Baseball’s New Cheat Sheets: Imagine Ones from Iconic Real and Movie Ballplayers

Football QBs started the trend with entire game plans wrapped around non-throwing arms. Now, in this Analytics/Covid-19 age, baseball has joined the fun. Catchers, pitchers, and even fielders have been spotted during this shortened season pulling out CHEAT SHEETS, presumably to remind them of the statistically best pitches to call or the optimum defensive positioning to combat the batter’s tendencies.

Traditionally, a catcher would have been pancaked like Pete Rose did to Ray Fosse famously was in the ’71 All-Star game, if he pulled out a CHEAT SHEET at a pivotal moment. Pitchers might have found themselves tracking a bunt down the first base line with runners ready to clean their clocks if they sought such in-game, written intelligence. And fielders, surely, would have been low-bridged the next time up if they pulled out papers to remind themselves about optimal shifting strategies.

Imagine, though, the CHEAT SHEETS iconic ballplayers, real and from the movies, might have pulled out to deal with their own issues in dramatic moments if CHEAT SHEETS had been common back in their day:

Jose Canseco: “Heads Up!”

[Notorious bone-head play(er); flyball bounced off head over fence for homer]

Barry Bonds: “Don’t be a Fat Head!”

[‘Roid Advice for all-time HR champ/chump]

Tom Hanks (League of the Their Own’s Jimmy Dugan): “Don’t Squeeze the Peaches!”

[Playing real MLB veteran managing distaff Rockford Peaches during WW II]

Shoeless Joe Jackson: “Big Occasion: Wear Black Sox!”

[White Sox superstar helped throw 1919 World Series]

Dock Ellis: “Feed Your Head!”

[Pitched 1970 no-hitter on L.S.D.]

Hank Gowdy: “Don’t Step in Your Mask!”

[Dropped popup stepping in his thrown catcher’s mask cost ’24 Series]

Dr. Fauci: “Don’t Step Out of Your Mask and Avoid Pitching Off-Center!”

[Reaction to boss? Covid-19 Doc threw Nat’s opening day pitch far left]

Pete Rose: “Odds are I Get a Hit!”

[Coldblooded Competitor, banned for gambling on baseball]

Babe Ruth: “Tell Hoover I had Better Year!”

[Ruthlessly, held out for bigger contract than President]

Ty Cobb: “Remove File Before Sliding!”

[Infamously filed spikes to intimidate/bloody fielders]

Darryl Strawberry: “Straw that Stirs; Also Blows!”

[Straw “stirred drink” for Mets; later suspended for cocaine use]

Reggie Jackson: “Call Queen Liz to Apologize!”

[Mr. October threatened Queen in The Naked Gun]

Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod): “No Hall, But Great Ball!”

[No Hall of Fame? J Lo nice consolation]

Bill Buckner: “Bend Over; Knees Together!”

[Curse of Bambino stayed alive with his Series error]

Curt Schilling: “Show them Real Red Sox!”

[Off-putting hurler pitched Series game with bleeding foot]

Sammy Sosa: “New Mr. Cub? Let’s Take Two!”

[Ernie Banks: “Let’s play two”; did Steroid Sammy take two?]

Ted Williams: “Greenies: Cockpit to the Diamond!”

[Among military vets who allegedly brought uppers to MLB]

Fred Merkle: “Having 2nd Name ‘Boner” Not so Bad!”

[His baserunning boner (worst in baseball history?) cost 1908 pennant]

Marge Schott: “Several Shots before Every Game!”

[Buffoonish Reds’ owner, noted for alcohol consumption]

Steve Bartman: “The Billy Goat be Damned!”

[Fan took ball from Moises Alou, prolonging Cub curse]

Tim Robbins (Bull Durham’s “Nuke” LaLoosh): “Take no Bull from Crash Davis!”

[Vied with Costner’s Crash Davis for affection of baseball groupie, Annie Savoy]

Kevin Costner (Field of Dream’s Roy Kinsella): “If You Build it, He will come!”

[Cornfield ballpark adds to Costner’s legend as greatest ballplayer actor]

Fred Snodgrass: “Sometimes, a Muff is Just a Muff!”

[Muffed 10th inning fly to lose deciding 1912 Series game]

Juan Marichal: Kick Leg Up; Throw Bat Down!”

[Marred great rep attacking Johnny Roseboro with bat]

Umpires Jim Joyce & Don Denkinger: “What’s Perfection Anyway?”

[Blown 9th inning calls at first base ruined no-hitters]

Robert Redford (The Natural’s Roy Hobbs): “Don’t Read the Book!”

[Scoreboard exploded after homer in movie; struck out in novel]

Charlie Sheen (Major League’s “Wild Thing” Vaughn): “Troggs had #99’s Number!”

[Musical group’s walk-on number captures crash and burn persona]

Robert De Niro (Bang the Drum Slowly’s Bruce Pearson): “Bang the Drum Slowly!”

[Dying catcher mourned by Piney Woods’ clubhouse dirge in novel and movie]

Astro Players (2017-2019): “Bang the Drum Slowly!”

[Mantra of Houston hitters as tech-stolen signs conveyed by garbage can drumming]

Lou Gehrig: “The Fat Guy’s Really Luckiest Guy on Face of the Earth!”

[2nd fiddle to Ruth despite longevity streak; echoes memorable farewell speech]

Author: Ken Hogarty

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