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Ballplayers Turned Announcers, Actors, Writers, Etc.


We all know of ballplayers that become announcers, actors, or writers. This post shows cards for a few notable examples, as well as a few other players with occupations that you may not be aware of.


1952 Topps card #227.

Not only was Joe Garagiola a catcher for parts of nine season with four clubs, but he was also an announcer, writer, and host of numerous television shows. Joe was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for outstanding broadcasting accomplishments and he was named as the 2014 recipient of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, presented once every three years by the Baseball Hall of Fame for positive contributions to Major League Baseball.    

1965 Topps card #65.

Tony Kubek played for the Yankees for nine seasons, winning the 1957 Rookie of the Year award and selected to three All-Star games. Kubek played in six World Series in the late 1950s and early 1960s, starting in 37 World Series games. Upon his retirement, Kubek became a color analyst on NBC's Saturday Game of the Week telecasts, teaming with Joe Garagiola, among many notable others. Tony Kubek was named the recipient of the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award

1971 Topps cared #465.

Tim McCarver was a catcher for 21 seasons with four clubs between 1959 - 1980 (one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to appear in Major League games in four different decades). The two time All-Star was a member of two World Series championships with the Cardinals. McCarver was the favorite catcher of Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton - that's mighty exclusive company! After his playing career ended, McCarver became a broadcaster, calling a then-record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games. He was the recipient of the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award, and he won three Emmy Awards for Sports Event Analyst. McCarver also hosted a nationally syndicated sports interview program, The Tim McCarver Show, from 2000 until 2017. Finally, in 2009, McCarver released a cover album of jazz standards entitled "Tim McCarver Sings Songs from the Great American Songbook."    

1966 Topps card #91.

Bob Uecker was a catcher for six seasons with three teams who became a sportscaster, comedian, and actor. Dubbed "Mr. Baseball" by TV talk show host Johnny Carson, Uecker has served as a play-by-play announcer for Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcasts since 1971. He was known for his homerun call: "Get up! Get up! Get outta here! Gone!" He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with its 2003 Ford C. Frick Award in recognition of his broadcasting career. Uecker also hosted two syndicated television shows, "Bob Uecker's Wacky World of Sports" and "Bob Uecker's War of the Stars." Uecker authored two books, an autobiography titled "Catcher in the Wry," and "Catch 222."

1974 Topps card # 85.

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan played 22 seasons with five clubs, including two World Series championships with the Reds. Morgan won the NL MVP in those two WS championship years (1975 and 1976), and he also was a five time Gold Glove winner and 10 time All-Star. After retiring as an active player, Morgan became a baseball broadcaster and won two Emmy Awards for Sports Event Analyst. 

1998 Leaf/Donruss Diamond Kings card #21.

Harold Reynolds was a two time All-Star and three time Gold Glove winner at second base during a 12 year career with three clubs. After retiring as a player Reynolds became a commentator and has been an analyst on MLB Network since its launch in January 2009. He was nominated for a Sports Emmy Award for his work as a studio analyst on MLB Network in 2010 and 2011.

1986 ProCards card #NNO.

Scott Patterson spent seven years, from 1980 to 1986, as a pitcher in minor league baseball, topping out at the Triple-A level. Patterson has been busy acting after retiring from baseball. He is known for his role as Luke Danes in Gilmore Girls and as Special Agent Peter Strahm in the Saw films. He also starred as Michael Buchanan in the NBC drama series The Event and as a Tenctonese alien commander in the TV film Alien Nation: Dark Horizon. On Seinfeld, Patterson was deemed "spongeworthy" by Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). 

Dave Stewart was a disabled Vietnam Veteran who created a modest number of unusual cards in San Francisco during the 1980s and early 1990s. All of his creations feature an American Flag and a POW/MIA Flag with the legend “Support Disabled American Veterans.” They are 2 x 3-1/2 inches in size.

In the early 1970s, Kurt Russell was a switch-hitting second baseman for the California Angels minor league affiliates, the Bend Rainbows and Walla Walla Islanders in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League, then moved up to Class AA in 1973 with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Texas League.

Russell began acting on television at the age of 12 in a western series, and in the late 1960s, he signed a ten-year contract with The Walt Disney Company where he became the studio's top star of the 1970s. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his performance in Silkwood (1983). and has starred in several films and television shows including Escape from New York, Overboard, Tango & Cash, Backdraft, Tombstone, Stargate, Miracle, Sky High, Death Proof, The Hateful Eight, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, among many many others.

