Bullpen Cart

April 22, 2011

It’s gray and rainy today, and I wish I could spend the day riding around as a passenger in a baseball-headed bullpen cart. Maybe a baseball-headed bullpen cart version of Neal Cassady, much less frenzied and wild-eyed than the original, prone not to blazing 100 mph down rural roads shivering with hunger and amphetamines and roaring about Nietzsche but instead to puttering around slowly and aimlessly while gazing off into the middle distance, will pull up outside my window in a bullpen cart and bleat the little horn, and I’ll go out and join him for a day of mild, pointless bullpen cart meandering.  

Probably this won’t occur, as the era of the bullpen cart has come and gone. Still, I can at least ponder the bullpen cart, as I am wont to do. Along those lines, I have an article on Baseball Prospectus today that (among other things) touches glancingly on my love of the long lost on-field conveyance shown here, apparently on the brink of failing to save a couple Mets from the indignity and strain of walking.

For more on the history of the bullpen cart, see Paul Lukas’ 2007 article on the subject. And while you’re meandering bullpen-cart-style around the Internet, you could also check out a couple of nice reviews of my book that have just been posted, at Baseball Reflections and Batter Chatter, respectively. Also, last week, Joe Bonomo (author of a book on AC/DC’s Highway to Hell that is very high on my “must read” list) posted an interview with me and Dan Epstein (Big Hair and Plastic Grass) at his site No Such Thing As Was.

Finally, I have updated my “Book Tour Page” with info on upcoming events, most of which will feature FREE BEER. (Has there ever been a better use of ALL CAPS than the one used at the end of the preceding sentence? Please allow me the pleasure of using it once again: FREE BEER.) No word yet on whether this FREE BEER will cause the literary gatherings to devolve into chaotic homages to 10-Cent Beer Night. I also have yet to figure out if I’ll be able to travel from Chicago to Naperville to Milwaukee to Oakland to Boston to Austin and back to Chicago in a baseball-headed bullpen cart.


  1. Awesome. I’ve put your Oakland reading on my calendar.

  2. And great article on BP, too.

  3. i always had a fondness for the mets bullpen cart, which is seen in the photo above. it seemd to me to be the freakish cousin of mr. met himself, with its oversized, stitched-up head. as much as i loved the cart, though, i always got a kick out of when a player would eschew it in favor of walking (looking like a golfer heading for the eighteenth hole) or jogging. and then there was the dreaded yankees, who had a real car sponsoring the trips to the bullpen, encapsulating the difference between the two clubs.

  4. I love the bullpen carts also – as a matter of fact I have been searching for the one at the top of the page for awhile now:


  5. Me (standing) at age 13 with the Red Sox bullpen car, which was parked right on Yawkey Way that day in 1989.

  6. Little did I know, when I met Marv Rotblatt at Annie’s Pancake House in downtown Skokie about 5 years ago, that I was meeting not only the namesake of the famous “Rotblatt” annual 100+ inning softball game at Carleton College, but also the first pitcher to ever enjoy mechanical conveyance to the mound. My great thanks to any sleuth able to procure a clip of the McLean Stevenson-hosted Tonight Show (1987?) in which (according to my spotty memory of Marv’s telling) Mickey Mantle or some such great hitter asserted that the two toughest left-handed Jewish pitchers he’d ever faced were Sandy Koufax and Marv Rotblatt, setting up Stevenson to deadpan, “who’s Sandy Koufax?”

  7. Didn’t find that clip anywhere. But Marv and McLean were right near each other on a list of “1927” births, which was oddly alphabetized by first name.

  8. Thanks for looking Gedmaniac, it’s a worthy cause, Marv’s a peach I tells ya!

  9. I did see a clip where Carson shows clips of himself in the 60s practicing with the Yanks and the Jets. He keeps messing up stats, and the audience keeps correcting him. While describing his Jets practice, he says, “this was before Joe Namath, when Richard Todd was the QB.” Come on! Todd was one of my earliest football heroes–in 1982, not 1962!

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