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)


  1. What about Mark(The Blade) Belanger?

  2. Yeah, 6'1", 170 lbs is pretty skinny (BMI of 22). Unfortunately, there really weren't any cards from the '60s or '70s (the era this blog covers) that really made him look as skinny as he actually was. That said, the '83 Topps is a real classic.

  3. Hmm.....looks awfully skinny in the following Topps cards 68,69 (same pic) 72,74,75,77, 79 and,82.

  4. * In 1967, Cesar Tovar received the lone MVP vote that didn't go to Yaz (Triple Crown and pennant winner).

    * Kent Tekulve was such a good sport about his slender frame, that he made a hobby of collecting descriptions of himself, mostly by sportswriters in newspapers and magazines.

    * Tom Hall's fine World Series outings came in 1972, against the A's. In 1973, his Reds lost to the "you gotta believe" Mets in the NLCS, when skinny-boy, Bud Harrelson, had a set-to with Pete Rose, following a violent collision at second base.