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January 4, 2004


Spent the evening sorting through the faces of my childhood--the thousands of baseball cards that have followed me through multiple moves over two and a half decades--to serve up as a gift to my nephew David. He's almost 8 and loves statistics. As I sorted, I made two extra piles: one for bad pictures, the other for funny names. The funny picture category was further subdivided by facial hair, haircut, "chaw cheek", constipated look, goofy look, and just plain mean look. It must suck to make it all the way to the Majors only to have a crappy picture on your card.

Baseball has had some great names: Bake, Bombo, Buzz, Biff, Bump, Boog, Buddy, Butch, Tippy, Pepe, Mookie, and Moose. There are the last names I wish I'd had: Rockett, Power, Speed, Champion and the all-around excellent Champ Summers. And the names that would have been worse: Quirk, Winkles, Swisher, Twitty, Gaylord, and Klutts. And if those guys thought they had it bad, imagine the mockery these boys had to endure: Asselstine, Urrea, LaCock, Dick Pole and the all-around worst, Rusty Kuntz.