Don Stanhouse

May 23, 2008
I never picked up a woman in a bar, or anywhere else for that matter. For years I went to bars every weekend, praying something would happen, but I just got drunk and stared. I stared at the jukebox lights, at the bottles behind the bar, at my own reflection in the mirror behind the bottles, at whatever increasingly creeped-out women happened to be within eyeshot. It hadn’t been much different earlier, in high school and college. It’s something of a miracle that I ever escaped virginity. Once in a while I shoved poetry at women, but this only worked once, in China, with a woman who didn’t have a very strong grasp of English.

Maybe I should have, as I am learning to do now, looked to my baseball cards for guidance. This 1975 card would have been a good place to start. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision Don Stanhouse in this same pose in a 1970s nightspot, his bent right elbow not faking a follow-through but leaning on the back of a pleather booth filled with tipsy secretaries.

“Hey ladies,” Don Stanhouse croons, neck medallions dangling, “how you all feelin’ tonight?”


  1. 1.  Dude, the world is better because you blog.

  2. 2.  I bet Don Stanhouse bought the first Camaro, and upgrades every time they bust out the new edition.

    Also, he was once involved in a trade that included old friend Joe Kerrigan

  3. 3.  1 : Since you worked on the Big Lebowski, I have to mention that Stanhouse seems to me here a bit like a younger version of Sam Elliot’s The Stranger.

    2 : Speaking of Stanhousian transactions, Stan the Man Unusual (also known as “Full Pack”; I’m going to have to venture further into this inimitable figure in the future, with cards of him on the Expos and Orioles) has this curious, hope-giving line in his transactions section on BB-ref:

    “July 15, 1982: Released by the Baltimore Orioles.

    July 23, 1982: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.”

  4. 4.  Here is what Topps should do. Reissue the cards and include your commentary on the back.

  5. 5.  Where/When in China did you travel?
    vr, Xei

  6. 6.  Did I write this entry?

  7. 7.  5 : If an 18-year-old Shanghai-born person with oddly Western features and no knowledge of his or her father wants to know, then I was never in China. Otherwise, I was there for a semester in fall 1989 (just after the crackdown).

  8. 8.  Ah, good ol’ Fullpack. What did Earl Weaver say about him? Oh yeah…

    I can’t resist any excuse to link to this, which Earl and announcer Tom Marr recorded as a joke outtake from their radio show.

  9. 9.  His porno stache looks fake.

  10. 10.  Stanhouse looks like he escaped the gatefold photo of The Outlaws from their 1975 debut album. Green grass and high tides forever, indeed.

  11. 11.  “Hey ladies,” Don Stanhouse croons, neck medallions dangling, “how you all feelin’ tonight?”

    For some reason, I believe it would have been just that easy in the 70s.

    Cracks me up, though. Can you imagine that in 1998?

  12. 12.  3

    I want props, too! I worked on Mr. Show for two (grueling) seasons.

    Another great piece, M. Wilker. Thanks for all the good writing.

  13. 13.  (You should link to your original article[s] on the China experience. I have no idea how to find them now, but I really did enjoy them.)

  14. 14.  12 : No kidding! Wow. David Cross cracks me up. He also made a damn fine Allen Ginsberg in I’m Not There.

    13 : I think I talk about China in the Denny Doyle (Red Sox) post. The Google search window in the sidebar can sometimes be helpful when you’re looking for previously discussed subjects. I use it when I’m getting the feeling I’m repeating myself even more than usual.

  15. 15.  absolutely priceless!
    btw, josh, my Cardboard Gods team finished a mediocre 77-85, 2nd in our division 7 games out. a lot of sub par performances typified by Yaz’s 254/333/377 line. Hard to believe Hammerin Hank only had 28 dingers playing in Fenway. On the pitching side Clyde Wright had a nice season at 2.66 and 15-7. Carl Morton had 14 wins and Grant Jackson 36 saves. I’ll give them another try, now that the might Don Stanhouse is eligible!! LOL

    regards from China….


  16. 16.  Congratulations, you found my least favorite baseball person of all time. 1980, 10 year old Dodger fan at Dodger Stadium, not much concept of team management and yet even I knew that he was a bad free agent, but still, there I was with my dad on autograph night at the stadium, when he refused to sign a ball for me. He just hurried off with his white guy fro and porn stache and his wife or girlfriend with him and skedaddled. Leaving me all befuddled.

    “But, dude, you kind of suck right now. Shouldn’t you at least do this little thing?” But of course maybe that was why he was so grumpy. He was overpaid and useless at that time, and fans knew it, even a ten year old. I didn’t want your crummy signature anyway, Stanhouse!

    Oh, sorry… I’m back here in the present now.

  17. 17.  I was wondering if you’d ever do a Stanhouse segment. He is the most hated Dodger in my memory. The Dodgers decide they are going to ride the free-agency train and they end up with Dave Golz and Don Stanhouse. What a pathetic duo they were. It seemed that Stanhouse blew every game that season.

  18. 18.  Josh-

    Please don’t feel bad…as a lad I couldn’t get laid in a morgue.

  19. 19.  Stanhouse gets my vote for most “spaced out” Dodger of all time.

  20. 20.  Thank you for all of the votes! I have been booed by 55,000 drunk, angry, rain soaked Yankee fans and there is not much you can say that will hurt my feelings. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME…….BAM!


  22. 22.  Holy shit, Fullpack! My email address is under the “about the author” heading on the right-hand border of this page. Love to hear from you.

  23. Way to go halfpack! I know someone who was with you in ’75 and watched you leave with the hottest chick at a club in Houston (Coleman’s?). Once was not enough, cause she followed you to spring training in ’76.

  24. Don- Stan the Man- Unusual.

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