Dorothy Parker once said “Men seldom make passes at women in glasses”… I guess I fall into the “seldom” part, because as someone who’s worn glasses for a terribly long time, I have nothing against women in glasses (as evidenced by the fact that I married one).
Because of my long-standing need for corrective lenses, I also recently started collecting cards of baseball players in glasses. Today’s post contains the first batch of vintage cards I picked up specifically because they show players wearing glasses.
One of the stalwarts of any “baseball players with glasses” collection is Claude Raymond. Raymond is French/Canadian, pitched mostly in relief over 12 years with four teams, and made the 1966 All-Star game while with the Astros. He became a hero to the fans in Montreal as he was the first Quebecois to play for the Expos, and he would later do French-language analysis of Expos games.
Claude Raymond is the second-to-last Major Leaguer to go by the name Claude; Claude Osteen being the most recent (and he last played in 1975).
Players over the past 50 years whose given name is Claude but who didn’t go by Claude: Butch Edge, Jayhawk Owens, Skip Lockwood (another glasses guy).
Pete Mikkelsen pitched 9 years with 5 teams, running up career totals of 45-40, 3.38, almost entirely in relief.
I was wondering why I wasn’t more familiar with Mikkelsen’s name when I found out that he did not appear on a Topps card after 1968 despite his being an effective pitcher for several years after that. It would seem that, like Maury Wills, Tony Horton and Rusty Staub, he had some sort of contractual issues with Topps.
I think of Rich Rollins as the Opening Day 3rd baseman for the Seattle Pilots in 1969, but before that he had been an All-Star with the Twins and lead the league with 10 triples in 1964.
Julian Javier played 12 seasons with the Cardinals and 1 with the Reds; during that time he was a two-time All-Star. He was the starting 2nd baseman for most of his time with the Cards, and appeared in four World Series; 1964, 1967 and 1968 with the Cardinals and 1972 with the Reds (which would be the end of his Major League career). In 19 World Series games he batted .333 with 4 runs, 7 RBI and a homer.
Julian was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team in 1960, although Topps had incorrectly identified him as “Manuel Javier” on his rookie card. He’s also the father of former Major League outfielder Stan Javier.
That’s what I picked up this time around. I’m not sure how involved this particular collection is going to get. More likely than not, it will be just a way to pick out vintage commons to buy.
Does anybody else collect (or at least accumulate) players who wear glasses?