Top Ten non-players who deserve a baseball card: #10.

Why, if anyone ever deserved being on a baseball card, it's this fellow:

Perhaps an Allen & Ginter subset called "Mountebanks, Minstrels, and Maestros" would do the trick. Jazz Pianist Dave Frishberg’s first published song was "Peel Me a Grape" (1962), but that isn't what makes him highly relevant to baseball cardophiles. The road to relevance comes through Van Lingle Mungo, a strikeout artist (born in 1911), who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants (yay!) from 1931 to 1945. Mungo averaged 16 wins from 1932 to 1936 pitching for the Dodgers.

Mr. Frishberg (b. 1933), at the age of 36 turned to his childhood interest of baseball, bought a copy of the MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia,

paged through it, and came across the name Mungo. John Mungo or Biff Mungo wouldn't have made him bat an eyelash. But Van Lingle Mungo! So in 1969 he composed a song of the names of baseball players. The result was a hit single. Here is singer Sue Raney crooning it so you'll know the tune:

Here are 29 seconds of Dave Frischberg's original version. And the Mad Music Archive link.
And here are some of the players and cards that Dave Frishberg's song made us want to look up:

Heeney Majeski

Johnny Gee
Eddie Joost
Johnny Pesky
Thornton Lee

Danny Gardella
Vaaan Lingle Munnnnngo
Whitey Kurowski

Max Lanier

Eddie Waitkus

Johnny Vander Meer
Bob Estalella

Vann Lingle Muuuungo

Augie Bergamo
Sigmund Jakucki
Big Johnny Mize and Barney McCosky
Hal Trosky

Augie Galanand Pinky MayStan Hack and Frenchy Bordagaray

Phil Cavarretta
George McQuinn
Howard Pollet and Early Wynn

Roy Campanella
Vannn Linnngle Munnngo

Augie Bergamo
Sigmund Jakucki
Big Johnny Mize and
Barney McCosky

Hal Trosky
John Antonelli
Ferris Fain
Frankie Crosetti
Johnny Sain

Harry Brecheen and Lou Boudreau
Frankie Gustine and Claude Passeau

Eddie Basinski

Ernie Lombardi
Huey Mulcahy
Van Lingle
Van Linnnnngle Munnnngo

Are you jazzed?


Jim said...

I love this kind of post! It's great seeing all these cards together and now I've got Van Lingle Mungo going through my head.

--David said...

That is awesome! You gals come up with some of the coolest topics ever!!

We need a modern-day version of the song with current players. :-)