Friday, March 27, 2009

Jay Johnstone

More from Fleer, 1980's

Jay Johnstone was known as one of those free-spirit types of player. Nothing says that more than this card from 1984.

Nice hat, huh? And free advertising for Budweiser on baseball cards sold to children. Cards of this type were very rare in this era. Most shots were very traditional, either posed by the photographer or in action shots. We never really got a glimpse of the player as a real person, expressing their personality. Today's cards do a much better job of that.

But there is another Cubs connection with the hat. Because this hat type was invented by former Cub......

...Lou Brock (of course, we would rather forget that he was traded away for nothing to the Cardinals and went on to a Hall of Fame career).

The hat is known as a "Brock-a-brella" and it was patented by Lou Brock and Richard Nielson. You can read the patent here. I rather doubt Lou had much to do with the actual inventing. I just can't picture him coming home from the ballpark and then heading to the garage to tinker around with his idea to create this new hat. I would guess he was lending his name more than anything. But I'm sure he made a few bucks off of it.

Jay Johstone, free spirit

Lou Brock, base stealer, 3000 hit club, Hall of Fame, inventor.


  1. Jay was well known for his umbrella hats. I remember him with the Phillies and Dodgers but don't remember him as a Cub. He was a good player but a flake. I think there are several goofy baseball cards of him.

  2. The picture just captures Jay's attitude and easygoing nature about the game. Every team should have at least one guy like Jay to keep things loose. The game's gotten too serious these days. Jay pulled many a prank, but still came through on defense and pitch-hitting in the clutch. Love the hat!