Saturday, July 01, 2006

July 1st, 1933

Frank Baumann Born

"Frank Baumann was a charter member of the "He Lost It in the Army" club--a curious assortment of mediocre ballplayers that resurrects itself every ten years or so, shortly after the United States has managed to extricate itself once again, more or less successfully, from another round of debilitating foreign entanglements. Membership in the club is open to any ballplayer who has ever belonged to any armed service for any length of time and who now plays lousy...Members are never established players --who seem curiously immune to the sapping effects of these prolonged layoffs--but always untried youngsters--bonus babies and highly touted rookies--whom owners and general managers have been promoting ruthlessly in an effort to prop up the rapidly diminishing reputations of their sagging franchises...The story on [Baumann] was that he had lost the velocity on his fastball while sitting around some of Mother Army's more decrepit southern encampments on his ample derriere while other less talented and less patriotic youngsters were gaining good seasoning experience in the low minors. (Actually, I have always thought that a more cogent explanation for his arm problems might have been that he injured it by lifting a particularly hefty forkful of mashed potatoes up to his bovine craw.)"

~Brendan C. Boyd and Fred Harris, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book

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