Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jose Cardenal: Second Cousin Twice Removed of Gamble

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

Jose Cardenal has already been cited in this blog before, for his hat. In this post, we will focus on his hair. Once again, it’s not quite Gambelian (or even McBridesque), but it’s definitely in the same state.

Another similarity is that Jose was a pretty darn good player as well. Over an 18-year career, Jose tallied over 2000 games, almost 7000 at bats, almost 1000 runs, 138 homers, 329 steals, and a .275 average. A rifle-armed outfielder, he led his league in assists twice, but also in errors twice as well.

Quite a character, Jose was also a big fan favorite.

This may be totally off base, but if Jose’s skin was green, I swear I couldn’t tell him apart from the Wicked Witch of the West.

1974. Though Jose played with nine teams during his 18 years in the bigs, he actually was with the Cubs for six. I guess things agreed with him there. He certainly seems happy.

Am I right?  No?  Ah, never mind then.

I was thinking of putting Jose and the little Cubbie on his shoulder in the Separated at Birth entry.

1975. Jose Cardenal fun fact: he’s cousins with Bert Campaneris.

It’s hard to keep a hat on with all that ‘fro.

1977. The last year Jose would get over 500 at bats. :^(

A new team, a new look. Well, not exactly.

1978. Jose Cardenal fun fact: he was only 5’10” and 150 lbs.

Jose, let me be honest.  It’s just not a look for us older guys.

1981. Jose’s last year. Though he got only 53 at bats with the Royals, he did hit .343. Way to go out with a bang, dude!

After retirement, Jose served as a coach for many years, for the Reds, Cardinals, Yankees and Devil Rays. He most recently served as a special advisor to the Nationals’ GM.

Wait a minute.  Who is this guy?

1966. Jose did pretty well in that rookie year – 500-plus at bats, 11 homers, and 37 steals. God, he looks young – especially compared to that last card.


  1. He was a favorite of Michelle Obama, and went with the 2016 Cubs World Championship team to the White House in January 2017 to meet her.

  2. Well, if that doesn't qualify as a Jose Cardenal fun fact, I don't know what does. Thanks!