Sunday, October 17, 2010

Before Tim's Time

I just zipped through reading the excellent Cardboard Gods  book. This is a must read even if you're not that into baseball. Josh Wilker's blend of stream-of-consciousness personal history and the backstory behind 1970's and 80's baseball cards (whether real or imagined) is amazing. Wilker's musings on the funny,  awkward  and just plain weird images from these cards inspired this post.

When I first saw photos of  Tim "The Freak" Lincecum, I first thought of his predecessers - Jackie Earl Haley from Bad News Bears (in the 1976 original version not the dodgy Billy Bob Thornton re-make) and 1975 Topps-era Ted Simmons.

Jackie Earl Haley's character Kelly is the team "bad ass", all motorcycle ridin', smokin' and authority defying. He continued on the same path in the cheesy but still good Breaking Training  in '77. In recent years Jackie Earl Haley's played Freddy Kruger and the burn out baskeballer, Dukes in the Will Farrel's excellent ABA tribute Semi-Pro.

What can we gather from Ted Simmons? He wasn't into smoking the green and it's probably just the sun hitting his eyes on this non-descript angular stadium which may or may not be the Cardinals Busch Stadium. Even if it is just the sun, his heavy worn-yet game ready eyes, the guy-in-the-front-row at Grand Funk hair & sideburns just make you wanna ask him "hey dude, wasn't catching Bob Gibson's fastball like, hella intense?"

The similarities continue...

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