Archive for Great Moments in Spectacles

Humbled and Honored: My Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech


“Good afternoon. First, I want to thank you all for coming to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I know you have a choice of museums when you visit Cooperstown, so thank you for choosing this one. Frankly, I don’t know how you could pass up the 18th-century Dutch-style plow at the nearby Farmers’ Museum, but pass it up you did! As an aside, I will tell you that I once got ‘18th-century plowed’ by drinking a liter of elixir d’absynthe to treat a serious case of dropsy. I mean I got drunk, 1700s-style. I did not get – what’s the word? – ‘copulated.’

“In any case, I also want to say that I am truly humbled by this honor. I want to say it because everybody says it. Then again, I don’t know why people say it. I mean, humbled? If anything, I should be de-humbled. I’d be humbled if my two-week-old kitten were to beat me in Greco-Roman wrestling. I’d be humbled if you pointed at my crotch and laughed, as if to say, ‘What cruel twist of fate is this that should visit upon a red-blooded American male such a tragic deficiency?’

“But humbled by getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Screw that noise. Seriously, you should see my new vanity plate: “CPRSTWN.” I guess the plate’s only downside is that it can be misconstrued. For example, after pulling up behind me at a stoplight, Ronde Barber came to my window and asked if I could revive his brother’s career.
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Non-Urgent Matter: Arnie Beyeler’s Mustache, Spectacles


There are a number of matters to which the reader is compelled to devote his time, presently: to the cultivation of meaningful relationships, to the study of weighty texts, to the consumption of wine and spirits. All to the good, that.

Given his paucity of leisure just at the moment, the reader likely has no need for the sort of literary baubles produced occasionally in these pages — of which the current post, featuring an image of Red Sox first-base coach Arnie Beyeler’s mustache and spectacles, is an example.

A brief survey of the author’s emotions, however, reveals that resentment is nowhere to be found. Furthest thing from it, actually. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to read trivial weblogs and a time not to do that. All that kind of thing. What the author has endeavored to provide here, rather, is a sort of diverting thought — in the event that the reader finds a minute or two — which might be contemplated briefly and pleasantly. Refreshed, the reader marches on again — till human voices wake him, and he drowns.

Great Moments in Spectacles: Ron Kittle Bobblehead


Should 5.2 WAR across 3013 PA net you a bobblehead? That depends. Do you have a set of vision adjusters like these?


Then, yeah, you probably deserve a bobblehead.

Great Moments in Pulling the Ball: Yasiel Puig


I’m not an athlete. Curling is my sport of choice. But there are times when one is curling that they feel they can do no wrong. Every shot is the perfect weight, you hit the broom every time, you are in the sweet spot of speed and pressure when you’re sweeping, etc.

Real athletes talk about these moments, too. They usually call it being “locked in” or “in the zone.” In these times, they can seemingly do whatever they wish within their game. They are masters of their destinies. Their limitations come only from their imaginations. For these fleeting times, they control their universe.

Yasiel Puigi Puig is* still controlling his universe. Here’s to him never stopping.

*Ed Note: while the very handsome editor appreciates David Temple’s attempt to suggest that Yasiel Puig could only be Italian, fact must triumph fiction in this particular case.

The Spectrum of Spectacles: From Vance Worley to Kurt Russell

Here at NotGraphs, we have often tried to shine a light on how spectacles make the game of baseball better. How much better? Well, it’s hard to quantify. But I think it’s safe to say “lots.” They make baseball lots better.

But there is a spectrum of spectacles. On the one end are these monstrosities worn by Vance Worley, which understandably led to a 7.21 ERA and a 5.55 FIP for the Twins in 10 starts:


 Now compare them to these spectacles worn by Kurt Russell during his three seasons as a minor league second baseman baseball in the Angels’ system from 1971-1973: Read the rest of this entry »

Team Harlem Nights vs. Team Ghost Dad


Softball, generally thought as a game for drunkards and women, was hoisted up by a group of great men.

The final score of the game between Team Harlem Nights and Team Ghost Dad:

America -1
Fascism – 0

If you had the wherewithal and courage to keep a list of your life’s biggest regrets, you would have to find room in the upper margins to squeeze in “Not watching a softball game played by Red Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, and Richard Pryor.”

These giants stand poised and somewhat attentive as they prepare for battle on the condensed field. Mr. Tibbs will pitch, thank you very much.

Red has the most manager-like name, so he manages. Every clap of encouragement jiggles his dancing lady tattoo. Eddie Murphy wonders if he locked his Maserati.

