Sunday, August 27, 2006

Three random Seattle Mariners baseball cards . . .

. . . while wondering if J.J. Putz is a stage name:

Claim to fame: Duh. Even the pink hats know this one.

Fun fact: After his homer off Donnie Moore in the '86 ALCS, shattered the professional sports record for the Highest Celebratory Vertical Leap (5 feet 4 inches), a mark later eclipsed by Michael Jordan after his jumper over Craig Ehlo in the '88 playoffs.

Claim to fame:
Walloped 268 home runs in the 13 big-league seasons, including a league-leading 45 in '79.

Fun fact: Went entire '86 season without showering just to win a $20 bet with teammate Ken Phelps. (Okay, I made that up. But he looks like it could be true.)

Claim to fame: Junkballing lefty went 5-3 with a 3.36 as a 21-year-old rookie for the '76 Red Sox . . .

Fun fact: . . . but was such a colossal goofball the Sox left him unprotected in the '76 expansion draft. He won exactly one more big league game.

Among his transgressions/sins/highlights:

• Nicknamed "Tall Boy" not so much for his height (6-foot-5), but for his predilection for a certain beverage of the same name.

• Went AWOL on at least one road trip in '76, which naturally went over real well with manager Don Zimmer, a fun-loving guy if there ever was one. (Snort)

• Wasn't a member of the hilariously insubordinate Buffalo Heads, but Bill Lee fondly describes him as their best pledge.

• Childhood buddies in Jacksonville with the rockin' rednecks from Lynard Skynard. (This explains a lot.)

• Apparently did not show up for his '77 Topps photo shoot, thus giving the world's worst airbrush artist a chance to work his magic and earn a few pesos.

(For more on Tall Boy, check out Gammons's classic "Beyond the Sixth Game." Also, a shiny new Nine Innings column should be posted late, late Sunday . . . )

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