Someone mentioned Johnstone at BTF yesterday and I thought of him for the first time in a long time. They asked “Is it bad when your top comp is Jay Johnstone? I have to think it is.” I said, “He had a decent career (No one who plays 20 years in the majors sucks), but it would help if the player was also a joker like him.” Johnstone was born in the town where I now reside, but he moved when very young. He’s definitely on the the Flintstone All-Star team along with folks like Flint Rhem. And I have some of his books like Temporary Insanity. He sort of reminds me of a more PG version of folks like Bill Lee. He was known for his antics, but I forget how many of them you could see if you were at the ballpark. I’ll have to reread about him. I do remember that he dragged the infield with Jerry Reuss once and he used to pull pranks on Tommy Lasorda.
There is a theory that my friend Peter Handrinos has. He thinks that a sense of humor is the one intangible quality in baseball that matters. Helps keep your teammates loose over the long season. If that’s true, Johnston may be better than his raw numbers suggest. The same would apply to someone like a Kevin Millar.
Carson Cistulli muses on fandom. I’m not sure if I agree with all of his requirements for the All-Joy team. It looks like someone like Dwight Evans would make it. I love Dewey, but I’m not sure if he qualifies as a Maranvillain. He DID have one huge Maranville moment on the national stage, though. I could go on about this, but work beckons.