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Dear Cool Daddy: I know they had ’em around the turn of the century…and Frenchy Bordagaray in the 1930s and 40s…but in the “modern era,” who was the first baseball player with a mustache? Was it Reggie? …from Pietro in Petaluma
Dear Pietro: As with so many things in this day and age of information overload, there’s a ton of conflicting data out there…I’ll try to…ahem…comb thru it and tease out the truth, if possible.
Now it seems that Frenchy only wore his for a brief time…he reported to Daytona Beach in the spring of 1936, fresh from serving as an extra in the movie The Prisoner of Shark Island…and indeed the Internet Movie Data Base lists him in the cast as “Stanley Bordagaray,” his actual name. And from the number of photos out there of him without his ‘stache, I’d guess he shaved it off rather quickly.
Apparently this guy was a real pistol…after being suspended for spitting on the field, he reportedly quipped: “It’s more than I expectorated.” The last one before him was catcher Wally Schang (below left), and again it was a passing phase with him…some say in 1914, others 1917. Capt. Quint? No, but I see what you mean…
At various times during the 1940s and 50s, Satchel Paige wore a mustache…this one (above right) is with the Cleveland Indians. But the fad really took off in the late 1960s…geez, the Smothers Brothers, Herb Alpert, even Dick Tracy…everybody grew one, remember? Baseball was always somewhat behind the curve in that respect, so it wasn’t until 1972 that Oakland’s Reggie Jackson did it, his 5th full season. Of course, it lead to the whole team becoming the Mustache Gang, and getting paid a bonus by Charles Finley for doing so, altho the story told today by the American Mustache Institute (yes!!) isn’t the way I always heard it.
Seems Charlie O. actually didn’t like it, and offered to pay other players $200 each if they’d grow one, to somehow shame or dissuade Reggie from standing out like that…it backfired, and eventually Finley embraced the idea…can’t beat publicity, no? But if I might offer my own 2¢ worth…I believe the first Major Leaguer to appear on a Topps baseball card with a furry lip was Al Oliver in 1969…altho it was gone the next year, so who knows?
Dear Cool Daddy: I was mentioning to my husband that you never see Scottie dogs anymore, like the two with Black and White scotch…and he said only one was a Scottish Terrier, the black one. Yup, I see that he’s right…so what breed’s the white one? …from Toshie in Ft. Worth
Dear Toshie: You Might Be a Baby Boomer If…the only time you ever saw a Golden Retriever was on your dad’s Field and Stream calendar in the garage. Whatever happened to English Sheep Dogs? And remember FDR’s pet? Originally named Murray the Outlaw of Falahill after ancestor John Murray of Falahill, shortened of course to Fala. The dog actually attended Roosevelt’s funeral.
The blended Scotch whisky in question goes back to the 1890s…James Buchanan made it in London, first calling it House of Commons, then Black and White, after its popular nickname, based on the label. The white pooch is a West Highland White Terrier, or Westie. These macots actually have names: Blackie and Whitey. And while I always assumed they were both males…well, let it go…
Actually, Howdy Doody used to wear clothing that had his own picture on it…did Roy Rogers or Gene Autry ever go that far? After all, dear friends, it’s all about show biz and selling product. But if you like kookier side of superheroes, check out more like this from Blockade Boy…as Homer Simpson sez, it’s funny cuz it’s true…
shameless plugs from the hairy bottom of a mustache cup…
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