October 19, 2011
Hal Reniff, 1967 Topps
I’m pretty sure this is my oldest baseball card. I don’t know where I got it, or why I have it, other than that it features a Yankee. Rest in peace, Hal Reniff. On with the show …
The chunky righthander
I love the straightforwardness of olden times (the 60s). Whereas a modern card may have described Hal Reniff as “sturdy,” or “nimble for his size,” and hid that phrasing somewhere near the end of the tidbit, literally the second word of Hal Reniff’s ’67 Topps card is “chunky.” Like, let’s get this out of the way, because we know everyone’s thinking it—dude is a chunkster. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Reniff also went by the subtle nickname, “Porky.” Also, according to BR Bullpen, he was the great nephew of Joe “Moon” Harris. So, it should be duly noted that this chunky Porky was from the Moon.
works in the Yankees’ ticket office during the winter months.
First, ! Second, Hal Reniff won a title with the Yanks in ’61, and would have (may still have; unsure) won another with them in ’62 were he not serving his country, and the team’s got him selling tickets in the offseason to supplement his income? Amazing. Third:
Hal Reniff: (Sitting at a desk, chewing tobacco, bored, watching kids outside playing in the snow; phone rings) Yeah, Porky here … Uh huh … Uh huh … That day we play, uh (flipping through schedule) Kansas City … Eh, they kinda suck, but ya’ know, still baseball and what not … Promotions? Pfft. Yeah it’s uh, “Bring your money to the ballpark and spend it day” … How many ya’ want? … Three? Let’s make it four, even number … Listen, I gotta eat, buddy … Alright then, looks like the price just went up five bucks a pop! … Oh yeah, well I’d like to see you come down here and try! … FINE, IT’S A DATE! (Slams down phone, takes shot of whiskey.)
Another great thing about old timey cards is that, say you are a person who does not understand words very well. How about then, instead, an easy-to-decipher cartoon?
As you can see, Hal Reniff topped Yankee pitchers with 56 appearances in '66. He did this by climbing over the bullpen fence, which featured actual bulls—dangerous, you say, especially for a man named Porky! Don't worry, they were friendly bulls—and sweating while holding up a sign announcing the number of that particular appearance. In this instance, it was a team high "56," a number that, up until that point, held no other significance within the organization.
Also, the righty has been unscored upon in 4 World Series games. Many of those potential runs were prevented when the catcher moved to second base to tag out the baserunner in the face while an indistinguishable blob existed somewhere in center field. Baseball!