Ken Phelps is ready to rock your world

OK, Boomer.

“How do you trade Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps!?”–Frank Costanza, Seinfeld

Ken Phelps has the look of the quintessential “80’s dad,” and reminds me a bit of my cousin’s father, my uncle through marriage who was known to wear a beat-up, snap-backed San Francisco Giants baseball cap, and on special occasions a cowboy hat with a feather band not unlike a member of Charlie Daniel’s raucous honkey tonk band. Now, every time I see this archaic piece of Americana I can almost imagine the beer bottles breaking against the protective fence set before the band in some small, backwoods shithole in Texas not unlike the scene in the brilliant Patrick Swayze flick, Roadhouse.

I had been to his dad’s home on a few occasions and we would play Nintendo or try to quench our biological imperative and devilish curiosity by looking for his porn stash in the grease-caked garage. When bored of that, we would play baseball amongst the cow patties in the fields. (His father lived on a farm in a very rural area) My cousin would get a kick out of this idiot touching the electrical fence, giving me a sudden jolt, although I would balk at “pissing on it” to his dismay. I was always a bit saddened to disappoint his infectious and sophomoric sense of humor, but an electrified dong just didn’t sound appetizing.

When you take a look at the last 2 N.L. MVP’s (Bellinger and Yelich) you see a couple of guys you might partake in a doobie with at a keg party; they look nothing like
Phelps, who looks like he should be either dishing out benevolent fatherly words of wisdom while gutting a fish or arresting fratboys outside the kegger for possessing said mar-eee-wanna. He doesn’t look like he survived in the league on any sort of pure talent, just the ability to use “grown man strength” on the occasional fastball.

Phelps had only had 12 hits for the Oakland ballclub as he was an aging DH who was nearing the end of his career and had lost the only valuable asset he had–occasional power. Phelp’s baseball life was coming to an end as my pre-teen years were just beginning, and until now was relegated to a baseball card that was never really examined or loved and tossed into a box. Forgotten until unearthed.

15 thoughts on “Ken Phelps is ready to rock your world

      1. mrobins71

        yes. mr. robins (or robbins). is this just a coincidence or a subtle nod to this alter-ego’s presence in another dimension of the interwebs? in other words, have our paths crossed elsewhere?

      2. mrobins71

        an obscure youtube channel with a small cult following where i’ve appeared on streams as Mr. Robbins. would have been too strange if you’d encountered it.

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    1982…camped out and no…I didn’t do it on purpose but I didn’t know it was electric. First thing in the morning and I got a piss- jolt first thing in the morning.

    Reply
      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        I hate to admit I was sober…15 years old and stupid…just pissed on a fence…didn’t pay the damn thing any attention. I learned about electricity that day. It shocked me at first…no pardon the pun…it was a damn surprise AND shocked…then I saw the those white things on the fence and I knew exactly what was going on. A little too late. I wish I could have said I was drunk.

  2. Steve Myers

    Hey Gary. One of my strat-o-matic buddies swore by Ken Phelps, for a few years anyway, for his walk totals and at bats per home run. You’ve provided a whole new look at him. Great writing as always.

    Reply

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