Monday, March 10, 2014

Now, That's Italian!

What a decade to be a paisan! Mustaches! Eyebrows! Sideburns! Hairy chests! Dangling medallions! Vinnie Barbarino! The Fonz! Saturday Night Fever! 

Show us those nose hairs, Danny!

Danny Frisella was up for ten years, primarily as a middle reliever and mostly with the Mets. Over 350-some game and a little over 600 innings, he totaled 57 saves along with a respectable 3.32 ERA and 471 strikeouts. He was also a man of many nicknames … in particular, “Bear” and “Frisbee.”

Danny also responded to my request for an autograph as a kid. All I did was send a card and my address. Hard to believe that I got most of those back.

Frisella died after the ‘76 season in a dune buggy accident. He was only 30. That definitely creeped my sixteen-year-old self out.

Bob “Groucho” Coluccio gets points for for the  ‘stache and sideburns, as well as the tinted shades. Oh, and would you believe his middle name is Pasquali? I think that’s worth at least two extra points right there.

Bob started out as something of a regular, getting 438 and 394 at bats in his first two years with the Brewers. He also hit 15 dingers that rookie year. 

Unfortunately, his average was .224 that first year .223 the next. You got to give him credit for the consistency. Unfortunately, though, that’s really not how to make a good impression. Indeed, Bob would only get 263 at bats over the next three years.

Largely as a result, he would bounce around the minors a few years after, be out of baseball after that, and is now trying to sell you some very expensive real estate in Orange County, CA.

It’s hard to get any more Italian than “Carmen.” Maybe “Dominic” could provide a little competition, I dunno. “Sal” perhaps? “Guido”? Oh, heck, why not “Pasquali”?

Five years as a utility infielder kinda says it all for Carmen Fanzone. Interestingly, he did manage 20 homers and 94 RBIs in his 588 career at-bats. Of course, that did come with a .224 average as well.

Carmen’s post-baseball career proved much more interesting that Bob Coluccio’s. Fanzone became an accomplished horn player, including a stint with the Baja Marimba Band and backing up Sue Raney and Mel Torme.

Yup, that’s our Carmen – big bow tie, closed eyes, horn, and all.

It’s the other Fanzone brother, Mario. Except for the eye color and upturned mustache, I’d swear Carmen and Mario were identical twins. Looks like Mario played for the Mariners, or maybe Milwaukee. Minnesota? Uh, Miami? Funny, I don’t recall any of those teams with these colors.

Don’t tell anybody, but Dave is actually Portuguese. Yup, if he were truly Italian, his name would be something like Dom Lupo.

Dave (AKA Davey) Lopes was a pretty darn good ballplayer. In a 16-year career, he stole over 500 bases, hit 155 homers, and scored over a 1000 runs. He was a four-time All Star and one-time Gold Glover, and also led his league in steals twice, with totals of 63 and 77.

Lopes has been a major league coach pretty much ever since hanging up his spikes. His specialty has been base stealing. Dave also got a chance to manage, putting in a couple of years with the Brewers, but finishing only with a record of 144-195.

You know, Grimsley just doesn’t sound that Italian to me. Ah, heck, maybe it’s Jewish.

Remember this guy? In a previous post, I shared his stats (he was not a bad pitcher) and also commented on how much he looked like Abbie Hoffman. 
Ross seems to have had a streak of Abbie Hoffman in him, being known as quite a character. Some highlights include:
  • Beaning a fan who was heckling him
  • Wearing colored contact lenses
  • Not showering during winning streaks (his nickname was “Scuz”)
  • Consorting with a witch (I believe she was helping him out with his slider)

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