Cub Johnny Goryl Nicknamed Himself!

Identical Autograph,
50 Years Later!

“I know you are, but what am I?”

— Pee-wee Herman

The wise Mr. Herman was too late to warn utilityman-turned-manager Johnny Goryl. Goryl’s blanket ribbing of others boomeranged into his own nickname.

“My nickname ‘Mullion’ came about because I used it so often to call my teammates and friends that it stuck to me as a nickname.

I like the nickname, although the intent of the word is to not flatter you as a person. Its meaning, I am told, is ‘not very handsome.'”

Hearing from Johnny Goryl was a delight. One collector received a RTS for Goryl mistakenly marked DECEASED. An August 3 blog post detailed the finding. Actually, a same-named person who died may have been the cause of the confusion. Thankfully, the response from Goryl (who moved this year) proved that he wasn’t playing possum to avoid autograph collectors.

Tomorrow: More from Johnny G, including his memories of Billy Martin.

Tito Francona Pardons HOFer Jim Bunning

Tito Francona is kind and/or shrewd.

There should be an asterisk on Jim Bunning’s Hall of Fame plaque. Francona treated Bunning like a batting practice hurler, collecting 32 hits (including five home runs) against him. Some retirees would enjoy gloating about their mastery of a Cooperstown inductee. Perhaps, Francona was protecting trade secrets?

In a short, sweet reply, Francona chose diplomacy. All he revealed about Bunning was:

“I saw the ball better.”

Francona discovered power hitting in 1959. His career-best 20 homers matched his long-ball output of the past three seasons combined. Francona’s four-word explanation was…

“practice and more practice.”

I guess I threw Francona a curve, asking about his son — Boston skipper Terry Francona. I was sure that Dad saw Terry’s athletic talent at an early age. However, when did he suspect his offspring could someday be a World Series-winning manager?

“I don’t know.”

One thing Francona was sure of?

“I enjoyed every minute.”

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