Or as we used to elongatingly say…“Dibs on the Dibny card!”
At first glance, he looks a bit odd. That neck is awfully long. On a peculiar level, that protracted neck is what first comes to mind when I think of Eddie Brinkman. No photograph better illustrates this than his 1972 Topps card. It’s a wonder he was never nicknamed “The Giraffe.” Sportswriter extraordinaire Tom Stanton, noticing Brinkman’s long neck and small head of hair, has called him “The Turtle.” Turtles have long necks and small heads without hair, so I guess that’s a pretty accurate assessment.
It might be accurate to characterize “Steady Eddie” as the diametrical opposite to Walt “No Neck” Williams, the journeyman outfielder who played for the Colt .45s, White Sox, Indians and Yankees. Of all the players in the history of the game, Williams may have the shortest neck ever; his head looked as if it had been placed directly onto his collar bone, on a level completely even with his shoulders. In an intriguing oddity that seemingly only baseball can produce, Brinkman and No Neck Williams were actually teammates with the 1975 Yankees. It makes you wonder if any free-thinking photographer took a picture of the two standing side by side.
...As with Belanger, Brinkman’s weakness became evident every time he took a bat in his hands. He just couldn’t hit. Brinkman usually struggled to hit no more than .220, and did so with little power. He wasn’t a particularly good bunter or hit-and-run man, so he really couldn’t help you play small ball either. So Brinkman just choked up on the bat, a good five to six inches from the knob in his later years, and tried to punch the ball somewhere.
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