2014 Panini - Golden Age card #65.

As noted here, Chuck Connors played parts of two seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1949) and the Cubs (1950), and at 6'-5" tall, Connors was a center/forward with the Boston Celtics from 1946 - 1948.  With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain from the hit TV show "The Rifleman,"   

1965 Topps card #30.

 As noted here, Jim Bouton was a knuckleball pitcher that pitched in the majors for 10 seasons with four teams. He was an All-Star in 1963 when he went on to a 21 - 7 won loss record. Among others, Jim Bouton authored the baseball book "Ball Four," which was a combination diary of his 69 season and memoir of his years with the Yankees, Pilots, and Astros. 

1980 TCMA card #30 (scanner missed the border - Grrr!).

Jim Brosnan pitched in the majors for nine years with four clubs in 1954 and from 1956 through 1963. Brosnan gained greater fame by becoming one of the first athletes to publish a candid personal diary titled "The Long Season," a season which found him being traded from St. Louis to Cincinnati around the halfway point of the 1959 baseball season. The book touched on the subjects of racial awareness, boredom, fatigue, and skirt-chasing by players, as well as the never ending stress of trying to maintain a position on the big league roster. Two years later, when the Reds would win the National League championship in 1961, before falling to the New York Yankees in the World Series, Brosnan was published under the appropriate title "Pennant Race." After his playing days, Brosnan continued writing and also became a sportscaster. Brosnan wrote for a broad range of publications. 

Civil Servants
1991 The Sporting News Conlon Collection card #184.

Moe Berg was a part-time catcher in the majors for 15 years with five clubs (1923, 1926 - 1939). 


"As a spy working for the government of the United States, Berg traveled to Yugoslavia to gather intelligence on resistance groups which the U.S. government was considering supporting. He was sent on a mission to Italy, where he interviewed various physicists concerning the Nazi German nuclear program. After the war, Berg was occasionally employed by the OSS's successor, the Central Intelligence Agency. By the mid-1950s, he was unemployed."


Berg's story was captured in the biographical film "The Catcher Was a Spy" (2018) - which was based on Nicholas Dawidoff's biography "The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg" (1994). In the film, Berg was played by Paul Rudd.

I highly recommend it!

1988 Pacific card #92.

Hall of Famer Jim Bunning played 17 seasons from 1955 - 1971 for four clubs and was a nine time All-Star. When Bunning retired, he had the second-highest total career strikeouts in Major League history; he currently ranks 18th. As a member of the Phillies, Bunning pitched the seventh perfect game in Major League Baseball history on Father's Day June 21, 1964.

"Jim Bunning is the sole Major League Baseball athlete to have been elected to both the United States Senate and the National Baseball Hall of Fame... In 1986, Bunning was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's 4th congressional district, and served in the House from 1987 to 1999. He was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky in 1998 and served two terms as the Republican junior U.S. Senator. In July 2009, he announced that he would not run for re-election in 2010. Bunning gave his farewell speech to the Senate on December 9, 2010, and was succeeded by fellow Republican Rand Paul on January 3, 2011."


1958 Topps card #385.

Wilmer Mizell, a.k.a. "Vinegar Bend" pitched for nine seasons with three teams, and missed two seasons due to military service. He finished with a 90 - 88 won - loss record, and was named to the two 1959 NL All-Star teams. 

After baseball, Mizel served three terms as a Republican U.S. congressman from North Carolina from 1969 to 1975. He represented North Carolina's 5th congressional district, including Winston-Salem. President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., a former House colleague, appointed Mizell as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Economic Development Administration, a post he held from March 1975 to May 1976. In 1981, Mizell was appointed Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Governmental and Public Affairs in the Reagan administration. Later he was appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, in the George H. W. Bush administration. Mizell also worked as executive director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Civil Deviants
1998 Fidel Castro, Lone Star Printing card #NNO.

Fidel Castro’s love for baseball was well known, and if you believe certain myths (he was reportedly a star pitcher for the Havana University baseball team) his baseball talents very nearly brought him to the U.S., which could have changed the course of history forever. 

Fidel Castro was the father of communist Cuba who led the country as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008.

See Kurt Russell's caption.

Reportedly, John Dillinger was once a promising semi-pro baseball player.

John Dillinger was an American gangster of the Great Depression. He led a group known as the "Dillinger Gang" which was accused of robbing 24 banks and 4 police stations. Dillinger escaped from jail twice.

Who do you think I should add to this, um, strange, collection?

CinciCuse Bill


  1. Wes Parker guest starred on 70s shows and did nbc baseball games.

  2. These kinds of posts are always fun!

  3. Very interesting & unique collection. How about Lenny Dykstra and Ron LeFlore for your civil deviants collection?

    1. I'll consider those for a future "notorious nine" type of a post - thanks!


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