Monday, August 25, 2014

Skinny Bastards

Baseball’s a great sport.  You don’t have to be seven feet tall or weigh 300 pounds to play it. In fact, based on these baseball cards, it looks like you don’t even have to hit the ball out of the infield or be able to throw it all the way from third to first in the air. 

Is it okay if I sneak this one in from the ‘60s?

Wayne Granger’s been here before, where I made fun of the logo on his cap. (What? You made fun of the logo on his cap?) I shared plenty of stats there, but nothing about Wayne’s physique. So, without further ado, here are three great quotes from some of his teammates about that very subject:

  • Pete Rose thought he looked like a “professional blood donor”
  • Johnny Bench quipped that if Granger wore a fur coat, he’d look like “a pipe cleaner”
  • One other Red wag said Wayne could “shower in a shotgun barrel”

Playing BMI: 21 (healthy weight)

Are you sure you weigh more than 90 lbs.?  

Bud Harrelson is another repeat offender. In that other post, I made fun of his shades, as well as sharing some of his stats. I’ll bet you didn’t know, though, that he had a bit of a managing career as well. Not a lot, but he did manage his beloved Mets for a couple of years, finishing over .500 at 145-129. He currently manages the Long Island Ducks, an independent league team.

Playing BMI: 22 (healthy weight)

Are you sure you can lift that bat?  

Not a bad player at all, Cesar Tovar is remembered by most people for having played all nine positions in one game. He also seems to be a man of many nicknames. And those included “Pepito” and “Mr. Versatility.” That first one is actually a cleaned-up version of an extremely impolite Spanish phrase for the lady bits of a female donkey. I kid you not. SABR tells me so.

Click here for Cesar looking angry (and all his stats as well).

Playing BMI: 22 (healthy weight)

Are you sure you didn’t just escape from a refugee camp?

Rogelio Moret sure started out with a bang. In his rookie year, he went 13-2. After a little bit of a sophomore slump (9-10), he then went 14-3, leading the AL in winning percentage. 

More Rogelio (and a very interesting story to boot) right here.

Playing BMI: 21 (healthy weight)

Are you sure you’re not Gumby?

What a great name, huh? Needless to say, we’ve already flagged him for that. One thing that I didn’t mention in that post, though, is that Scipio Spinks had a great sense of humor, as evidenced by his:

  • Stealing Chief Noc-A-Homa’s headdress
  • Shaving his head to change his luck (back in the days of major league afros no less)
  • Impersonating Lou Brock and signing Lou’s autograph
  • Traveling with a large stuffed gorilla named “Mighty Joe Young”

Great detailed bio of Spinks right here.

Playing BMI: 24 (healthy weight)

Are you sure you can throw the ball up to the plate?

Tom Hall was actually traded straight up for Wayne Granger (see above). Nickname-wise, it was “The Blade” (Hall) for “The Stick” (Granger).

Tom didn’t have quite the numbers Wayne did, but he was pretty effective nonetheless. Hall finished his ten-year career with a 52-33 record, 32 saves, a 3.27 record, and almost 800 strikeouts. He saw a good deal of post-season action and did particularly well in the ’73 Series, pitching eight-plus innings for the Reds in a losing effort.

Playing BMI: 20 (healthy weight)

Are you sure I didn’t beat you up in high school?

Submariner Kent Tekulve was the Pirates’ closer for some great years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. He especially shone in the ‘79 Series, saving no less than three of the Bucs’ four victories.

Up for 16 years, the gawky guy with the goofy glasses and the trying-so-hard-to-be-cool sideburns was a real workhorse. And that enabled him to set a number of career records, including:

  • NL innings pitched in relief 
  • Most appearances and innings pitched without making a single start
  • Most consecutive games pitched (nine)
  • Most losses without having given up any earned runs (12)
  • Most intentional walks (179)

Playing BMI: 22 (healthy weight)

Toyed with filing this one under “Dude Looks Like a Lady.”

Another Pirate from the golden age, Bruce Kison was actually up for 15 years total, getting over 100 wins and 1,000 K’s. It was the post-season, though, where “Buster” really shined. Over 36 innings total, he posted a 5-1 record, with 27 strikeouts and a 1.98 ERA. Since retirement, he’s been a major league pitching coach and respected scout.

Playing BMI: 22 (healthy weight)

By the way, you’re probably wondering about the career BMIs of some other players out there - on the other side of the fence. So here they are, free of charge:

  • David Wells: 23 (normal)
  • John Kruk: 24 (normal)
  • Terry Forster: 25 (overweight)
  • Tony Gwynn: 26 (overweight)
  • David Ortiz: 28 (overweight)
  • Smoky Burgess: 28 (overweight)
  • Babe Ruth: 28 (overweight)
  • Mo Vaughn: 30 (overweight)
  • CC Sabathia: 32 (severely obese)
  • Prince Fielder: 38 (severely obese)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Separated at Birth ('70s Version)

I’ve already done this one twice now – once for the ‘50s and once for the ‘60s. So, without further ado, let’s see if the trope still holds for the ‘70s.


