Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nicknames and the Color Red

"I read that it's all black and white, ooh-the spectrum made a shade I like. Ooh, the crimson rays of ruby bright, Ah! the technicolor light..." ~ Sammy Hagar's "Red"

                            We've got Red Rockers

Red Asses

                            Red Bordered Cards

Red Jerseys

And of course...Players Named Red

Red Muff

Murff had quite the baseball resume, although it's not quite one that you would expect. Since there was no baseball program at his Rosebud, Texas high school, John Robert (Red) Murff did not play the game until he was in World War II. After finishing his military service time, Murff eventually signed a contract in the Class C Evangeline league at age 29. And despite being older, Red quickly established himself as a prospect with a promising career. As a 34 year-old rookie, Red injured his arm in his arm three innings into his first major league start, and never was able to recover from the injury. His major league playing career lasted less than two seasons. He would go on to pitch three more years in the minors, although he was never the same pitcher. His playing career finished, Murff still had many more years and many important contributions to the game of baseball. As the manager of the Jacksonville Braves, he helped a young struggling pitcher by the name of Phil Niekro gain confidence which he lacked, telling him, "if you can get that knuckleball over the plate, you can pitch in the big leagues." Knucksie, of course ended up in Cooperstown. As a scout, Red was instrumental in scouting and signing players who helped bring the "Miracle Mets" their championship: Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, and a fellow Texan from Alvin, Texas-Nolan Ryan.

Art 'Red' Herring

A red herring is defined as: something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand.

Art 'Red' Herring was a member of the 1946 Brooklyn Dodger team which finished seventh in the N.L. with a 63-91 record. I wonder if the Dodgers wore these hideous satin uniforms that season. One look at those, and you forgot just how bad the team was.

Lloyd 'Red' Hittle

The recently deceased (March 3, 2012) Hittle played in only two seasons at the major league level ( for the Washington Senators in 1949 & 1950). He's pictured here in a 1953 Mother's Cookies card as a member of the Oakland Oaks.

Charles "Red" Embree

Another Red from another Mother(s) (Cookies). This 52 Mothers Cookies features Red Embree, while with the San Diego Padres. Yes, the team actually existed before 1969, albeit in the PCL. The Padres pitcher had pitched in the Major Leagues from 1941-1949, and was in his third season in San Diego when this card was distributed.

Ralph "Red" Kress

We're talking old-timer here, folks. Red Kress played fourteen years in the Bigs-beginning in 1927 until 1940,  and then again for one more season in 1946. Looking at his baseball page, the thing that sticks out is that in over 5000 career at-bats, the man had more walks than strikeouts. And his strikeouts were less than 500! He was also caught stealing more than he was successful at stealing (46 SB/56 CS).

to be continued...

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