Archive for the ‘Gorman Thomas’ Category

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Gorman Thomas, 1975

March 30, 2008

  
Wisconsin Public Radio is airing my Cardboard God essay (minus a couple angst-ridden expletives) on my 1980 Gorman Thomas card on Monday morning at 7:35 A.M. local time (Central). The station has a live stream (there are two options for live stream at this page; the essay will be on the NPR News and Classical Music network). The show should be in the WPR archives by Monday afternoon. (Update: The piece is now in the archives. If you click on the link entitled “6am-8am Monday, March 31, 2008″ a realplayer window should open. The
host, Terry Bell, segues into an intro of my essay at 1:34:34.)

Here we see Gorman Thomas in something of a “before” picture, not yet featuring his drooping, malevolent horseshoe mustache. He still looks like a pretty rough customer, though. According to the back of this card, during the previous season, in Sacramento, he launched 51 home runs in just 474 at bats. This being a 1975 card, there is also a trivia question on the back, a pretty easy one: “What was Mickey Mantle’s uniform number?” But the front of the card seems to suggest a trivia question about uniform numbers, too. Anybody want to take a stab at what that question might be?

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Gorman Thomas

January 5, 2007

Can someone please tell me what the fuck the Brewers are doing in the National League? When I last looked, I mean really looked, back before I got distracted in the early ’80s by the snares of high puberty and the ensuing ceaseless slide down into the ever-increasing ambiguities, ephemera, and obfuscations of adulthood, there was no clearer representative of the American League than the Brewers. They did not steal bases. They did not bunt. They did not send their keg-bellied hungover hurlers to the plate. They did not swat turf-aided fleet-footed triples ‘neath the ceiling of the Astrodome. No. They had the beards and long greasy hair of motorcycle thugs. They guzzled beer and slugged long home runs. They gnawed bulging wads of tobacco and struck out swinging. They listened to Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. on their way to discharge shotguns at wildlife. They smashed into outfield fences and bought mescaline from hippies before pounding them with tire irons. Didn’t they? I mean, now that they are in something called the Central Division of the National Fucking League I’m not so sure of anything. But I do know I can at least say this: as much as any team was ever one guy, the Milwaukee Brewers in the late ’70s and early ’80s were Gorman Thomas. And Gorman Thomas did not ever play in the National League. Until October 1982, that is, and that was only because by then the Brewers had laid waste to all the American League teams in their path and the only thing left for them to conquer was the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, which they probably would have done if the majority of games in the 1982 World Series were played in an American League park and not upon the artificial National League turf of Busch Stadium. After those four National League games, Gorman Thomas was never the same, and neither were the Brewers, and come to think of it neither was I.

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