Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Anti-Intimidator: Mel Queen

Mel Queen is the son of Mel Queen. Two different guys, two different careers. Same name, though. Not even a "junior" to tell them apart.

He had a solid career bouncing between the majors and minors with the Reds and Angels as both an OF and a pitcher. As a pitcher he had a career ERA+ of 114. Just sayin'. What I love is just the name, "Mel Queen." GSNHOF, I believe this man needs to be on the next ballot. It may not be the flashiest name in the world, but it's gotta be the least intimidating.

I really dig the back of this card.

We get pitching and hitting totals. Bonus! Mel was a "strong-armed but light-hitting out-fielder." Man, those Topps guys from the vintage era could be a little brutal, couldn't they? Interestingly enough, Mel was not only a pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays from '96-'99, but he was also interim manager after Cito Gaston was fired in '97.

Money quote from his wiki page: "I just went to the mound and threw as hard as I could." Not sure if he was being serious, but it might provide some insight into the Jays approach to pitching in the late '90s. Clemens DID win back-to-back Cy Youngs under Queen's watch.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!


  1. I hadn't noticed those split backs before. Cool. He had a nice year in 1967.

  2. Yeah, I don[t recall ever seeing a slit back card like that before. That card looks like it was well loved over the years.

    One thing I've always wondered about that you see in the older cards a lot. Mr Queen is obviously striking a pose that is supposed to be him looking gin for the sign. However, just as obviously, he's standing backwards in foul territory on or near the bullpen mound. Would it have been too much to ask to walk the 90 or so feet to the actual mound to snap the picture?

  3. Motherscratcher: I'm with you. There's a strange, entire sub-genre of "almost action" bb card photos taken in foul territory. I'm guessing it's because the photographers were mostly around before or after games when either a) other dudes were taking bp or otherwise using the field or b) the grounds crew was out there taking care of business. Either way, these are some odd shots.