Thursday, September 6, 2012

no. 90 - joe pepitone

Who is the man: Joe Pepitone was about to embark on his first full season with the Cubs in 1971, after spending 56 games with Chicago in 1970. He was purchased by the Cubs from the Astros in July 1970.

Can ya dig it: Pepitone is growing out his hair after his clean-cut days with the Yankees. Or, I guess, growing out his sideburns -- he didn't have a lot of hair on top by then.

Right on: Looks like a great day for a picnic.

You see this cat Pepitone is a bad mother: Hoo-boy. Where to begin? Pepitone's been arrested a couple of times for drug possession and drunk driving, both which happened in dramatic fashion (busted by police after running a red light in the first case, arrested after being found bloodied and disoriented after a car crash the second time). He's also been charged with assault. All of this years after his playing career ended.

Shut your mouth: Pepitone is one of the star players in "Ball Four." Most of his mentions have to do with his vanity. Jim Bouton talks about Pepitone's toupees and how one came off of Joe's head when he removed his cap for the National Anthem.

No one understands him but his woman: Pepitone played in Japan in 1973 but didn't like it, complaining about the language barrier (each team was allowed two foreign-born players and Pepitone said that the other foreigner on his team spoke Mexican), as well as the baseball traditions in Japan. A promotions director for another team in Japan lit into Pepitone, calling him "a worthless piece of merchandise." He also said of Pepitone, who complained that he had to carrry his own bags, "for the $70,000 Joe was paid, he should've carried the entire team's bags."

(A word about the back): "Always controversial" -- wow, that's not something you saw in card write-ups back then, or maybe ever. It's the first two words in the write-up!


  1. I wonder if the team official used the actual word "merchandise" or did the newspaper clean it up for public consumption?

    1. The article in the link quotes a letter that the official wrote. It's a direct quote, meaning that's exactly what the official wrote. So unless the writer botched it, he said "merchandise."