The third baseman was literally on fire once.

And Ghost Dad himself, where should he play? Catcher? Too tall. His lack of power doesn’t play at first base. Ghost Dad shall haunt center field.

The game was won with a walk-off homer. Who hit it? It doesn’t matter.

Because it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether or not you played softball with Bill Cosby.

Photo credit goes to Buzzfeed.

One Day, Joe Pettini Will Show Them All

One day, Joe Pettini will show them all …

I'll Not Abide This Much Longer

Joe Pettini’s far-off gaze — it smoulders at the today about him just as it aches for the tomorrow before him. He is, for miserable now, a Le Tigre wearer lost in a remorseless hierarchy of Those Who Don Privileged Izods. Whatever mastery the lunchroom table — that steering committee of knaves, where he is not welcome — holds over Joe Pettini, it is as fugitive as the pupa.

The ribs of Joe Pettini encase not only a mighty heart, but also a concrete intake facility — painted in mute, industrial gray, the color of Prussia’s lost battles. Inside that cell subsists Joe Pettini’s numbed will. It is disembodied save for two crispy fingers, and those fingers, each night, summon the hardihood to scrawl a prisoner’s tally of the crudest hours until July 10, 1980.

On that day, all will be shown because Joe Pettini will show them all.

So assail him for now, invertebrates of the homerooms and hallways, but know this: the hunches you mock are the very wounds from which Joe Petini’s thunderclap wings will grow. You shall know him by his talons.

What Did You Just Say To Rich Gale?

Whoa, whoa, whoa …

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What the fuck?

What the fuck did you just say to Rich Gale? What in the living fuck did you just say to this 6-foot-7, 225-pound sum-buck?

Rich Gale will set those gold-rimmed Foster Grants aside — maybe hand them for safekeeping to Pete LaCock, who will mutter, “Shit, you shouldn’t have said that,” — give a considered stroke of his mustache with thumb and pointer finger and get the shit down to business. Don’t let the feathered body wave fool you: If Rich Gale’s smoky baritone doesn’t get through to you, then these got-damn soup bones will do the rest of the talking.

Yes indeed, I’d pump the brakes over there, tadpole, lest you want Rich Gale to use these meaty shilelaghs to beat some wits into you. Within the last fifteen minutes, Rich Gale has factually pinched off a crap bigger than you. Say something like that again, and Rich Gale’s going to get around to tenderizing some meat.

You started in on him, and he told you that tiny boats should stay near the shore. But you kept at it. And now he’s giving you that smoldering, 12-gauge glare that says it looks like it might be time to take out the trash. Maybe what’s coming — and what’s coming for you is a mouth full of bloody Chiclets — will give you pause the next time you take a notion to nip at the heels of Rich God Almighty Damn Gale. Shoulda left your mouth at home, you dumb dumbass dummy.

Yeah, this is gonna hurt you a whole helluva lot more than it hurts Streets of Fire Rich Gale.

Top Beard/Spectacles Combination: Matthew Williams

Currently, Matthew Williams is a right-hander for Sydney of the Australian Baseball League. Before that, he was a pitching prospect in the Twins organization for six years. Before that, he lived his entire childhood naked and alone in the woods before emerging — with the same crudely designed spectacles as shown here — from the forests of his own accord.

Mustache-Spectacles Combo: Craig McMurtry

Craig McMurtry, thief of hearts!

He’s a good egg, McMurtry. If he drives a white, windowless van, then it’s for purposes of infiltrating the ranks of other drivers of white, windowless vans and then taking back the streets from same. The stylish zippered warm-up conceals a mighty heart.

The mustache forms a “C.” The lenses of his eyewear form two “O”s. “Coo” is the call of a pigeon. “COO” stands for “country of origin” and “Chief Operating Officer.” CoO is the chemical symbol for Cobalt Oxide. It is also the code for a West African airport, the safety record of which would likely horrify coddled first-worlders with hearts less mighty than the muscled organ that beats within Craig McMurtry’s chest and locked, bony cage.

Motel to airships, chemical compound poisonous to weaklings, executive with muted passions, the place you are from, a street bird’s despairing bray — Craig McMurty is all of these things. Without glasses and mustache, Craig McMurtry would be none of these things. Without Craig McMurtry, the glasses and mustache would be none of these things. QED.

The formula is a formula because it is etched upon the walls of a cave beneath a riverbed that is no more. No one fishes that river because the river has dried up.

Craig McMurtry doesn’t watch them not fish that river that dried up.