A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, July 26, 2013

Three Stages of Tony

This is the conclusion of the trilogy of hair posts that I've done this week.  Is it a fitting finale in the same vein as The Dark Knight Rises or Return of the Jedi that makes you want to stand up and cheer?  Probably not.  Is it like Home Alone 3 where you're left saying, "Are they still doing that?  Maybe.  Is it like Back to the Future 3 where...

Okay, I'm having a hard time coming up with more things to say about movie trilogies.  Probably because I've got more important things on my mind, like what the New Orleans Pelicans nickname should be.

But, the show must go on, regardless of what is decided to be the "nickname" for the Pelicans, a word that is only three syllables long, but apparently must be shortened (seriously, click on the link for the article, it's a good one - Grantland.com scores again).  So, here are some hatless cards of Mr. Padre himself.

Or Mr. Pad, if you're in a rush.

Here we have a young Tony Gwynn.  These two cards paint two pictures; one of a happy and successful Gwynn, one who receives prestigious awards like "Sports Writers Fielding Award", and the other of one who is hard working and focused, grimacing as he concentrates on the task at hand.  While both cards feature unique borders (the cool "Award Winner" that's patriotic as well as the downright ugly gray and white pinstripes), the main focus is the same.  Tony's hair.

Award Winner Tony looks smooth and polished, ready for a night on the town.  Holding his bat like a cool cat, pinkies up.  Looks like he's even sporting a chain of some sort.  Ugly Pinstripes Tony says "I lost my hat!  Ain't nobody got time for that!"

Moving on, we're now in the 90s.  Sweet shades and cool fades are all the rage, as evidenced by Gwynn's new tight 'do.  The Jheri Curl is gone and a new, no-nonsense Tony is in his place.  He's also carrying a few more LB's than previously, but that's because he's not being weighed down by all that hair, so he hasn't lost too much of a step.

90s tight cut Tony doesn't mind that he's not as flashy looking as others who are in the game, but he keeps knocking out those singles, and in a few years, he'll be trying to become the first .400 hitter since Ted Williams.

In the trilogy within the trilogy, we know how the story has to end.  With our hero slowly trudging off into the sunset.  His 3,000th hit, which occurred on my birthday against the Expos, marks a Hall of Fame milestone that few ever achieve.  We see that Mr. Padre has now trimmed the maintenance of his cap-area down to almost nothing.  The years haven't been that kind, as a few knee problems have slowed his progress, but he can still outrun Pablo Sandoval, as long as they're not running to the concession stands.

I recall making fun of my dad about his hair when he reached Stage 3 and went the shaved route.  Names like "Baldy" were tossed around frequently.  I was always surprised how lightly my dad took it, as I imagined that such teasing would've made me pretty mad.  I now realize that he had made peace with the inevitable future.  No comb overs, no hair growth remedies.  Just a trimmer and a smile.

As I enter Stage 2, where my haircut looks more like one that I would've made fun of a few years ago (when your hairline recedes to a certain extent, there aren't a whole lot of different ways to style it), I feel like I can see Stage 3 coming just around the bend.

My dad was right, it's happening to me.  Probably one bald joke too many, and the karma police have finally started catching up with me.

Tony can probably relate.


  1. I consider this post to be more of a Meatballs III: Summer Job. But, I digress.

    Great nab on the Grantland column, btw!

  2. From a blogger that does shave his head, fate can be cruel sometimes. However if you do decide to shave your head, don't grow a goatee like I did. Everybody thinks you're Kevin Youkilis.

  3. I went the opposite route. When I was in my twenties... I shaved my head. Sort of the Buddha look. In my thirties... I grew it out a little and spiked it. Now that I've crossed into my fourth decade on the planet... I'm thinking about growing a mullet. But the Jheri Curl sounds intriguing.