Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Goose, you've come a long way -- you started with the White Sox, earning you the love of 31% of Chicagoland, and eventually toured with the Cubs, earning the love of the remaining 55% (everyone knows that the other 14% of Chicago is a bunch of tourists who come to see Wrigley field and urinate in the same trough as Ty Cobb).
I'm sure there are plenty of blogs out there that are commemorating Goose's career achievements and his recent induction into the baseball Hall of Fame. The guy made the name "Goose" into something feared by hitters! That's pretty damned impressive, along with his sub 3.00 ERA in any given year and his amazing mustache.
Ah yes, the mustache. See, while other blogs will rant and rave about his evolution as a pitcher, we at Luol's Dong have a much more important evolution in mind:
Our journey begins here. You'll notice that he is still referred to as "Rich" Gossage (prior to the legal name change and adoption), and that there seems to be something missing -- where is his trademark face growth? Why does he look, you know, happy? He's got the rest of his hair, but something is definitely missing.
After a brief stint with the Pirates, Gossage went to the Yankees -- which is where all ESPN reports regarding his HoF career will begin and end. Still no facial hair, but look at that face! Instead of boyish youth, we now see a man who is pissed that he hasn't received his paper in two months, and will kill the next paperboy he sees. That man is pissed off -- if only he had some outlet for his rage...
There it is -- the mustache. Gossage came into his own both as a pitcher and as a ripoff of that guy on Mythbusters when he adopted this amazing follicle growth. This was the golden age of his career, as the mustache provided the perfect wind resistance and balance needed to maintain a 100 MPH fastball. In addition, a fondness for goosing gave him the name "Goose" by violated teammates.*
By the time Goose played for the Cubs, he had perfected the mustache and hair. Opposing pitchers protected their bodies, women protected their ovaries, and barbers protected their scissors. He was an unstoppable beast, and went on to inspire such loving tributes like that psychotic guy in "Happy Gilmore."
However, all great stories must come to an end. As Goose's signature fastball began to dip in velocity, he found himself struggling to find answers. After a brief stint in Japan as a clean-shaven member of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, he realized that his mustache was the true source of his power, and brought it back with him to the US with newfound glory:
Rocking this Snidely Whiplash growth, Gossage found the inner strength to pitch for three more years before finally hanging up his cleats. OK, yes, I know that's actually Rollie Fingers. But still, that's an amazing mustache.
You've earned this spot in the Hall of Fame, Goose. You worked hard, and prevailed at every level. Never change, and never shave.