Thursday, August 28, 2008

Your SKO Random Third Basemen of the Day: Carmen Fanzone

Name: Carmen Fanzone
Ht: 6'0 Wt:200

Bats: Right Throws: Right
Years as a Cub: 1971-1974

Is it bad that this is EXACTLY what I pictured a man named Carmen Fanzone looking like?

In 1971, Carmen Fanzone arrived fresh-faced in the city of Chicago after spending his rookie year in Boston. The Cubs had acquired the young Fanzone and his superb mustache in the previous off season for the purpose of spelling the aging Ron Santo at third base. And that was what Fanzone did his first three seasons in Chicago, as he played only sparingly (12 games) in 1971, with greater playing time (86 games in '72, 64 in '73) in Santo's last two seasons in Chicago. After Santo was traded to the White Sox, Fanzone spent the 1974 season backing up Bill Madlock, and retired after a miserable performance in 65 games that year.

While one could look at Fanzone's time in Chicago and write him off as another poor hitting (.223 avg., .313 OBP career), weak-fielding (career .896 fielding % at third) third sacker, we at Start Kyle Orton like to choose something to honor about each third baseman on this list, and I personally would like to nominate Fanzone for the Finest Mustache in Cubs History. I mean look at that thing. That mustache alone lead the Cubs to ignore his weak numbers for four seasons. Were you going to ask Whitey Lockman to look that superb nose-neighbor in the eye and tell him he had to leave? Its the perfect combination of hair and style. Its not bushy, yet its full to the brim with perfectly manicured lip locks. Its certainly not a porn star, handle bar, or math teacher mustache. That mustache meant business, and Carmen Fanzone rode it to the highest of heights, the position of back up third baseman for a second division team.

After retirement, Carmen took his name and his mustache to the only arena that made sense: Jazz music. The accomplished flugelhorn player now resides with wife Sue Raney, a four time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, in Los Angeles California, and he's apparently very important to Dr. David L. Fishman.