February 28, 2006

A Few Notes to Start the Day

I’d Like to Teach the World to Grow Some Facial Hair

You know, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’ve decided that you can’t have a sports hair hall of fame without a special Garry Maddox Beard Annex (I should probably track Garry Maddox down and ask him if that’s okay with him, but considering he was once a Phillie, all I’ll have to do is slip the Phillie Fanatic $5 and tell him to go on top of the tallest building in Philadelphia and trumpet out Garry Maddox’s special call and Maddox will come sprinting from wherever he is; it won’t matter if he’s in the middle of his kid’s graduation, if he’s almost at the front of the line at the DMV or if he’s in the middle of studying for the LSATs—whenever the Fanatic calls, Maddox will come. Oh yes, Maddox will come). Maddox has a very special beard, one that only a handful of other baseball players have been able to pull off convincingly: the Endless Hair Beard, which I have renamed the Maddox. It has the same shape as the Amish Beard (like Jim Kern’s 1981 Donruss card), but it’s more. Where the Amish Beard is uneven, the Maddox is even: it is the same length on the top of his head as on the tip of his chin. It is, in a word, perfect.

When Maury Wills Steals Out of Retirement, Look Out

Even the casual sports fan knows about Oscar Gamble, and if not by name, then definitely by hair. And while, like the Maddox, you could name the act of a player balancing his hat upon his afro ‘the Gamble’, nobody can deny Maury Wills’ place in the sports hair hall of fame. I mean, c’mon. It’s like a Davy Crockett cap up there, cut just so, so as not to get in his line of vision. And check out the overcoat and love bead necklace (and I'm not entirely sure he's wearing a shirt underneath). It looks like Maury Wills definitely got a lot creepier in the Seventies. He looks like the kind of guy you’d find at a house party, or at the party at the end of Rushmore, you know? The kind that wanders in from the street, enjoys the food, mostly mumbles to himself but every once in a while tells an unbelievable story about hanging out with some cat named Sandy Baby and Tommy Davis and just when it gets real good, he mentions stealing home and some jittery Kevin Bacon from Animal House calls the cops, ruining the story, the party, the night and the buzz, man, the buzz. In the late Seventies and early Eighties, this man would’ve been Bobby Bonds, but the stories would definitely have sucked in comparison (which would form the basis for parents saying amongst themselves when the kids weren’t around that kids today don’t know how to party, that in their day, fuckin’ Maury Wills came to their parties, got high with them and once, even flew them to fuckin’ Toronto to heckle his son Bump in a game, but man, Bump didn’t even know it was us, ’cause we were wearin’ fuckin’ Groucho Marx glasses, man!).

The Most Important Things in My Life, At Least For Right Now

• Consider this: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are married. This is a fact. Also a fact: both are very busy, Zeta-Jones because she’s in all of those terrible T-Mobile ads (where she almost outdoes even the prolific Carrot Top), and Michael Douglas because he’s Michael Douglas, man! He’s got things to do! People to see, man! He doesn’t just sit on his ass and wait for Catherine to get home…oh wait, actually…Anyway, let’s say they get a divorce, right? Douglas gets all the cars (so that he can put them all together to form one gigantic Transformer-like robot that he alone can control, and sometimes, when it’s a clear night, he lumbers up to the ridge overlooking downtown and howls at the moon, or softly blubbers to himself), Zeta-Jones most of the houses and maybe the dogs (if she’s not allergic to dogs, because maybe she is, right?) and they split the cash and servants (if they have cash and servants). So where does that leave Tom Paciorek? Doesn’t he deserve something? Anything? Actually, what would really be great would be if Zeta-Jones left Michael Douglas for Paciorek on the grounds that Paciorek looks more like Michael Douglas than Michael Douglas does.

