Friday, September 14, 2012

Pinky Higgins: Obscure Baseball Player of the Week, Plus Week 2 NFL Picks

Looks a little like Johnny Damon doesn't he?


Our critically acclaimed Obscure Baseball Player series returns! This week we focus on Pinky Higgins. You just don't find many better names than this. Michael Franklin "Pinky" Higgins was born in a shotgun shack in Red Oak, Texas in 1909. When his dad first saw him throw a baseball at age 3, he said, "well looky, looky, looky here-ahh, I say, I say, I say this little whippah-snappah can throw that spheroid!" Interestingly, his dad would later become the inspiration for Looney Tunes' Foghorn Leghorn character.
There are differing reports on how Higgins earned the nickname that would haunt him for all his days. Some say it was because as a boy "Pinky" was his imaginary friend. Others say it was because his left pinkey toe was mangled in a tractor accident. Still others say it was because someone else in town already had the nickname "stinkey", and Red Oak was a town that liked themselves some rhymes.
What is known is that if you called him Pinky to his face, he would give you a deathly stare and challenge you to immediate fistacuffs.
Pinky was actually a very solid player for most of his career. In his rookie year of 1933 he batted .313 with 13 homers and 99 RBIs for the Philadelphia A's. In 1937 he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for a bucket of balls, some tomato soup cans and a pack of smokes. It was an insulting trade, but not uncommon in the Depression era.
Here's Pinky in a
happy moment.
For a couple of glorious days in June of 1938 he was  arguably the greatest player in the world. He recorded hits in 12  straight at bats, a record that still stands today. He appeared in three All Star Games and unlike most of his contemporary glory-hungry patriots, he didn't go off to World War 2 until 1945. He obviously wanted to make sure we were winning first.
Later he became a manager for the Boston Red Sox and was known as very easy-going. He rarely visited the mound to talk to his pitchers, saying "You can't tell 'em anything new." Surprisingly, his teams never won the World Series with that ground-breaking "who gives a crap" approach. But, for overcoming his unfortunate nickname, Dave's Deep Dish salutes Pinky Higgins.
Giants -7 vs. Tampa - Giants 31-Tampa 16
Arizona +13.5 at NE - New England 34-Arizona 14
Indy +1.5 vs. Minn - Vikings 24 - Colts 21
New Orleans -2.5 at Carona- Saints 27 - Carolina 24
Buffalo -3.5 vs. K.C. - Bills 23 - Chiefs 17
Jets +6.5 at Pitt - Steelers 21 - Jets 20
Philly -2 vs. Balt. - Ravens 26 Eagles 16
Cincy -7 vs. Cleveland - Bengals 20 Cleve. 6
Oak -2.5 at Miami - Oakland 14 Miami 10
San Diego -6 vs. Tenn - San Diego 28 Tennessee 17
Detroit +6.5 at S.F. - Lions 24 Niners 23
Dallas -3 at Seattle - Cowboys 20 Seahawks 14
Wash -3 at St. Louis - Rams 31 Skins 30
Houston -7.5 at Jax - Texans 35 Jags 21
Atlanta -3 vs. Denver - Falcons 28 Broncos 27
Last week's record: 6-10 (just awful)
this week: 1-0  

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