Monday, March 31, 2014

Phooey Man Chewy

The fu manchu had a lifespan of – oh, I don’t know – five minutes?

But isn’t that the great thing about baseball cards?  Think about it. 600 guys, every year, for 60-plus years. That’s bound to capture some rather surprising, pretty interesting, short-lived trends, no?

Okay, guys, show us that weirdly sculpted facial hair of yours …

Hey, Hans Brinker never wore a fu manchu!

Terry Hughes is a local boy, coming from just over the state line in South Carolina. Things started out pretty well for Terry, as he was picked second overall in the ’67 draft. Unfortunately, things never did quite pan out for him. Over three years in the bigs, he got only 83 at bats, finishing with a .209 average and exactly one homer.

Things pretty much came full circle for Terry. Today, he’s a gym teacher at his old high school.

Major Mutton Chops, meet General Fu Man Chu.

A good way to think of Jack Heidemann is to think of Terry Hughes, but over a period of eight long years. Indeed, over that eight-year career, Jack hit .211 (two whole points better than Terry), with nine homers (0.125 more per year).

And like Terry, somebody thought Jack would do a lot better than that. Jack was drafted 11th in the ’67 draft, and also made his debut at age 19 (he got three at bats and struck out twice, by the way). I can neither confirm nor deny whether Jack is currently involved in secondary-level physical education.

No, no, not that Mike Tyson.

Now, I’ve already made that unfortunate comparison elsewhere in this blog. In that post, I also shared a lot of Mike’s stats (as well as a particularly dumb-looking card). I’ll bet you didn’t know, though, that:
  • He was only 5’9”
  • He led the NL in errors in ‘73
  • He led the NL in double plays in ‘74
  • You can get a signed baseball from Mike Tyson the boxer on Amazon

Yup, that Larry Lintz.

In addition to the great name (and great 'chu), Larry Lintz also had great wheels. In his one season as a regular (319 at bats), he stole a whopping 50 bases. Of course, he also only hit .238, with no home runs, but what the hey ...

By the way, over a six-year, 616-at-bat career, Larry would never improve on that last stat, finishing his major-league career with exactly zero homers. Geez, you’d think he’d at least get an inside-the-parker with that speed.

In 1976, the A’s used him almost exclusively as a pinch runner.  He got in 68 games but had only one at bat! He did, however, steal 31 bases. You can read all about it right here.

Wait, side burns aren’t supposed to end there, are they?  Ditto with the mustache. 

You’ve already met Dock Ellis in this blog. In that post, I made fun of Dock’s handwriting, as well as discussing his stats and his LSD-fueled no-hitter. I don’t believe I mentioned, though, that Dock was also an All-Star in 1971 and was elected Comeback Player of the Year for 1976.

Somehow, this thing looks entirely less threatening on Dennis than it does on anybody else.

Dennis Lamp pitched in three decades, from 1977 to 1992. He was in the bigs for 16 years, retiring at age 39. According to the LA Times, Dennis currently mans the seafood counter at Bristol Farms, in Newport Beach, CA. I kid you not.

Technically, this is called a Zapata.

.. which is really odd, as Pablo hails from Venezuela, not Mexico. Pablo Torrealba was up for five years, with three teams. He finished with a less-than-stellar 6-13 record, but with a pretty decent 3.27 ERA. 

And, yes, Steve Torrealba is his son. Actually, if you remember Steve Torrealba (.109 in 19 at bats), it’s probably only because 1) you’re a diehard Braves fan, 2) you got desperate and put him on your fantasy team and regret it to this day, or 3) you, too, are related to the Torrealbas.

It’s from 1981, but what a great one to go out on.

Dick Tidrow was a set-up man for 13 big-league seasons.  He finished with exactly 100 wins, to go along with 55 saves. Dick made seven post-season series, all but one with the Yankees. His main claim to fame was leading his league in games pitched, with 84 in 1980. Dick was also graced with a great nickname, “Dirt.” 

Dick is now the scouting director for the Giants. He’s been in that organization for 20 years.

Uh, ditto …

Just had to include the Mad Hungarian in here. I’m sure we’re all familiar with Al Hrabosky’s antics on the mound. I wonder, though, how many people remember that he was really just a so-so closer. Yes, he did lead the NL in saves one year. Overall, though, he finished with less than 100. Similar pitchers include Bill Henry, Frank Linzy, and Joe Sambito. Today, Al’s an announcer for the Cards.

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