• Consider this (but don’t think about it for too long, because it’ll really get to you): Look at Manny Trillo in this photo on his 1979 Topps card. Now look at the Cub on his left shoulder. Now look back at his face. Scary, right? It’s almost like he had a uniform made with his likeness on the shoulders, to remind him which uniform was his.

• To thank Bill Simmons and ESPN for linking to The Baseball Card Blog, I give you Jim Kaat, circa 1982, beached on the bench for his great 1983 Fleer card, giving an interview to the worldwide leader in interviewing beached, over-the-hill baseball players who really weren’t good since 1978, but were smart enough to hang around and collect some of that free agent cash, postponing the inevitable and stealing valuable airtime from Lonnie Smith and his tremendous drug habit.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Manny Trillo thing is... Pure. Genius.

I was also a big fan of the 78 Topps Oscar Gamble as well, in fact I think I prefer the 78 version as it gives you another perspective from which to be amazed by the fro. Truly legendary, and probably worthy of Hall of Fame induction. (Seriously, if they're going to induct Sutter...)

The Rev said...

Me being a Phillies fan, I have to love a post on two of my favorites from 1980, Manny Trillo and Garry Maddox. But in your hair reference, we need a Bake McBride mention in there too. He had a great fro along with a great nickname.

By the way... I was unable to comment on a previous post. I'm going to have a hard time forgiving you for your bashing of Juan Samuel. I used to be happier than a pig in slop when I pulled a Samuel card. Long live Sammy!

Holmes said...

Out of respect for baseball card collecting, don't post anymore mid to late 1980's Topps cards. Those bastards took this kid for all he was worth.

cgange said...

Could you please add a Bake McBride card to the Afro montage. It is quite a masterpiece.

Bailey said...

I would love to see a breakdown on some of my favorite rookie cards;

BJ Surhoff - Who I thought was going to be the next Mickey Mantle from the hype on his card

Benito Santiago

Anonymous said...

Two words for overhyped cards: Gregg Jefferies.

Anonymous said...

One card that trumps all: Brien Taylor. I'm pretty sure his card was $12 the day it came out, and he never sniffed a major league inning.

The Rev said...

I've got a good one...

Kevin Maas... I horded his cards when they came out and all of them combined today ain't even worth a 20 oz Diet Coke.

Oh we could go forever with this. How much are all of your Eric Davis rookie cards worth now? How about all of those Todd Van Poppel's?

uwmryan said...

I paid $10 (twice) for an Upper Deck Jerome Walton rookie card.

Slim Pickens said...

How about a post showing/discussing (in)famous error cards? Billy Ripken Upper Deck, Gary Sheffield Upper Deck, Keith Comstock '88 Topps, the Al Leiter/Steve George '88 Topps mixup, etc . . . Those things were like liquid gold during my childhood, and are now essentially worthless. There goes my retirement. Great blog. Long live Andy Allanson, Bruce Ruffin, Danny Tartabull, and all the '87 Topps rookie team.

The Rev said...

One of the biggest error cards... the Tom Seaver error card in 1985 donruss where they had the wrong picture. I think dealers were selling the original error card for $50 at the time because Donruss pulled it. Then they corrected it in the factory sets, and the corrected version became bigger than the original.

And the Billy Ripken... it got tothe point where they had different values for the different corrected versions. The white box was worth a different value than the scribbled out version. Crazy stuff!

trips left said...

re: the maddox - i was eleven when those '86 topps came out and also dubbed the hair on that card "the maddox." my brothers and i would get our commons and trade based on ugliness or badass hair. that '86 maddox was pretty much untouchable. oscar gamble, pepe frias, john montefusco, cliff johnson, harvey haddix, jim bibby, and otis nixon also graced several cards that were held in high regard. if only i had an information superhighway back then to let everyone else know about it. i really like your blog; keep it up.

jurassicpork said...

"Where the Amish Beard is uneven, the Maddox is even: it is the same length on the top of his head as on the tip of his chin."

And it ain't easy being a physical palindrome.

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