Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Clu Heywood All-Stars

Or: The Ugliest Player in the History of Each of the Eight Playoff Teams:

ATHLETICS
Don Mossi:
I just . . . I mean . . . those ears . . . I, um . . . those are ears, right? . . . the poor man . . . yeesh . . . I'm repulsed . . . and yet I can't look away . . .

(Seriously, how would you like to have this on your Wikipedia page):

"Mossi is often mentioned as the ugliest person to have ever played baseball, a fact that earned him such nicknames as "The Sphinx" and "Ears". Noted baseball historian Bill James described Mossi as such: "Don Mossi was the complete five-tool ugly player. He could run ugly, hit ugly, throw ugly, field ugly and ugly for power. He was ugly to all fields. He could ugly behind the runner as well as anybody, and you talk about pressure ... man, you never saw a player who was uglier in the clutch." Curiously enough, his looks have led to baseball cards featuring him to become very popular amongst collectors."


TWINS
Gary Gaetti:
His reaction to being picked to this team? "Rats." James, in his Mossi monologue, said the old pitcher looked like "Gary Gaetti escaping from Devil's Island." I'm not quite sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's funny. (Hat tip: Deadspin.

TIGERS
Jack Morris:
While I won't go so far as to saying his disposition was even uglier than his mustached mug, let's just say chivalry wasn't his thing. From a 1990 Time story on women journalists in the locker room:

CBS sportscaster Lesley Visser drew national attention to another reporter-player clash: a summer rebuff of Detroit Free Press reporter Jennifer Frey by Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris when she requested an interview. Said Morris: "I don't talk to women when I am naked unless they are on top of me or I am on top of them."


PADRES
Nate Colbert:
While he doesn't look so bad here, Colbert was renowned in his day for being homely, and I found this biographical anecdote while doing a Google search for his name and "ugly":

Nate Colbert was a first baseman by trade and played for several major league teams including the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos and Oakland A's. His finest years however came between 1969 and 1974 while playing for the San Diego Padres. Nate was a very good hitter and an average fielder, typical of many first basemen. He was also very hard on the eyes. Some might say Nate was downright ugly. This prompted his teammates to call him "The Iguana".

We now go back over 50 years to May 2, 1954. At Busch Stadium, St. Louis (formerly Sportsman's Park, now known as "Old" Busch Stadium). Nate and his father witnessed The Cardinals' Stan Musial whack five home runs in a double header. The eight year old Colbert remarked to his Dad that one day he'd like to do that. On August 1, 1972 playing against the Braves in Fulton County Stadium Atlanta, his dream came true. In a doubleheader that day Nate hit 5 homers, drove in 13 runs while collecting 22 total bases. Some sportwriters and players called Colbert's performance "The Night Of The Iguana".


DODGERS
Otis Nixon:
I know this is kind of a copout since he played just 42 games for the Dodgers at the end of the '97 season . . . but an All-Ugly Team without Old Man Otis is kind of like a Buffett show without "Margaritaville." It's obvious, even a cliche, but something is just not right without it.

CARDINALS
Willie McGee:
Howard Cosell, during the '82 World Series, said he looked like E.T. E.T. immediately phoned home, called his lawyer, and filed a defamation of character lawsuit against ABC Sports, saying, "Yo, I ain't that ugly."

METS
Darryl Strawberry:
Okay, he's not that homely . . . but if you're not seeing Dino from "The Flintstones here, you're not looking.

YANKEES
Derek Jeter:
With those legendary calm eyes, his own perfume, and the undying love of the Tiger Beat set as well as a million middle-aged sports writers, I suppose Metrosexual Jetes is as pretty as McCarver tells him he is. But I'm talking about his soul here, people. His desolate, dark, A-Rod-icing, Huckaby-hating soul. And trust me, that sucker is Randy Johnson-ugly.

* * *

As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:


If you didn't get the reference in the headline, it's regarding the character played by former big-league pitcher Pete Vuckovich in "Major League." According to Harry Doyle (the Indians fictional broadcaster, portrayed hilariously by Bob Uecker) Heywood, the Yankees' slugger, "leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair." Line still slays me every time.

* * *

FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS
Yankees over Detroit in 3
Twins over A's in 5
Padres over Cardinals in 5
Dodgers over Mets in 4

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