Tuesday, October 15, 2013

no. 223 - cecil upshaw

Who is the man: Cecil Upshaw did not pitch a single game in 1970, suffering a freak injury in spring training. But he still received a card.

Can ya dig it: With the way the clouds in the background are positioned, it appears as if Upshaw's left ear is smoking.

Right on: Upshaw looks a little bit like Randolph Mantooth, the actor who is probably known more now for roles in soap operas, Sex in the City and Sons of Anarchy but I knew as John Gage in the '70s paramedic show, Emergency! Granted, Upshaw is not nearly as dreamy.

You see this cat Upshaw is a bad mother: Upshaw was a key part of the 1969 National League West champion Braves, serving as the closer on that team and saving 27 games.

Shut your mouth: Upshaw was the player representative for the Braves during a time of labor strife in baseball. His declining skills probably didn't help but Upshaw was dealt from the Braves to the Astros to the Indians to the Yankees to the White Sox all between 1973-74.

No one understands him but his woman: Depending on which account you read, Upshaw was injured in 1970 because he either took his teammates up on a bet that he couldn't touch an awning or because he was demonstrating his dunking skills. Either way, the ring on his pitching hand caught in the awning and doctors had to reconnect the resulting severed artery in his ring finger.

(A word about the back): Upshaw's injury is often listed as one of baseball's most bizarre/infamous, so it's amusing to see the bio merely mention "a finger injury." I suppose nearly severed fingers don't go well with bubble gum.


  1. That reminds me of another "injury" back in the late 1960s. Phillies' pitching prospect Larry Colton (at one time actress Heddy Lamarr's son-in-law) supposedly dislocated his shoulder "reaching for the telephone" on his night table while in bed.

    Years later, it came out that he was actually injured in a bar fight that night. In any case, his big-league career was over after 1 game.

  2. Not sure what you mean here about the actor and character he played. The way it reads seems backward to me. Randolph Mantooth played John Gage on Emergency! back in the day.

    1. It was backward. I fixed it. Thanks.