Saturday, September 12, 2009


This site is meant to honor not only the greatest ballplayers who ever donned a pair (of glasses), but also the greatest glasses to adorn a ballplayer. In addition, we (and all of our eyes) will try to cover some of the history of glasses in baseball and baseball in glasses.
The first honoree is a natural one- the only bespectacled Hall of Famer (well, you can count Reggie Jackson, but Reggie fits more with the glasses-jet-set. See below). Chick Hafey is not only the only multi-eyed HOFer, but he is probably the nerdiest on many fronts. For instance, one can't imagine that any other enshrined member was forced to cut his career short due to a chronic sinus infection. Bill James has included him in his list of those who entered the Hall due to the supposed cronyism of Mr. Frisch in the early 70's- if so, I am very glad, as otherwise OUR Hall of Fame would have one less credential.

On to OUR Hall of Fame- that is, the Glasses HOF. As mentioned above, inductees require either great play + glasses or great glasses + play, or maybe both (all HOF's are somewhat vague in their rules, right?). The first entry (below) is Chuck Hartenstein, who looks as if he drove his truck straight to Toronto from Spring Training in FLA. Chuck was apparently from the same small Texas town as Freddy Patek, who was, for a time, the shortest player in the big leagues.
Chuck falls into a special category of the Hall- those that wore sunglasses, as opposed to those who wore the more square (as in melvin), non-tinted specs. Reggie, if he were to accept, would be in this wing as well. The honorees to come will fall into both categories, but coming soon will be a few from the clear spec set. Near sighted or far, they avoided playing it cool in favor of seeing the ball clearly. Go figure.
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