost 200 steals.  He also was an All Star, led the league in batting, and got votes for MVP in five separate seasons.  He was great with the glove too, as well as being especially tough to strike out.

In addition, Buckner was surely one of the hairiest players to ever have played the game.  I’m talking about Andy Etchebarren territory here, folks.  Interestingly, though, most of the pictures I could find of him do not have his two brows meeting (though some of them do seem to?!?!).  Hmm, perhaps he tweezed.

So, given all these many accomplishments, why is the only thing anyone can remember about this poor guy is that ball going between his legs …  [sigh]

I was gonna say that it starts out pretty normal, but – heck - there’s more hair in his eyebrows than there is on his head.

1972.  He had a couple of cards before this, but I love the Peter Max look of the 72s so much that I just had to start with this one.

Okay, we got a little hair going on now – or is that a tree back there?

1973.  Not bad.  He didn’t get 400 at bats, but he did bat .319.

Definitely hair.

1974.  His first year as a real regular, getting in 140 games and only 25 bats away from 600.

Major brows plus major ‘stache equals major ‘70s hunky.

1975.  Very similar to the previous year, but with a .314 average and 31 steals.  Also the first time he gets some MVP votes.

He’s gotta be a paisan, right?  Buccerino maybe?  Guglielmo Buccerino?  It’s gotta be.

1976.  Oops, might have been hurt this year.  Down to only 288 at bats.

We’re approaching some sort of apotheosis here.  I expect hair to sprout from his bat, hat, and batting glove any minute now.

1977.  Nice year: 641 at bats, .301 average, 28 steals.

Feeling very smug about the whole hairy package now, aren’t we?

1977 again.  A second card to emphasize the big trade, I guess.  Makes a nice prom photo too.

Paging Mr. Marx.  Paging Mr. Groucho Marx …

1978.  Breaks into double figures in homers for the first time, with 11.  “Cozy confines” indeed.

I never realized Bill’s brows and hair were connected.

1979.  Hits .323 – his best average to date.  (He would hit .324 – and lead the league – two years later.)

Wait, Bill Buckner played for the Red Sox?

1985.  A pretty good year for the Buckster – 19 dingers, .299 average, 201 hits, 110 RBIs …

The next year wasn’t so bad either (in fact, it was his last really good year) … except for that … er, um … oh, never mind.

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