Monday, July 14, 2014

The Nostril Lives On

Yes, it’s true – 1972 was the vintage of the century when it comes to the nostril look. In addition to that particular 1961, though, there are also some 1959s and 1949s out there as well. So, here are some other years you’ll want to make sure you have in your cellar. 

So, did I beat that particular metaphor to death enough or what?

It’s okay, Sonny.  Really it is.

It might be hard to tell from the picture, but Sonny Siebert actually had quite a bit to be proud about. Over 12 years, he won over 100 games, with a 3.21 ERA and 1513 strikeouts. He also had a no-hitter. 

By the way, the poor guy’s real name was Wilfred.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Felipe seems to be the exact opposite of Sonny.

Interestingly, this card was from the end of Felipe Alou’s career. Over his 17 years in the majors, he put up some great numbers – over 7,000 at bats, 200 homers, and 100 steals (along with a .286 average, thank you very much). He was also a three-time All Star and led his league in hits twice and runs once.

Now, you may know him solely from his managing career. He wasn’t too bad there either, winning over 1000 games, being named Manager of the Year (with the Expos, no less!), and managing the NL in the All Star game. 

Joe Lahoud was your basic low-average, long-ball-hitting, outfielder/DH Lebanese-American. Seriously, Joe is actually one of only a handful of Lebanese-Americans who have played in the majors. Other include Jim Baxis, Frank Skaff, and John Jaha. Extra points if you’ve ever heard of any of them

Our Joe bounced around with five teams over 11 years, getting over 300 at bats only twice. He did reach double digits in homers for three of those years though. Unfortunately, that all did come with a .223 career average.

Wikipedia tells me that, in addition to patrolling major league outfields for 15 years, Ken McMullen directed a bunch of movies – movies (“films,” if you will) that “are grounded in philosophy, history, psychoanalysis and literature.”  Also that he was born in the UK and currently lives in London. Wait a minute … Are there two of these guys?  (More on the correct Ken McMullen right here.)

Looks like  Johnny wore number 25. Not sure why he appears to be crying.

Johnny (“No Relation to Derek”) Jeter was up for six pretty mediocre years. By the way, he’s also no relation to the former professional wrestler of the exact same name. He is, though, related to Shawn Jeter, his son, who was up for a mere 18 at bats in 1992.

Johnny has his own post in the Mediocre Baseball Players blog. The author there points out that Jeter “seemed to try really hard, had a good smile and his baseball cap fit him nearly perfectly.” My guess is that the author may be referring to another card than the particular one shown here.

Hmm, getting into major league pinhead territory here, aren’t we?

John Vukovich was a real record setter. In fact, he holds the all-time record for the lowest batting average for a non-pitcher with at least 500 at bats. Somehow or other, though, he managed to last ten years in the bigs. He’s also – oddly – part of the Phillies Wall of Fame (he was a blue-collar hustler who somehow won the hearts of those fickle Philly fans).

Did they paint that brim on Larry? Why? Why did they do that?

Larry Hisle was a pretty decent batter who played in three different decades (1968-1982). He finished with a .273 batting average, 166 homers, and 674 RBIs. He once led the AL in RBIs and was also a two-time All Star.

I thought that one looked familiar ... This is Larry's card from the previous year. Geez, Topps, that just strikes me as more than a little, um, lazy.

Nice hair.  Nicer nostrils.

Fred Beene was mostly known for being little. Indeed, his playing height and weight were a mere 5’9” and 155 lbs. He was up for seven years, playing for three teams. A classic heavily-worked middle reliever, Fred had only a 12-7 record over not quite 300 innings.

After retiring, Fred was a minor-league coach as well as a scout. In fact, he’s the guy who signed Jim Morris, the 35-year-old high school teacher who the movie The Rookie is based upon.

Austrian Archduke? Czech inventor? 19th Century Eastern European composer?

Pat Dobson’s been here before, with a really bad hairdo, but also with serious mouth-breather tendencies. I’ve covered pretty much everything there is to know about Pat in those other two posts.  

Gotta love the “news headline” the fine folks at Topps threw in there. Frustrated Pulitzer Prize candidates, obviously.

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