Monday, December 2, 2013


Groovy and hip specs are just not enough! If you really wanna rock ‘em in the ‘70s, man, you gotta go with the shades.

Hey, nice simper!

Gary Lavelle was up for 13 years, almost all with the Giants. He finished with a respectable 2.93 ERA and 136 saves. As a lefty, he was never quite the Giants’ closer, typically tag-teaming with guys like Greg Minton and Randy Moffitt. He did make the All Star squad twice though.

Currently, Gary’s the coach at Greenbrier Christian, in Florida. They’ve won no less than 11 state titles!

Could you repeat the word? … Alright … Could I have the definition, please? … Okay … Can I ask the word’s language of origin? … Are there any alternate definitions? …  Are there any alternate pronunciations?  Okay, okay.  R-O-G-O-Z … [buzz]

Mike “Rogo” Rogodzinski: two years, 114 at bats, .219 average, one baseball card. Honestly, what more is there to say?

Mike, those shades make you look so much older. No, really!

You’ve met Mike Cubbage before, where we did indeed make fun of his youthful looks. There, I also shared some basic information about him. I’ll bet you didn’t know, though, that Mike:
  • Has two cousins who also played in the majors, Larry and Chris Haney
  • Once hit for the cycle
  • Batted .394 against Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, in 33 career at bats
  • Has never held a full-time job outside baseball

Here we go again. Yup, it wasn’t enough for Craig and his specs to appear in this blog only once.

In that post, we confused Craig with some other famous Craig Robinsons, but also reviewed some of his rather woeful stats. I thought I’d throw in some trivia here, but just couldn’t find a lot out there on the guy.

Interestingly, most search results on “craig robinson baseball” do not point to our Craig, but to another Craig Robinson, a Brit, currently living in Mexico City, who just so happens to be obsessed with our national pastime. He has a blog and a book, both called Flip Flop Fly Ball, that concentrate on baseball infographics. These include wonderful things like:
  • A color palette of Clint Hurdle’s clothes
  • Caps ranked by their Scrabble points (White Sox win with 10)
  • Managers by position played (catchers win this one)
Quirky.  Funny.  Highly recommended!

Wait a minute. This is the guy that The Natural is all about?
Whoa, wait a minute. That’s Roy Hobbs, right?

Roy Howell was a first rounder, going fourth overall. He went on to play 11 years in the majors, accumulating almost 4,000 at bats and almost 1,000 hits. He was a one-time All Star as well. Finally, he was also a league leader once – unfortunately, though, in errors.

By the way, there are several cards out there with Roy rockin’ a major mountain-man beard. Stay tuned!

All Tom really needs is a paisley Nehru jacket, maybe some beads, and a book of Indian lore.

Tom Bradley was up for seven pretty darn average years, finishing with a 55-61 winning percentage and a 3.72 ERA. Somehow or other, though, he did manage to break 1,000 innings in that short period. Ah, the days of four-man rotations.

By the way, Tom was not the mayor of Los Angeles. That’s another Tom Bradley entirely.

Middle-aged guy? Longish hair? Sideburns? Dark glasses? 1970s? Sounds like Chuck’s probably well on his way to that mid-life crisis.

Chuck Hartenstein was 35 years old when this shot was taken. It was his last year in the bigs. I picture him spending the ensuing years in a convertible, driving to the golf course or marina with the 20-something blonde he dumped his wife for.

Before this card, interestingly, Chuck sported a very different look. Clean-shaven, super skinny – just a little goofy, actually. You’d never know it from the shot above, but his nickname back then was “Twiggy.”

Chuck played for ten years, mostly as a middle reliever. He did lead the Cubs in saves one year (a lowly 10) and the Pirates in another (10 again). I guess that makes him their “closer.”

It’s hard to find an image of a Bud Harrelson card without an autograph. The dude really knows how to work it.

Bud Harrelson was your classic good field, no hit, short, scrawny middle infielder. Over a 16-year career, he batted .236 and managed only seven home runs. Nicknames included Twiggy, Mini-Hawk, and Mighty Mouse.

Extra points for the cheezy little 'stache (if, indeed, you can even make it out).


Some guys took a golf cart when they came in from the bullpen.  Lowell took a guide dog.

Not too surprisingly, Lowell Palmer was known for his wildness. Over 316 career innings, he walked 202 batters. That’s 5.74 every nine innings. Just to top things off, Lowell had a not-so-stellar record of 5-18 and a 5.29 ERA.

The back of this card notes that “Lowell’s hobby is raising pigeons.” How extremely odd.

Henry was a Colombian drug lord in the offseason.

Actually, Henry Cruz was from the American Virgin Islands. Interestingly, there have been 11 major leaguers from there. And those include some somewhat well-known names, like Horace Clarke, Ellie Hendricks, and Joe Christopher. It’s also the birthplace of some more obscure guys, with some really weird names, like Elmo Plunkett and Callix Crabbe.

As for Henry, he was up for four years, finishing with under 400 at bats and with a .239 average. Post MLB, his career included playing and coaching gigs with such blockbuster squads as the Evansville Triplets, Ogden Raptors, Arecibo Lobos, Carolina Gigantes, and Saltillo Seraperos.

It’s only black and white / But I like, like it / Yes I do!

Dwight Bernard is another guy who bounced around for a couple of years, without ever making much of an impression. Four years, 4-8 record, 4.14 ERA. Oddly, though, he somehow or other managed to throw four-plus innings of perfect post-season baseball for the Brewers over two seasons and three separate series.

Dwight, huh? If there was ever a guy in need of a nickname, this dude was it.

Is it the glasses? The mustache? The fetal-pig-like shade of white skin? What is it about Craig Kusick that drives those fans of the female persuasion so wild?

Continuing our cavalcade of mediocrity, Craig Kusick was up for seven years and 1,200 at-bats. He finished with a .239 average. Similar players include Dan Johnson, Mark Johnson, and Bob Lemon (yes, the HoF pitcher hit as well as Craig did). 

Craig did tie a major-league record though. He was hit by a pitch three times in one game. But, then again, so have many other major leaguers (“too many to list,” says the Baseball Almanac).

BTW, thanks to our friends at for the major award. That was actually not on the real card!

* - author has this card

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