Monday, March 17, 2014

Cheesy Little Mustache

Of all the terrible fashions of the ‘70s, the one that I would have least likely thought would ever make a comeback would have to be the cheesy little mustache.  That was, until I saw Derek Holland …

After his playing days were over, Jim joined the Village People. Remember? He was the male nurse.

You remember Jim Willoughby, don’t you? A couple of months ago, I busted him for the White version of Jheri curls (among other things). To tell you the truth, I’m having a rather hard time believing these two are the same guy.

I shared some baseball-related stuff in that previous post. Here’s some great non-baseball-related trivia about Jim:
  • His nickname is “Willow”
  • He’s three-eighths Pottawatomi (that’s an Indian tribe, not a South American rodent)
  • He studied electrical engineering at Cal-Berkley
  • He was a rated chess player

Just what you need, Gary. More facial hair. The eyebrows just weren’t enough, were they?

Gary Gentry really is the complete package. I doubt this is the last you’ll be seeing of him.

Okay, we’ve got the cheesy little mustache, the baseball bonnet, and the big-time Italian name … It’s a bad baseball card trifecta!

Kurt Bevacqua’s another repeat offender. I’ve already talked about his baseball career, so here’s some some semi-baseball-related trivia you might appreciate:
  • He was the 1975 Joe Garagiola / Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing Champion
  • He was the subject of an extremely foul-mouthed diatribe by Tommy Lasorda
  • He appeared as a ringer for the softball team on the TV show King of the Hill

Wait a minute.  Isn’t this Kurt Bevacqua? 

It’s hard to believe, but there was actually more to Bernie Carbo‘s career than the role he played in the ’75 World Series. In fact, he was up for twelve years, getting in over 1000 games and totaling not quite 100 homers. 

His rookie year was his best. He hit 21 dingers, batted .310, and came in second in Rookie of the Year voting.

He was also a well-known flake. Some of my favorite stories include:
  • His introducing himself to Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey by giving Yawkey a $20 bill and telling the owner to get Carbo a hamburger and some fries
  • Traveling with a stuffed gorilla named “Mighty Joe Young”
  • Stopping a game for 10 minutes so he could find a chaw of tobacco he had jarred loose when he collided with the outfield wall
  • Having a real live witch un-hex his bat in a bid to stop a 10-game losing streak
  • Waking up from a nap to hit a pinch-hit homer (then going immediately back to sleep)

Hmm … Are we dealing with triplets here?

Dick Drago played in three decades, pitching from 1969 to 1981. Overall, he won a little over 100, but finished just under .500.  He divided his thirteen years in the bigs pretty evenly between starting and relieving, finishing up his career with 58 saves. Drago’s main claim to trivia fame is giving up Hank Aaron’s final homer, number 755.

It just occurred to me that Drago, Jim Willoughby, and Bernie Carbo were all on that ’75 Red Sox World Series team. Hmm … Were these cheesy little mustaches a 1970s precursor of the bearded Boston World Series winners of 2013?

I had no idea John Holmes played baseball

I have no idea about Ken Holtzman’s other attributes, but he does seem to have possessed a fine arm. Over a 15-year career, Holtzman finished with a 174-150 record, along with 1,601 strikeouts. He pitched two no-hitters, was a two-time All Star, and was a three-time World Series champion. 

What a lame attempt at a ‘stache.  How old was Tommy when this was taken?  16?  Does Derek Holland know about this?

Tommy Boggs was actually 23 or 24 when this photo was taken. Geez, guy. If that’s all you can bring to the party at this late date, are you really sure you want to immortalize that fact in this way?

Tommy managed to hang around the majors for nine years somehow. Overall, he finished 20-44, with a 4.22 ERA. The low point came with the ‘81 Braves, when he went 3-11. That’s a .188 “winning” percentage … which means Tommy finished below the Mendoza line … which is quite something for a pitcher to accomplish.

H-e-l-l-o ladies … Mr. Cheesy Mustache himself (ca. 2011, age 26)

So, somebody else wants to get in on the action, huh?

And one more. The author (and his father). Christmas, 1983.

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