More Haircuts Of The Now Rich And Famous

If you didn’t see part one please feel free to enjoy Bruce Bochy, Joe Maddon, and Omar Minaya as minor league players, while we move on to a couple of more fun flashbacks.

This would be the 1979 TCMA West Haven Yankees card of one William Nathaniel “Buck” Showalter, who spent his entire seven-year career as a nominal first baseman-outfielder with no power in the Yank system. He batted .292 lifetime during a span in which other Yankee farms produced Don Mattingly and Fred McGriff, and by his second year in the minors, Buck was doing a lot of DH’ing. 
This same West Haven set also includes Dave Righetti, Willie McGee, Joe Lefebvre, Mike Griffin, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, and the fabulously-named pitcher Mark Softy, and was a popular set among collectors in the early ’80s, largely because of Righetti’s early dominance as a starter. Even then they were talking about Showalter as a future manager, and you have to acknowledge, he sure has aged well (it has been often suggested that Mr. Showalter does not age, in large part because he is a carrier of aging).


And now we bring you a couple of pitching coaches. Larry 


Rick Kranitz never made it to the bigs as a pitcher and Larry Rothschild only had two cups of coffee with the Tigers, but both have had extensive coaching careers – they each worked with the Marlins and Cubs (at separate times; Larry is with the Cubs right now, Kranitz with the Orioles). Both cards are from 1980: Rothschild is from a series of excellent team-produced cards from the Indianapolis Indians from the mid-’70s into the ’80s, and the Kranitz shows him with the Holyoke Millers, the Eastern League farm of the Brewers. Kevin Bass and Steve Lake were among Kranitz’s teammates in the Massachusetts city.
And now we move into the front office, courtesy two of the great Mid West League sets issued by the late Larry Fritsch of Fritsch Cards in the early 1980’s (the cards show Jose Canseco before steroids – no, it’s not just a picture of an empty uniform on the ground, although the only thing about Canseco 1983 was his hair). 


In any event, if the White Sox and Nationals make an Adam Dunn deal before Saturday’s 

1983Rizzo.jpgthese are the men who did the dealing. You would’ve seen plenty of Kenny Williams in the majors in the ’80s, and just four years after his stint with the ’83 Appleton Foxes, he had an outstanding season in center for the White Sox. Mike Rizzo, GM of the Nationals, drafter of The Strasburg and The Harper, was a far more obscure figure. This was the middle of his three seasons in the California Angels’ farm system, as a utility infielder. The ’83 Peoria Suns were pretty good, all things considered. Wally Joyner would make his pro debut (but isn’t in the set) and join Devon White, Mark McLemore, Bob Kipper, and a couple of others.

But none of them ever grew up to draft The Strasburg.



    Mr. Olbermann, I really enjoy your baseball blog. Your knowledge of baseball is amazing. For a girl who knows zip about it, it’s an enlightening read. I have an interest in it now. Thanks and keep them coming.


    I’m not having a flashback . . . I’m having a flashdance. When I think of the 1980s, it brings back memories of lots of really bad hairdos. It’s nice to know that men, including athletes, were victims of the times too. And I’ve finally figured out THE fashion accessory one should never leave home without when having a bad hair day: The baseball cap.
    Either my eyesight is worse than I think it is, or my reading comprehension has flown out the window because I’m not seeing the picture of Jose Canseco. 🙂

  3. mrlyngreen

    ’80s hair. The hairspray industry’s finest decade.

    Speaking of baseball players and hair, Tim Lincecum needs to cut his hair. He looks like a girl. The shaved head look being sported these days does nothing for me either. The only man who could get away with the Yul Brynner look was Yul Brynner.


    Ha! I don’t like the shaved head look either, but there was a time when I was about 14 when I would have crawled on my hands and knees over broken glass for Telly Savalas as Kojak. Has anyone since done more for baldness and sucking on Tootsie Pops than Telly?
    Who loves ya, baby. 🙂

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