Portraits of the Dead Ball Era: Seven Steers In Tibet

“When the chimes end, Colonel, try and shoot me.  Just try.”

Well, I guess clothes do make the man.  Dick Davis looks less like Dick Doofus in his funny Pittsburgh Pirates hat than he does in his Milwaukee Brewers hat.  With the addition of some dip, why, he even looks like Charlie Murphy — a minor celebrity who won’t gain notoriety until 20 years after this card is printed!!!  Dick Davis — TIME TRAVELLER OF TOMORROW!

“Oh, dat’s right, Mistah Angielowes, I gots dah winnin’ strategies what I loined fum dah Noo Yawk Yankees — a nomenclature what’s practically a sin-oh-nim fuh winnin’ basebawl games.  Youse kin look it up in a whatzit — a THEH-sore-ISS.  G’head, I kin wait; I gots time, Mistah Angielowes.  I’ll right dis death ship wid a port list in no time, Mistah Angielowes.  I couldn’ts be more proud to be a parts of dah proud terdishin of Orioles winnin’ basebawl games.  I never seen a finer collection of bawlplayahs in awl my bawn days, Mistah Angielowes, and as soon as dat Albert Belle come off dah disabled list, I’ll bring my winnin’ Noo Yawk Yankee ways to yer backwoids bawl team here and won’t nobody remembah dat bozo fum the Cleveland Indians — what I beat back in 97 wit’s my winnin’ bench coachin’ — wit’ dah big caboose, whatsisname, Mike Hargrover.  What do you mean, Mistah Angielowes, ‘Makes do wit’ Jeffs Conines and David Segui?’ ‘Cuz dat David Segui, he is none too suttle abouts dah ‘roids, amirite?  ‘Cuz dah top of his head is as wide as my Town Car, and he gets injured pretty easy, Mistah Angielowes.  Butchoo gots me my ahms for dah  pitchin’ staff, right?  ‘Cuz, you knows, I gots my winnin’ Noo Yawk Yankee ways, but I can’ts coach dese bums to stop suckin’.  I can’ts just yells the stink off dese guys, no sir, Mistah Angielowes.”

I’ll bet it was 1982 when I stood in a long line at the Hunt Valley Mall and got Eddie Murray’s autograph.  And whether I liked it or not, I got Orioles pitching coach Ray Miller’s autograph as well.  Oh, the days before ballplayers were encouraged to act like greedy swine at a buffet.  Outside of Frank Robinson, you can’t name an Oriole who was better at the plate, and a clutch hitter to boot, than Eddie Murray — and he wasn’t charging a dime for his autograph, patiently working his way through a long line of squirmy, awestruck kids.  Ray Miller, on the other hand, was just sort of wondering why he was there, a coach best known for working ‘Orioles Magic’ on Steve Stone and Jim ‘Candyass’ Palmer.  In the line for Eddie Murray’s autograph, you had to go thru Ray Miller first, and it would seem rude not to ask for his autograph, wouldn’t it?  So you’d shove your ball or promo glossy in front of him, and he’d say ”Hell, I’ll sign anything ya got!!!”  And he’d waggle his eyebrows and dart his beady little eyes for tsk-tsking authority figures.

When I came back home for a brief visit in 2000, Ray Miller was managing the Orioles, and man, he looked like he was in the early stages of mummification, like he was having all the moisture sucked out of him by natron salt, or just watching the Orioles field an El Stinko ball club.  Miller was thrown under the bus for Hargrove, who was in turn thrown under the bus for Mazzilli, who was ejected and — since no one wanted the job, the best the O’s could do was make managers of long-suffering bench coaches like Perlozzo and Trembley.  Do you think O’s ownership has been schlocking the team and making fall guys of management?  Cripes, they only just noticed nobody goes to the damn games anymore.

I wonder if Dan Quisenberry’s submarine pitching motion affected his sense of balance.  His mustache is noticeably longer one one side of his face.

And here’s yet another middle relief guy adopting the appearance of a sex offender.

Here’s Charlie Hustle, as I prefer to remember him, in a gruesome velour warmup jacket, with his Prince Valiant pageboy.

In the early 80s, the independent or Metromedia stations took a lot of advertising from someone who was marketing a Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits 2 LP or 3 8-track collection.  The visuals were all culled from a CCR appearance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and since the only human being I’d ever seen with a pageboy haircut was Pete Rose, I naturally assumed Pete Rose was the leader of CCR. Classic Rock was not a radio format at this time, but Jerry Reed had a cover of ‘Down on the Corner’ that was put into regular rotation on WPOC, and WPOC  responded with  ‘What the hell!  MORE CREEDENCE!!!’  It wasn’t until ‘Centerfield’ came out in 1985 that I learned that Pete Rose and John Fogerty were entirely separate people.



About rockiebee

Husband. Dad. Carpenter. Troubadour. Creative Director for an action figure theater troupe. Video director. Critic. Comics fan.
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