Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sorry To Bother You

"Yeah, yeah. Time for my photo opp. Okay, where do I go? Over here? Alrighty …

So, what’s the wait? C’mon. I gotta go take a shower or sumthin, ya know.

Huh? You want me to pose? Really? So, like I’m strikin’ out the side, in the bottom of the ninth, in the seventh game of the world series? You’re serious?

Okay, c’mon. Let’s get this crap over with."



What I like about this one is the total contrast between Will and the little guy in the lower left hand corner. The latter dude seems to be firing that thing right in there. Will, on the other hand, seems to be bending over so he can scratch his right thigh with the baseball in his left hand (hidden ball trick! hidden ball trick!).

Will McEnaney is a repeat offender in this blog. What thing I didn't mention there, though, is Will's illustrious post-playing career. Since retiring from baseball, he's been an investment banker, owned a painting business, and run a bathtub refinishing company. Currently, he’s a salesman for Dick's Sporting Goods and also operates the scoreboard for the Jupiter Hammerheads.


Gary’s nickname was “Swish.”

Gary Neibauer was up for five years, finishing with a 4-8 record and a 4.78 ERA.

Gary is one of 23 major leaguers born in Montana. Other Montanans include Dave McNally (who you’ve probably heard of), John Lowenstein (who you may have heard of), and Herb Plews (who you’ve heard of only if you’ve read this blog).

Gary went to the University of Nebraska, where he lettered in four sports. I understand they were baseball, lawn quoits, synchronized curling, and underwater boxing.

To be serious here, for just a minute, Gary has actually done some amazing work at the MLB alumni association to get pensions for more players. Way to go, Gary!


Quelle follow-through! 

Dennis Blair is mostly remembered for being tall and skinny (6’5”, 180 lb.). 

Things started out pretty well for Dennis. In his first year in the majors, he was a starter for the ‘Spos, going 11-7 with a 3.27 ERA. He was a starter the next year as well, with an okay 3.80 ERA, but an 8-15 record and a 1.567 WHIP. He had two more years in the bigs, going 0-3 in 25 innings.

Somehow or other, the guy at Cardboard Gods got 900 words out of this card. Further, that post garnered 33 comments. Now, what does he know that I don’t?


Way to fire it in there, Carl.  Attaboy!  (They called him “Monsieur Hustle.”)

Carl Morton, another Expo hurler, was not a bad player – at least for the early Expos, that is. He was drafted from Atlanta in the expansion draft, then won a Rookie of the Year Award for the ‘Spos. In that year, he went 18-11, with four shutouts. The following year, he reversed course a tad, going 10-18. 

Things turned around a bit when he was traded to Atlanta. There, he won at least 15 games for three straight years, and with some very weak teams. 

Morton died shockingly young, at 39, after jogging. Interestingly, the AL RoY winner that same year was Thurman Munson, who died even more tragically.
     

Paul’s nickname was “Swish” too.  

Three seasons, three teams. Twelve years in the minors. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Mr. Paul Doyle.

Great article about Paul here. My favorite part might be the chronicling of his ten years in the minors before making the bigs. I’m talking about  $10 in meal money per diem, splitting a $6 room with a teammate, and riding 18 hours in a bus to get from one town to another. Great stuff,

Incredible obscure trivia fact: Paul and Gary Niebauer were roommates with Atlanta.
  

Geez, Billy. This is really going to strike fear into the hearts of the opposing batters. No, seriously, could you look any more tentative?

Billy Champion managed to scratch out eight years in the bigs. Despite the great last name, he finished 34-50 with a 4.69 ERA and 1.525 WHIP.

Billy's a local boy. He grew up in nearby Shelby, NC. The little cartoons on the back of Billy's card tell me that:

  • Billy's hobby is drag racing
  • Bill works for a cable TV company in the offseason

Yup, Billy's definitely from North Carolina alright.


“Must throw ball. Over plate.

Can’t make it. So tired.”

You probably know Paul Mitchell from his hair care products. Indeed, after retiring from baseball in 1980, Paul went on to create a veritable styling empire. If you’ve been in a barber shop or salon in the last few years, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Check it all out right here.

The baseball career? Six years, four teams, 32-39 record, 4.45 ERA. Well, obviously, Paul was meant for better things.
     

“He wants me to bunt?  Again?”

I hate to break it to you, Duane, but there’s a reason coach is asking you to bunt. Let me put it this way … Twelve years, 3,000+ at bats, one home run. Let me repeat that. One home run. And I’m assuming this was inside-the-park.

Things actually got a lot better after retirement. Would you believe me if I told you that Duane Kuiper is a five-time Emmy award winner? Yup, he’s been broadcasting Giant games all the way back to 1987. He and Mike Krukow form the broadcasting team of Kruk and Kuip. Interestingly, Duane’s brother Glen does play-by-play for the A’s.

I’m assuming you already know that this guy’s name is pronounced KAI-fer.


“And that’s how I complete the double play.”

Here is Bruce Miller’s full Wikipedia entry (46 words):

“Charles Bruce Miller (born March 4, 1947 in Fort Wayne, Indiana) is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman. He played for the San Francisco Giants from 1973 to 1976.”


“And that’s how I smack the ball over the fence.”

Over his four years in the bigs, Miller amassed one season’s worth of at bats. Over those 553 at bats, he hit .246, with 51 RBIs, 43 runs, and one stolen base and one home run.

Somehow or other, though, he made the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame.  Other inductees include Gene Butts, Ken Trinkle, Buddy Blemker, and Stan Feezle. In other words, if you’re from Indiana and can play baseball … you’re in!


Sittin' on the dock of the bay / Watchin' the tide roll away

I'm having a hard time here. I honestly don't think I ever heard of this guy. Turns out, though, he was up for nine years, was in 900 games, and actually was a two-time All Star.  

Now, here's what I don't understand ... In that first All-Star year, Chalk hit five homers, drove in 31 runs, scored 44, and batted .252. The next All-Star year was pretty was much the same. Sorry. I just don't get it. 

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