Card Corner: Remembering Bob Moose
Hall of Fame staffers are also baseball fans and love to share their stories. Here is a fan's perspective from Cooperstown.
Perhaps no other player epitomized the changes in 1970s hairstyles and general grooming more than Bob Moose. At the start of the decade, Moose wore his hair short and neat, much like the vast majority of players in the still-conservative major leagues. But by 1973, Moose’s look had begun to change. As we see on his accompanying Topps card, Moose’s hair is beginning to look bushy under his Pittsburgh Pirates cap and his sideburns are starting to lengthen. By the time his 1974 card came out, Moose’s hair was so long that it looked much like an Afro. He had also grown a mustache by then, continuing a trend that had started with Dick Allen in 1970 and had reached league-wide proportions by the mid-1970s.
By 1976, Moose’s final year in the big leagues, he had added a beard to his repertoire, completing the transformation. He was certainly not the only ballplayer to take on that look in the year of the Bicentennial, but he might have been the only one who had changed his appearance in such an orderly progression over the first half of the decade.
When Moose’s Topps card came out in the spring of 1973, fans of the Pirates didn’t care much about how he looked on the card. They were still reeling from what had happened the previous fall, when Moose’s wild pitch resulted in a heartbreaking five-game Championship Series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In the ninth inning of Game 5, Moose faced Hal McRae, who was still a young, unproven bench player trying to find his way. With the game tied and two men out, George Foster led off third base, representing the pennant-winning run. Moose uncorked a fastball low and outside to catcher Manny Sanguillen, who made a valiant backhanded effort, but couldn’t block the errant pitch. As the ball trickled to the backstop, Foster sprinted home with the series-ending run.