Sunday, November 04, 2007


"Once upon a time (and a very good time it was, too) when dinosaurs still roamed the earth...there was a place known as Brooklyn, New York, where a team known as the Dodgers played a game known as baseball. Brooklyn was the birthplace of Chester A. Riley...and the Dodgers were its Beloved Bumbling Bums.

Of course, there is no such place as Brooklyn anymore. It has been cemented over and converted into a parking lot. The streets of Flatbush are awash with neon blight. The hills of Williamsburg are rotted through with highrise pestilence. And there is no such team as the Brooklyn Dodgers anymore either.

There are two hundred and fifty teams in the major leagues now.

All the players look like William Morris agents."

Welcome to the wonderful world of THE GREAT AMERICAN BASEBALL CARD FLIPPING, TRADING AND BUBBLE GUM BOOK. Nostalgia at its finest, this collection of wit and wisdom by co-authors Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris is an irreverent and affectionate look at the halcyon days of baseball as it was played in the fabulous 1950s. Adios READER'S DIGEST, this is THE publication to have beside the ol' porcelain throne. Let's play (number) two. Pants down. Batter up...

"Despite all apparent evidence to the contrary, there has never been, nor could there ever be, a major league ballplayer named CLYDE KLUTTZ."

"JAY HOOK was a lanky engineering student from Waukegan, Illinois, who looked like Wally Cleaver and pitched like Zasu Pitts."

"If you research long enough and far enough you will discover that every major league ballplayer, no matter how inept or mediocre, holds some sort of absurdly obscure record. GORDON GOLDSBERRY holds the record for the most errors in the third inning of the second game of a twilight doubleheader by a left-handed first baseman with an alliterative name."

"Everybody remembers WAYNE TERWILLIGER. But nobody can remember why."

"The players of the fifties had their share of colorful nicknames. Some of them even made sense. PEE WEE REESE was a former marbles champion. BIRDIE TEBETTS had a voice like a sparrow. CHARLES DILLON STENGEL came from K.C. (Missouri)."

"LARRY DOBY was the first black player in the American League, which is a little like being the second person to invent the telephone."

"CHICO CARRASQUEL -- I always had a special place in my heart for Chico because of his peculiarly waiflike appearance, always looking as he did like the wide-eyed Mexican radish-picker Akim Tamiroff is getting ready to deport."

"RIP RIPULSKI played his best years in the outfield for the Cardinals and the Phillies in the fifties. He followed Jabbo Jablonski in the batting order, and their names were always abbreviated in the box scores. On such things are nostalgic memories based."

"Goodnight SIBBY SISTI, wherever you are."

(A final note: Many thanks to my good friend Darren Lohr who encouraged me to purchase this wonderful book. He was so certain I would enjoy it that he offered to reimburse me twice the purchase price if I didn't find it to be among the most entertaining and enjoyable reading materials I have ever acquired, anywhere and at any time. Darren, I think I should pay YOU double -- that's how much I love THE GREAT AMERICAN BASEBALL CARD FLIPPING, TRADING AND BUBBLE GUM BOOK.)

(Of course, I won't actually do this...)


At 1:45 PM, Anonymous mrn said...

does elmer valo rate a mention?....mrn

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Darren said...

Bob, I am THRILLED that you enjoyed the book so much, but I am certainly not surprised. You have a pure heart made of Cracker Jacks and pine tar flowing through your veins. Like myself, you probably think that baseball cards went to hell when they took the bubble gum out of the pack and stopped allowing awful miscuts to get through. Quality control, my ass. That's when they LOST the quality.
God bless baseball, baseball cards, the golden age, and Sibby Sisti...wherever he is.


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