Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
Well, the Louisville Slugger Museum wants you to behold the hotties of baseball in a new exhibit and fan poll.
The Museum has opened a new exhibit titled Baseball Hotties: Studs We Love at their popular location in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Museum, baseball’s “steamiest superstars” are on display. A central part of the exhibit is a life-size replica of the popular 1970s Jockey advertisement featuring Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer in his underwear. Let’s make discussion of his underwear that very brief.
The exhibit explores the connection between baseball’s most loved and fawned over stars dating back to the 19th century, including Mike “King” Kelly. There’s also a section devoted to Morganna – the famous well-endowed “Kissing Bandit” who ran onto diamonds in the 1970s to smooch her favorite targets.
The Museum is offering fans to have their voices heard in the Baseball Hotties Hall of Fame contest on their website. Fans can choose up to three current or historical players (or write in their favorite hunk). Seven players have been selected by the Museum for induction into the Hotties HOF: Kelly, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Palmer, and Derek Jeter. Three more inductees will be chosen via the fan vote. As of this writing, A.J. Pierzynski, he of the coiffed and dyed hair, is leading the fan vote.
Who is the hottest baseball player of all-time, or currently in MLB? Based on my own experience with female fans, Jeter gets a lot of attention from the fairer sex, and has also appeared in many magazine photo shoots. I’m old enough to remember when Palmer, Carlton Fisk, and George Brett were considered dreamboats. Current pitchers Cole Hamels (Phillies) and Rick Porcello (Tigers) have plenty of admirers, as does Mets third baseman David Wright. There are those who can’t take their eyes off Alex Rodriguez (at least when he’s not swinging and missing at the plate).
There was a time when Rocky Colavito was wildly popular with the ladies in Cleveland and Detroit, his two main stops in a slugging career. The Rock had dark Italian good looks and bulging muscles. Ladies loved it when he would stretch the bat across his back while waiting on deck. Similarly, Ted Kluszewski was a darling of Cincinnati fans, in large part due to his behemoth muscles. He famously cut off the sleeves of his jersey to show off his cannons.
In the 1970s, Reggie Jackson had his admirers, as did Vida Blue in Oakland, Fred Lynn in Boston, and Johnny Bench on Cincinnati. It helps when a player is really good, but it’s not always a requirement. Bernie Carbo was another Italian with dashing looks who was popular with the ladies, even though he was never a superstar.
Often throughout history, rookie phenoms have attracted mad attention from the female crowd. Mark Fidrych, with his curly locks, Joe Charboneau with his rock star partying lifestyle, and Fernando Valenzuela, with his appeal to the Latin population, all were very popular for brief periods.
In the 1980s, Tim Raines in Montreal, Paul Molitor in Milwaukee, Kirk Gibson in Detroit, Don Mattingly in New York, and the dreamy Ryne Sandberg in Chicago, were superstars who were extremely popular for the way they played as well as they way they looked while playing.
Going back a ways, Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe and was very popular with women; Mickey Mantle was a pop idol; tall handsome Hal Newhouser was the darling of female fans in Detroit; and Willie Mays was loved in new York and San Francsico.
In recent years, bulking athletes have taken their turn posing with some or most of their clothes off, drawing legions of female fans. Gabe Kapler was one who earned a lot of attention by posing for weightlifting and muscle mags.
Who do you think the hottest ballplayers in baseball history are?