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Here I go again.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 15 2005 08:33 PM

Here I go again...

I just invited Frank Thomas to visit us. .

This is after receiving an e-mail from the ghostwriter of his autobiography.

The writer has a photo of Frank with an unidentified youngster in a Mets uniform, and Frank doesn't remember who it is. They're going to share the photo. I'll probably post it here and see if it rings any bells.

Jun 15 2005 08:38 PM

OK. But I'm not baking anything this time until I see the whites of his eyes.

Not even preheating the oven, I tell ya....

Jun 15 2005 08:56 PM

Yancy, this time I've got a good feeling

Edgy DC
Jun 15 2005 09:15 PM

Oh, that Frank Thomas.

Is this autobio out yet?

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 15 2005 10:23 PM

Still being written.

I think they want to use this photo in the book, and want to know how to caption it. Hence the inquiry that I received.

Jun 15 2005 10:27 PM

You are supposed to know who a kid in a Mets uniform is?

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 15 2005 10:30 PM

Seems unlikely, doesn't it?

I think they're hoping the kid was either a young prospect or a batboy. (He was in a Mets uniform.)

If I get a copy of the photo I'll share it here. You never know, I guess.

Edgy DC
Jun 15 2005 10:40 PM

George Michael (of The George Michael Sports Machine, not of Wham!) has a hobby and talent for narrowing down the date of photos.

Stuff like, "This is clearly Philadephia, and they had painted the wall behind them, so this is late 1962 as the paint job came while the Phils were on the road in early July. In the background is the unmistakeable sihouette of umpire Stan Branhouse. He worked two series with these two teams in late 1962, and one of them was all cold and wet days, so Branhouse being in his shirtsleeves means this takes place between August 17th and 20th."

Even if we could sort out the date, though, the kid would be elusive.

Jun 15 2005 11:02 PM

this is really cool, I would never have known about the original "big hurt had Yancy not invited him here, so I go to the Memories of
Frank Thomas page and get some great stories about Thomas..I hope this works out Yancy, thankfully the JC experience didn't turn you off..

Jun 16 2005 08:06 AM

Oh, it was an official kid in a Mets uniform...

This does sound more promising, you gotta admit.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 16 2005 10:39 AM

Here's the photo.

And here's the message that came with it, from Frank's ghostwriter:

Thanks for getting back to me. I've attached the photo in question. It's not
a big deal if the kid cannot be identified. There are quite a few pictures
in Frank's book, so I'll just leave the kid generically ID'd as "batboy" if
we can't come up with a name. If it relatively easy for Frank to be involved
with your bulletin board chat, I can't imagine that he wouldn't be more than
happy to do it. I'll mention it to him next time I speak with him. We're
hoping that the release date for the book is around September 1st. That
would probably be around the best time to do it if he is able. I'll let you
know. Thanks again.

The author is Ronnie Joyner. Here's what I found about him:

Ronnie Joyner trained himself to draw by copying comic book super heroes when he was just a kid. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BS degree in Design Communications, he began drawing art for baseball cards that former major league players could hand out to their fans. His friendships with these players led to associations with team historical societies, and he eventually created art for baseball card sets produced by the St. Louis Browns', Philadelphia Athletics', and Washington Senators' Historical Societies. Reviving an art form that was practiced in the sports pages of American newspapers until the 1960s and inspired by master newspaper sports illustrators such as George Paprocki, Lou Darvas, Jack Davis, and Willard Mullin, Joyner also began drawing “bio-illustrations” (large portraits surrounded by smaller cartoons and text) for the Societies' newsletters. Recently, his bio-illustrations of major league baseball players have been running in Sports Collectors Digest. Joyner has written books with former players Don Gutteridge and Virgil Trucks and is working on a third book with the original Frank Thomas. For ten years he has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the traditional rockabilly band Flea Bops, who have released two CDs of original music on the Vinylux Records label ( Born in Washington, D.C., Ronnie is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and named his son after Orioles Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.

Here's a drawing that Joyner did of Frank Thomas, from the Philadelphia Athletics web site:

Buy this print

Since I somehow botched the Joe Christopher thing, I'm open to suggestions about any next steps in reeling in the "original Frank."

Edgy DC
Jun 16 2005 10:58 AM

Well, the Houston uniform narrows it down to 23 games in 1965. The road uniform and the backdrop sure makes it look like Shea. So it's between July 10 and September first (his Astro tenure) at Shea.

Interestingly, the only games Houston played at Shea during that period were exactly on July 10 and double headers on August 31 and September first.

Retrosheet doesn't show him in the lineup for the the July 10 game, but he played both games on August 31 and neither on September 1, suggesting that he was traded before the action.

If Jay Horowitz can't tell us who the Mets batboy was on August 31, 1965 I'm not sure what good he is.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 16 2005 11:10 AM

Who here reads this thread title and sees Tawny Kitaen humping the hood of a sportscar?

Edgy DC
Jun 16 2005 11:15 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jun 16 2005 12:28 PM


Bret Sabermetric
Jun 16 2005 12:13 PM

Has that stupid Sal Q's characterization of Frank Thomas as undeserving of the Mets' POTY rating for 1962 been destroyed yet?

Seems to me that goddamned Sal was throwing all sorts of epithets around ("Big Donkey" and "surly clubhouse lawyer" come to mind) that might hurt FT's feelings. We should track that rating thread down and shoot it like Atticus Finch blasting a rabid dog with an old shotgun through his one good eye.

Willets Point
Jun 16 2005 12:20 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Who here reads this thread title and sees Tawny Kitaen humping the hood of a sportscar?

Uh no...that doesn't come to mind at all. Explain!

Jun 16 2005 02:34 PM

It's from the video to Whitesnake's song by the same name.

Jun 16 2005 02:38 PM

And I have the song in my head also.

Edgy DC
Jun 16 2005 02:54 PM

I think that batboy was Ken McKenzie.