Saturday, November 9, 2013

"The Secret LIfe of Joe Oliver"

On Christmas Day, 20th Century Fox is releasing "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," starring Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, about a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action.

Based on the short story by James Thurber (I told you I was an English Lit major), the film was originally released in 1947 with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in the lead roles

Which now brings us to today's card.

In 1990, Joe Oliver was tied for the National League lead in passed balls (16), with Joe Girardi of the Chicago Cubs. Oliver would record double figures in passed balls in 1995 (16, Milwaukee), 1993 (11, Cincinnati), and 1991 (10, Cincinnati). In fact, he would go on to allow a total of 77 passed balls over his 13-year baseball career.

Having been a catcher myself, I had a few balls that passed me by in the day. Sometimes the pitcher will miss the pitch call, throw a different pitch than what was called, or jut uncork a bad throw. Sometimes, you just aren't set up correctly behind the plate, or you may have a lapse in concentration

In Joe Oliver's case, perhaps he's just "Living the Secret Life of Joe Oliver."

Oliver, who was born in Tennessee, now resides in Orlando, Fla., where he coaches a high school varisty baseball team at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. What's that phrase, "A bad day of surfing is better than any good day of work." I'm sure he's imagined himself out catching a break or two while toiling behind the plate.

Who doesn't picture theselves as a modern day Superman. Of course, with all those passed balls during his "anonymous life" as a Reds catcher, I believe this may be a bit of a stretch. A catcher can dream, though, can't he? At least he was able to hit .247, with 102 homers and 476 RBIs in 3,367 at bats.
And here's Oliver's daydream of being a world-famous tight-rope walker, as he makes his way across the Andes Mountains. For some reason, he just can't drop that ball and glove.
However, this is probably Oliver's biggest "Walter Mitty" moment. For that matter, what Reds catcher doesn't imagine himself as Johnny Bench, leading the Reds back to their Big Red Machine glory days.
As for me, I'm realatively well-grounded in reality (unless you ask my wife). I think I'll wait for the movie, though.....
(Blogger note: This particular blog is part of Nacho Grande's Blogger Bracket Challenge. Please go to and vote for Comatoad in Group P in Round 12).


  1. I'm jealous of your photoshop skills (and your writing skills)! Plus the line "I'm relatively well-grounded in reality (unless you ask my wife)" made me laugh out loud.

  2. Oh great, another Johnny Bench I have to find! In all seriousness, very nice effort!