No one knew why the squinting nostril shot was so popular that year.

Gerry Moses was up for nine years, but with seven different teams. He had one season as a starter, but  otherwise filled the dreaded position of “backup catcher.” 

Dave LaRoche pitched for 14 fairly unremarkable seasons. Some interesting trivia about Dave:
  • He was born Dave Garcia
  • He is not French
  • He threw an eephus pitch, which he called “la lob”
  • Two of his sons, Dave and Andy, made the majors


Ooh, twinsies! I mean, Twinsies!

Do note, however, the following differences:
  • Kusick has aviator glasses
  • The two are looking in opposite directions
  • The shots appear to have been taken in different stadiums (though I’m not totally sure about that last one)
It’s like one of those “can you spot the differences?” thingees in the newspaper!


Ooh, quadsies!

Wow, these two really are twins – same pose, same uniform, same stadium … Honestly, I cannot tell them apart!


Well, Scotty’s a little more full of himself, while Cecil’s definitely a little more clueless.  Father and son, perhaps?

The guy on the left’s been here before. Click on that link for an even goofier picture (I know, hard to believe), some of his stats, and a really embarrassing story about how you don’t want to go on the DL. 

The guy on the right was actually a fairly decent high school baseball player. I understand, though, he’s pursuing other talents now.

Inside joke alert! The guy on the right is the father of usability engineering (his name is Jakob Nielsen).  I’m a usability engineer.  We’re like engineers, who make things easy to use.  Like your iPhone.  We don’t all look like that, by the way.

As for the dude on the left, would you believe:
  • His real name is Claude
  • He was converted from a third baseman to a pitcher in the minors
  • He has a degree from MIT
  • He was a competitive bowler


Recruiting Officer: “Have you given any thought to your future, son?” 
Forrest Gump: "Thought"?

You all know Forrest. You might even know Gary Gentry. Heck, I think this is his third post in the blog. Yup, I’ve already got him down for major eyebrows and also cheesy mustache. Not sure there’s much more I can say about Gary that I haven’t already covered there.


Yeah, I get these two confused all the time too.

The guy on the left is another repeat offender in this blog. I’ve already booked him for moustache violations and for looking just plain stoopit. I also manage to make the same joke about the name in both those posts as well. Nothin’ more to say about this dude, I’m afraid.


At the other extreme, how could these two be the same person???

You’ve actually seen that card on the left before here, in a post where I also shared Dave’s stats. Just had to show the one on the right as well. Would you believe Cash is only 28 in this shot?

And, no, he is not 13 in the one on the left. A mere seven years divide the two portraits.

Things sure started out with a bang for Stan Bahnsen. In 1968, he finished with a 17-12 record, a 2.03 ERA, and a Rookie of the Year award. The next 15 years were a little more humdrum. He finished the next year 9-16 and somehow managed to lose 20 games a couple of years later. Overall he finished 146-149, with a 3.60 ERA.

Oh, Stan's the guy on the left. The other dude was an athlete as well. I think it was in some other sport than baseball though. Football, maybe? 


Pat Dobson is another frequent flyer in this blog. We’ve already looked up his nostrils, admired his particularly unruly hair, and caught him looking particularly dumb. Dude should have his own post.

The guy on the right actually played minor league ball, though his career was extremely short. Will Ferrell – AKA “Rojo” Johnson – delivered one pitch for the Round Rock Express. See it all right here.


Oops, wrong C.

Tom Buskey was up for eight years. He was the Tribe’s closer in ’74. His nickname was “Husky.” 

Nick Offerman is mostly known for playing the part of Ron Swanson in the TV show Parks and Recreation. He is also married to Will and Grace actress Megan Mullally (hubba hubba) and is a noted woodworker.


Little did his teammates know, but John Lowenstein was actually a 600-year-old vampire. Yup, that’s Vlad Tepes on the right, the original Count Dracula.

The guy on the left was up for 16 years, mostly in a platoon role. He was an announcer after retirement. He’s also one of the few native Montanans to play major league baseball.

The guy on the right liked to impale people on stakes. He was a Romanian prince who reigned in the 15th Century. He may or may not be still around, drink blood, change into a bat, and all sorts of other good stuff.


If only Jerry had unbuttoned his shirt …

The guy on the left was not a bad pitcher at all. He’s been in this blog before, where we made fun of the brim of his cap. (What, you made fun of the brim of his cap???)

The guy on the right is Michael York, movie star and hunky dreamboat.


Wait a minute. I think it’s the same guy. 

No, Larry Haney was not ambidextrous. The fine folks at Topps simply screwed things up – royally. The only way you can tell that Larry is a true righty is because the numbers on the guy in the back look very odd on the card to the right.


