(Poor) Bob Darnell, 1955 Bowman

1955 Bowman, Bob Darnell

I amuse myself in imagining how on one early crisped, freshly mown morn during the spring training session of 1955 some nameless Bowman photographer likely set up his tripod and checked his Logaphot light “extinction” meter—unawares he was about to lose his job later that year in what would be a monopolistic harbinger in the acquisition of Bowman by the notorious Topps company. But before that happened, this Kodak-wielding idealist spectacularly captured the magical moment wherein Bob Darnell defied the laws of physics and threw his fastball so fast that it subsequently vanished in flames and traveled the way of a nuclear-powered, time-bending DeLorean. And now—nearly sixty years later—it just crashed straight through the television screen!

That’s not all: Bob’s career stats also boast a lossless pitching record during his time in the majors. On the other hand, Darnell’s time in the show was so brief that he never won a game either. Yes, that’s right: poor Bob held an 0-0 record during his two-year stint with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the team who subsequently up and left town for sunny California by 1958.

Darnell’s minor league numbers tell a slightly different story. After playing roughly nine years and almost exclusively in AAA, kicking around from St. Paul to L.A. to Montreal and elsewhere, he amassed 778 strikeouts. Sure, his career ERA of 4.06 wasn’t exactly exemplary, but to have experienced that rush of fanning so many batters must count for something, right?

In any case, with the 1956 season—his second and last time called up from the minors to play for Brooklyn—Darnell only pitched one major league game (indeed, only “1.1” innings), during which he failed to strike out any batters and then allowed a hit.

But he tried, didn’t he? Goddamn it! At least he did that.

♦ ♦ ♦

Bob Darnell major league and minor league info and stats found at Baseball-reference.com.

Image courtesy of COMC.com.

Best Worst Mickey Mantles

Here follows a collection of the best worst Mickey Mantles that I have ever laid eyes on. I think this should be a post in-progress. And if you happen to have a beautifully wrecked Mickey Mantle that you’d like to share, then by all means please feel free to comment to this post with a link to your own poor Mickey Mantle.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle RC Yankees 311, crop.

Mantle Jello 15, 1963, front

300 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle

1952 topps Mickey Mantle

1954 BOWMAN MICKEY MANTLE

1957 Topps 407 Yankees Power Hitters,Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle - 1957 Topps #95, v2

Mickey Mantle - 1957 Topps 95

MICKEY MANTLE 1966 TOPPS 50

1958 Topps 418 MICKEY MANTLE - HANK AARON

1958 Topps 418 MICKEY MANTLE - HANK AARON back

1958 Topps 487 Mickey Mantle

1959 TOPPS 461 MICKEY MANTLE

1962 Post Canadian 5 Mickey Mantle

1951 Bowman 253 Mickey Mantle

1954 BOWMAN COLOR MICKEY MANTLE

1961 Topps 475 Mickey Mantle

1960 Topps 563 Mickey Mantle

1955 BOWMAN MICKEY MANTLE 202