Saturday, October 5, 2013

Phils, Red Sox, Cardinals: Lend Me Your Ears (‘70s Version)

Think of them as mobile satellite dishes.  Just stick them on the left and right sides of your head and – voila – you can pick up audio waves wherever or whenever you like. 

Yup, ears.  The latest in bioelectromechanical marvels.

And, just like satellite dishes, these ear things come in many shapes and sizes.  Which means we’ll have plenty of things to make fun of here in this post.  Alright, let’s get started …


Not too bad.

I like this guy.  Somehow, Vic Davalillo managed to parlay a 5’7”, 150-pound frame into a 16-year major league career.  And that includes a Gold Glove, an All Star appearance, and tying the record for pinch hits in a season (since broken). 

He was also the oldest player in the bigs for four years in a row.  Which, of course, is nothing compared to his playing until age 50 in the winter leagues in his native Venezuela.

Davalillo was a huge star there, by the way, with a ballpark and the winter league MVP award named for him.  He was also part of the inaugural class for the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame.


Once again, not that bad.  I think it’s their shape that really struck me.  Aren’t these things supposed to be bigger at the top?

I’m afraid there’s not a whole heck of a lot out there on Dill Billman.  Seems he was up for only two years, finishing with a pretty forgettable 7-12 record.  Things did start out very well for him though.  He began his career with 12 straight shutout innings and four straight wins.  

Not sure what happened after that.  Similar players include Jim Golden, John Gabler, and Sweetbread Bailey.  Baseball-reference.com says nothing about any nicknames for Bill, but I think "Pickles" would have been perfect.


Still not totally bad.

Ray Sadecki was not a bad pitcher.  He was up for 18 years, won 20 once, and picked up the win for the Cards in the first game of the ‘64 World Series.  He was also once traded straight up for Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.

Now, I’m not saying that Ray was a good pitcher either.  In fact, his sole league-leading exploits include losses once and errors twice.  He also wrapped up his long career by playing for six teams in two years. 

Ah well.  Let’s just say his career was “mixed.”


Okay, bad.  Real bad.

Not unlike John’s baseball career.  John David Donaldson was a middle infielder who somehow managed to notch six years in the bigs, though finishing with a .238 average and only four homers. 

Interestingly, John is a native Charlatan …  er, I mean Charlottean.  What I mean is, he was born in my hometown of Charlotte, NC.

It’s not an uncommon name, so I wasn’t surprised to find 13 John Donaldsons out there on Wikipedia.  I did learn, though, that another one of them was also a baseball player.  John Wesley Donaldson was an African-American pitcher who played before the Negro Leagues were formed.  It sounds like he may have been legitimate Hall of Fame material, but unfortunately there simply isn’t enough documentation of his talents.

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Bad plus seriously dopey expression.

Wikipedia tells me that Mike de la Hoz was "primarily a utility player." And that means that, over nine years, he never got more than 200 at bats in a single season. Similar ballplayers include Lou Stringer, Ollie Bejma, Heinie Schuble, and Herb Plews (!!!).

I might have to give Mike his own post. The guy accounted for some seriously bad baseball cards.


Don’s nickname was “Earflap.” 

Don Money was – honestly – not a bad ballplayer.  He was a four-time All Star and led his league’s third basemen in fielding three years.  Over a 16-year career, he tallied over 6,000 at bats. 

After hanging up his spikes, Don managed in the Milwaukee farm system for over ten years.  He is currently a special instructor for the Brew Crew.  He was inducted into their Walk of Fame in 2005 (I have no idea if brats and brews – let alone kielbasa and kapusta – were involved).

Alright, time for some controversy ...  Wikipedia says Don’s real nickname was “Easy” [groan].  Baseball-reference.com says it was “Brooks.”  C’mon, what was it?  (My money is on "Earflap.")


Wow!  Weird dude.  Ears, expression, stick figure body.  You might be seeing more of him in this blog.

The stick figure body I can account for.  Hamilton was 6’6” and 190  lbs.  He actually played in the NBA for two years.  In fact, he’s one of only two people who have played in a World Series and an NBA final.  

Extra points if you can name the other one.  Hint, hint:  He had big ears too.  Answer below.


Sideburns are in, I know.  They’re really not for everyone, though, Mike.  Sometimes, they draw too much attention to …  Ah, never mind.

Mike Thompson makes John Donaldson, Bill Dillman, and Ray Sadecki look like first-ballot Hall of Famers.  Thompson, a pitcher, finished with a remarkable 1-15 record.  That’s an .063 winning percentage, folks!  And that number kinda makes Mario Mendoza look like Babe Ruth.


Not sure what’s going on here. Doyle’s ear seems to cover almost as much square footage as the brim of his hat.  Also, not sure what happened to his left ear.  Honestly, it’s all just a total mystery.

Doyle Alexander may be the best ballplayer in this post.  He played for 19 years, finishing just under 200 wins.  Well-traveled, he notched wins against all 26 ball clubs then in existence.

The postseason wasn’t so kind to him however.  Over 29 innings, Doyle compiled an 0-5 record and a 8.38 ERA.


Debated putting George and Doyle in Separated at Birth.

You’ve met George Stone before, where I made fun of his expression.  Not much else to say about this guy, I’m afraid.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve got another super common name here.  Wikipedia lists ten George Stones, including an outfielder, a drummer, an Irish archbishop, a British socialist and journalist, and an American arms collector and author.

* - author has this card



Dig big ears?  Check out these beauts from the 50s and 60s.

Answer:  GeneConley

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