Throwback Thursday: Turk Farrell

He might have punched this baseball card if he didn't like what he saw.

Why we like him: Obviously when you're talking about the Houston Colt .45s, you're going way back into the deepest corners of the history of the game. The Colt .45s were renamed the Astros in 1965, and it had nothing to do with the fact that idiotic interest groups thought the Colt .45 moniker would somehow beget violence on the streets of Houston. Turk Farrell was a hulking, hard-throwing right-handed pitcher for the Colt .45s/Astros during their early days in the early-to-mid 1960s.

Despite a fairly ordinary, ho-hum career, Farrell was as interesting as player could be back in those days. His teammates said that "when he lost, he lost his temper, but when he won, he was the life of the party." Turk also broke a mirror in the clubhouse in Milwaukee after a poor outing simply because he said he looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw, so he punched it. Okie dokie.

One of Farrell's most interesting stories involves a comeback line drive off the bat of none other than Hank Aaron. After throwing one of his trademark fastballs, the Hammer blasted it back up the middle on a line straight for Farrell's noggin. Turning to get out the way, Farrell took the drive solidly off the back of his head where the carom and the laws of physics directed the ball toward short right-center where a young and still short Joe Morgan drifted over from second base to set up camp to catch it in the air. The official scoring: the most painful assist on a fly ball in baseball history.

Farrell was killed in a car accident in 1977 at the age of 43, but we'll make sure his legend lives on. His final career stats: 14 seasons, 106-111, 3.45 ERA, 1177 strikeouts, 211 conventional assists, and 1 assist off his head on a fly ball. Thanks for the memories, Turk.

Ladies and gentlemen, Turk Farrell, Ballplayer.

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