Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Conlon: 73 through 81

Here are the Daily Conlon cards numbered 73 through 81. They feature some great portraits of players long forgotten.

Comorosky looks like he knows his days in the Majors are numbered, while Oscar Ski Melillo couldn't be happier to just be at the game. And what's with that name, Ski? Did you have hippy parents? Actually, it's a grammar school nickname that stuck for his entire life. Fortunately, he didn't just have one moniker. To prove that Baseball has the greatest nicknames, Ski's other name was "Spinach." I'm sure you're wondering, why "Spinach?" Well, Melillo had Bright's Disease which is a fatal kidney ailment that can bring about back pain, vomiting and, get this, testicular pain. Ouch! To cure himself Ski only ate Spinach, every day, 3 times a day.
“They told me to eat nothing but spinach for the next few months if I wanted to live,” he said. “I tried to talk them into letting me have a steak, spaghetti, ravioli, or goulash once in a while, but they said nothing doing. When I told them I couldn’t stand the monotony of spinach three times a day, they told me I could have some variety by boiling it for breakfast, making a salad of it for lunch, and baking it for dinner.” The Sporting News, November 30, 1963
I guess you can say he was Popeye before Popeye was Popeye. To add to his misery, Ski Melillo was also zoophobic, which is a general fear of animals. That's right, he was afraid of all animals, particularly rabbits, birds and snakes.

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