The worst thing that's suffered? Player nicknames. What Chris "You're with Me, Leather" Berman does is a sad, pale reflection of what once came out of anonymous leagues covered by local newspaper people.
Why all the nostalgia? Whammy's in the house!
Although the back of the card claims Whammy is from Ohio, he actually grew up in Carrboro, NC, near where I went to school. The kind gent at Noboru Aota gave me this '59 card of Charles William "Whammy" Douglas as a going away present. Now, Whammy had a winding path to the bigs, and his career in the minors reminds us just what we've lost with the broad institutionalization of pro ball. Among others, he played with Burlington of the Carolina League, Lexington of the Tar Heel League, and Mexico City of the Mexican League. Dude was everywhere. Check out the back:
He's called Whammy, according to an interview in this article, because while pitching for an American Legion team in the early '50s against a semipro team, he struck out a ton of batters. "So they just started calling me 'Whammy'." Easily one of my top two baseball nicknames ever.
And if you want to know what kind of player he was, dude was HARD CORE. Read the article. He lost an eye at age 11 and still made the Majors. I have two arm, two eyes, and two legs and I'm....well, I'm not in the Majors playing baseball.
It took me a few months, but I finally managed to track down an address through LB's Sigs through the Mail, and Whammy came through for me, big time with the sweet auto!
Many thanks Mr. Douglas!
And don't forget, I'm looking for some cardboards, help me out!