Monday, January 27, 2014

McBride, Son of Gamble

“Mr. McBride, I played with Oscar Gamble. I knew Oscar Gamble.  Oscar Gamble was a friend of mine. Mr. McBride, you're no Oscar Gamble.”

That said, Bake McBride was still a pretty decent ballplayer. It is true, though, that neither his stats nor his hair were quite in the same league as Gamble’s. 

As for the stats, Bake was up for 11 years, finishing with a .299 average and 183 stolen bases. Honors and awards include Rookie of the Year, an All Star berth, and garnering MVP votes in two different years.

As for the hair, well, let’s take a gander …

Okay, that’s not too bad (though the eyebrows ... and the sideburns ...).

1975. That rookie year really was something – .309 average, 30 steals, scoring the winning run in a 25-inning game (from first on a botched pickoff throw!)

So, what’s with the striped hat?

1977. Hard to believe those things were popular. They were supposed to remind people of the 100-year anniversary of baseball. All they really remind me of, though, is the excesses of the 1970s ... especially when teamed with an afro.

Still within the realm of possibility.

1978. Bake was traded to the Phils, with Steve Waterbury, for Rick Bosetti, Dane Iorg, and Tom Underwood. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of Dane before. Haven’t a clue who the other guys are though.


1979. This is the first year Bake’s not sporting a big smile. City of Brotherly Love gettin’ to you, man?

Now we’re talkin’.

1980. By the way, I like the little quotes around “Bake” on the signature here. It’s a great nickname, isn’t it? Sure does beat his given name – Arnold.
Ooh, little ear muffs!  Well, actually, big ear muffs.  

1981. It’s a Fleer, but I just had to include it. Crazy hair and dopey expression (actually, is Bake a little baked?) make this one a Gamble-worthy classic.

Still rockin’ it.

1982. And isn’t good to see Bake smiling again?

Hey, nice sneer!

1983. Yup, Bake finished out his career with the Indians. He retired to his native St. Louis, where he keeps a pretty low profile.

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