A tip of the Monsanto Toupeé goes out today to Dave Grob, who not only reminded me that today is Reds/Mets infielder Doug Flynn's birthday, but also provided me with this wonderful before-and-after composite pic of Flynn's 'do.
Signed as an amateur free agent out of Lexington, KY by the Cincinnati Reds in 1971, Flynn earned two World Series rings as a role-player on the '75-'76 Big Red Machine squads, but was then shipped to the New York Mets as part of M. Donald Grant's infamous "Midnight Massacre" deal that sent Tom Seaver to the Reds in exchange for Pat Zachry, Dan Norman, Steve Henderson and, of course, Flynn.
As a member of the woeful Mets, Flynn was given ample playing time, and quickly earned the starting gig at second base. If his offensive stats didn't exactly flourish with everyday play (his best season was probably 1979, when he hit .243 with a .265 OBP, 19 doubles, 5 triples, 4 homers and 61 RBI), Doug's white 'fro was free to grow as unchecked as the weeds in Idlewild Park. The Reds, of course, had very specific ideas about personal grooming; the Mets, not so much...
The Reds' front office might have also raised an eyebrow or two at this shirtless, short-shorts-tastic Sports Illustrated pic of Flynn and Mets teammate Joel Youngblood, which makes it looks like the two gents and their prize pooches are spending the All-Star break together on Fire Island. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)
In other news, the latest edition of High and Tight, my weekly baseball column for Rolling Stone Online, is now up. This week's topic is the best baseball films of all time, and I naturally went for the 1976 classic, The Bad News Bears. Our esteemed rock n' roll panelists — now including George Thorogood and ALICE FRIGGIN' COOPER!!! — came up with some interesting choices of their own, ranging from Eight Men Out (which I clearly need to give another viewing, though the "Say it ain't so, Joe" newsie bit made me want to hurl my mitt at the screen) to such old-school faves as The Pride of the Yankees, It Happens Every Spring and Fear Strikes Out. Check it out!