Friday, December 6, 2013

Don’t Worry, He’ll Grow into It

We’ve had a serious ballplayer in the family since T-ball.  Over the years, we’ve had gloves (and bats and uniforms and hats and shoes) that were too small, too big, and some (rare though it may have been) that were just right.   

Not sure where all these huge gloves came from.  I guess if you hold the thing far enough in front of you – and right in front of the camera – that’s what you’ll get. Anyhoo …

Aurelio “Nine Syllables” Monteagudo was famous for his big glove.  They say it was as big as his torso.  It even had its own name – “El guante grande.”

Aurelio Faustino Monteagudo Cintra, nicknamed “Monty,” was a screwball … er, pitcher. He threw a screwball. Aurelio. This guy. A screwball. He threw it.

“Monty” was up for seven years, debuting at age 19. Overall, he finished with a 3-7 record and a 5.05 ERA. He also played 20 years in the Venezuelan League and also played and managed in the Mexican League as well.

Some interesting trivia about “Monty”:
  • His father, René Monteagudo, also played in the majors
  • He is one of four players to have played for both the KC Athletics and Royals
  • He is one of three players named Aurelio, all of whom have died in car accidents (look it up!)

For some reason, Mike liked to sign his autograph as “Edward Picket.”  Or perhaps “El Special Pickles.”  Actually, nobody was really sure what it said.

Mike Cuellar has already appeared in this blog, where I went over his very impressive stats. But did you know that he:
  • Played for the Reds, Indians, Tigers, Cards, and Astros before being discovered by the O’s
  • Was the oldest player in the majors 1975 through 1977
  • Never got a single Hall of fame vote

It’s not the glove so much as the expression.  I really want to know what the photographer told him here. 

Billy Wilson was up for five years, all with the Phillies. He never started a game, but did manage to compile 255 innings. That said, his final record was only 9-15. Billy actually was in the minors for eight years (eight years!) before making it to the bigs.

By the way, Mookie Wilson’s first name is William as well.
Yes, as a matter of fact, the glove is as big as my head.  Here, let me show you.

Dave Goltz was up for 12 years, seven of those as part of the starting rotation, mostly for the Twins. His best year was 1977, when he pitched over 300 innings and tied for the lead league in wins with 20. 

A local boy (Pelican Rapids), Dave was the first Minnesota draftee to make it to the bigs as a Twin. He stills lives in the area (Fergus Falls).

By the way, spell check is very insistent on wanting to change Dave’s last name to Goats. C’mon, guys, my spelling’s not that bad!

Is he giving me the finger?  He’s giving me the finger! He is! He's giving me the finger!

Never mind. Wrong finger.

If this guy’s mug looks familiar, it’s because it is. You’ve seen him before, looking seriously pissed off. I touched on it there, but Pedro Borbon was one of baseball’s prime characters. Here’s a couple of things I didn’t mention there:
  • He was a licensed barber.
  • He listed cockfighting as his hobby.  
  • He claimed his grandfather lived to the age of 136

I think I kinda like the Frankenstein bangs on this one.

On the face of it, Will McEnaney had a pretty mediocre career. He played for four team over six seasons, finishing with a 12-17 record, a 3.76 ERA, and 29 saves. Somehow, though, he managed to be on the mound when the when the Reds won it all in both 75 and 76. 

Wow! Here’s an unlikely looking ballplayer.

Except for the World Series stuff, Jim Willoughby and Will McEnaney are clones. For Jim: eight years, three teams, 26-36 record, 3.79 ERA, 34 saves. Unfortunately, Jim and Will are not linked on Instead, Jim’s statistical twins include such stalwarts as Hi Bell, Tom Timmerman, and Ken Trinkle. 

Oh, Jim Willoughby was in the World Series too. Actually, Jim and Will faced each other in ‘75. In fact, Jim was also in Game 7. He got a crucial bases-loaded out to end the 7th, but then was pinch-hit for. The guy who replaced him gave up the winning run in the 9th. We Red Sox fans, we remember this stuff. 


I’m not totally sure how Gerry managed this one.

Gerry Arrigo was up for 10 years, finishing with a lowly 35-40 record, 4.14 ERA, and 1.445 WHIP.  Gerry is probably most famous for an incident involving rookie Johnny Bench:

In spring training of 1968, Bench’s first full year, he was catching veteran Gerry Arrigo, whose fastball was growing dim as his career went on. Arrigo, though, was in love with that fastball and insisted on throwing it, ignoring Bench’s signs for breaking pitches.

Finally, after Arrigo shook off another call for a breaking pitch to throw his fastball, when he released the pitch, Bench removed his glove and caught the fastball barehanded.

Oops, he did it again.

It's a Fleer, it's from the 1980s, but we really can't end this post without including this baby. Now, can we?

* - author has this card


  1. Love the blog. Cuellar as the oldest in 1970? Am I missing something there?

  2. You're right. Thanks for the catch.