October 26, 2011

Porky's 498

Pokey Reese, 1999 Topps

Today’s lesson from the Topps School of English & Grammar comes courtesy of Pokey Reese:

The oxymoronically-named Pokey

Let us, for a second, first assume, as I think this statement is implying, that “pokey” is a common baseball term for a player who hits singles and bunts a lot or something, as in:

Scout: Guy’s got decent speed, no doubt, but he’s a little pokey out there.

Normal person: “Pokey?” How do you mean?

Scout: Ya’ know … he pokes the ball around. Like, he pokes at it, with his bat, and it doesn’t go very far, which is bad.

Normal person: I have never heard of such a thing.

Scout: Watch.

Player in question swings and misses, bat flies out of his hands and hits a popcorn vendor in the back.

Scout: Alright, he wasn’t pokey there, but you get what I’m saying.

Then, let us assume that Pokey Reese was not, in the traditional sense, very pokey at all! For example, instead of the “fact” that he hit 44 career home runs in eight years in the bigs, let us say that he hit 498 career home runs in only eight years in the bigs. Then, let us assume that “Reese” is French for “slugger,” in which case, yes—Pokey Slugger is indeed an oxymoron in the same way that jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron. Jumbo shrimp? Pfftt. That is crazy talk.

Wikipedia, anything to add?

Reese was nicknamed "Pokey" by his grandmother for his chubby infant complexion; she intended to call him "Porky", but Pokey stuck.

Grandma Reese: Look at that fat baby! I’m gonna call him “Pokey!”

Grandpa Reese: What in the heck does that mean, Louise? Pokey? He’s fat—not a baby who bunts all the time!

Grandma Reese: Oh, goodness! Did I say, “Pokey?” I meant to say, “Pokey!”

Grandpa Reese: Darn it, Louise!

Grandma Reese: I mean “Porky!”

Baby Reese: (From his crib) Po-key?

Grandpa Reese: Well, it’s too late now! We got ourselves an oxymoron!

This makes consecutive Porky-related posts, which ties the record for most consecutive themed posts (2), set back in February of this year when we explored hunted game. I mention this not to brag, but so that everyone knows how rare it is to witness so much Porky content in one place. What we're doing here ... it's kind of special.


troy said...

I always thought it was Pokey as in slowpoke, which would explain the 'oxymoronically,' as the man could steal a base and had range.

mkenny59 said...

Hey Troy, I never considered that. Still though, wouldn't that just be irony, (assuming I've retained an understanding of what that means post-Alanis) unless of course "Reese" is also Latin for "Fast?" Either way, thanks for the comment and feedback!

troy said...

I read it like they were leaving the 'Reese' out of it. 'The oxymoronically named Pokey; -- he's named slowpoke, but he's fast!

Oh, and that was just the comment. If I'd left feedback, it would be that this is one of the best blogs in existence, and you're terrific.

mkenny59 said...

Wow Troy, a million thank-yous for that! Very much appreciate it, to say the least!

Batboy said...

Allow me to put on my nerd glasses...

Ahem. Okay, still there? Cool. Just one quick interjection between esteemed author mkenny59 and observant reader troy - oxy moron, by definition, is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms (that's with an 's,' so it's plural, as in more than one).

On one hand, perhaps the man Pokey Reese is a figure of speech, making the statement correct (and an update to his Wikipedia page very necessary).

OR, mkenny59 did it again. After all, a fat guy named "Slim" isn't an oxymoron, it is ironic. But I think if that fat guy's full name was "Slim Chubbybottom," we could have ourselves irony AND an oxymoron.

Batboy said...

I must say, I can't wait for the consecutive themed posts record to be broken. It's the holy grail of The Baseball Card Blog official records - and to break it in such a meaningful way ("Porky," it just says it all) makes it even better.

So, time for Mike to go out and buy a card of one of the following: Frank Biscan, Red Howell, Doyle Lade, Dave Odom or Ted Pawelek (much thanks to BR.com).

What I can't believe, though, is all these players who were nicknamed "Porky" all played in the 1940s. Reniff was really a throwback Porky...

mkenny59 said...

@ Batboy: A few things -- 1) I NEED to get those cards you listed, but it may be too late; possibly I can get at least three, and begin a whole new Porkys theme and break the record ... I will try, 2) Is it okay with you if I use "Slim Chubbybottom" as the name of fantasy baseball team for next season? Please let know, 3)thank you so much for the awesome feedback and input!

Batboy said...

Mike (if I may address you by your given name),
1. The Amazing New Porkys Theme Record will be yours. Take your time and set it up right, that's all I can say. We'll all wait with baited breath until then.
B. Of course. I'd be thrilled if you did.
And thank you. It's always a pleasure to drop in and read the great work here.