Yes, yes, I know the card on the left is an ’83 (and, so, doesn’t really fit in this blog), but this one is just so perfect, I had to include it. 

I’m guessing somebody might have taken Mike’s stapler.

* - author has this card

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pretty Boyz

So, I’m assuming the average jock is not going to ask for a mirror and a comb and then spend ten minutes making sure his hair is “just right” before posing for his baseball card. But, then again, this was the ‘70s. And, you know, maybe it’s not just pimply pre-teen boys who’ll be checking these things out. Yeah, this card’s for you ladies out there! (Hey, how ya doin’?)

I always get this guy confused with Carlos Cisco. Oh yeah, Cisco Carlos is the pretty one.

Cisco Carlos was up for four years in the late 60s, getting in 237 innings and 36 starts. He actually appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated (with Johnny Bench no less), and was featured in an article on promising rookies of 1968. Unfortunately, Cisco then then went 4-14 in that “year of the pitcher.” Wow, talk about the SI curse!

MLB’s longest eyelashes?

Well, it’s good to see at least one of these guys had the decency not to comb his hair. Between the eyelashes, the baby blues, and a genuinely neat ‘do, I’m sure no lady could possibly resist this guy.

Jay Johnstone may be best remembered as a clubhouse prankster. Many of these typically featured Tommy Lasorda, including:

  • Replacing all of the pictures in Lasorda’s office with ones of Johnstone and his cronies
  • Locking Tommy in his office during a spring training game
  • Dressing up as Lasorda (including appropriate padding) and going out to the mound to talk to the pitcher (along with a copy of Lasorda’s book and a can of Slim-Fast) during an actual game

And, yes, Johnstone is the dude who posed for a card one year in a Budweiser umbrella hat:

Man, he is a prankster.

Long eye lashes?  Check.  Prell ‘do?  Got it.  Wicked grin?  Perfect!

Dave Roberts is not the guy who made “the steal” in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Nor is he Dave Roberts the pitcher, the outfielder, or the first baseman. 

Our Dave was primarily a third baseman, but actually played every position but pitcher. He was up for ten years (two as a regular), played for four teams, and finished with a .239 average, 49 homers, and 208 RBIs in a little over 2,000 at bats.

Now pitching, Steve “Goldilocks” Arlin.

Steve Arlin was a huge college star. He finished his career at Ohio State 24-3, with not quite 300 strikeouts. He was a huge College World Series stud as well, leading the Buckeyes to the title one year and striking out 20 opponents in a 15-inning game in another. He’s also in the College Baseball Hall of Fame. 

The majors, on the other hand, were another matter. In fact, Arlin led the league two years running in losses. Interestingly, this was not with the Indians, but with their NL-equivalent for that era – the Padres.

Incredible baseball trivia fact … Steve’s granddad, Harold Arlin, did the first-ever radio broadcast of a major league game, way back in 1921.

Jiffy Pop!

Bob Meyer was up for three seasons, with four different teams (three of those in his first year). He finished 2-12 with a 4.38 ERA. Poor Bob.

I’m Marge Simpson, and I approve this hairdo. 

Bruce Ellingsen was up for only one year, going 1-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 42 innings. He actually came up with the Dodgers … Who traded him to the Indians (hence the card) … For one Pedro Guerrero (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) … Which has got to be one of the worst trades ever (ever).

They called him “Prince Valiant.”

It’s hard to believe, but there’s an even worse card of Brian Downing out there. In fact, you can find one of the worst cards ever made right here.

Okay, cock your head a little more.  That’s it!  Now, give me a little simper.  Perfect!

Dan Meyer was up for twelve years, finishing with 86 homers and 459 RBIs over almost 4,000 at bats. He once led the league in ABs per strikeout, with a rate of 18.8.

Those are not too bad stats. Especially for someone who came in #70 on a list of the 100 worst baseball players ever. The author of that blog states:

His hair was long and golden blond. He twice hit 20 home runs in a season. But Meyer was more like a movie set version of a player. At first glance all the pieces were in place, but a closer look reveals only a fa├žade

To which, Dan might well reply, “Hey, buddy, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Looks like Dan got traded away, but it’s nice to know he still has “the look.”

Dan actually played more first base than any other position. He was one of those odd first baggers who was under 6’0” and weighed less than 200 lbs. The two years he clubbed 20 dingers were with the M’s.

Oops! He did it again.

What the …?  I’m detecting a little Elvis, a little Hans Brinker, a little … man, I just don’t know what.

Brian Asselstine never really made good on the considerable promise he showed in this card. He was up for six years, but only totaled 500-some at bats, with 12 homers, 68 RBIs, and a .254 average. Now, that’s an okay season. I just don’t if you want to have that down as your whole career.

Very funny post from Cardboard Gods (Whuh? How’d that happen?), ostensibly about Brian, but actually having almost nothing to do with him (no surprise there), right here.

Need more pretty boyz? Try these dudes right here.