Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Daddy, How Big Will I Be When I Grow Up?"

I don't have kids. So, I don't hear the question that is the title of my post. Sometimes I think I'd like to have a child, but then I talk to my friends with teenagers, or tweens, or toddlers, and I am very glad that I don't have kids.

My wife and I have two nieces and two nephews, though. Whenever we see them, they always want to show us how much they've grown up since we last saw them. Sometimes it is obvious, and other times you really have to squint to see even an eighth of an inch of growth.

Back in the 1980s, the Milwaukee Brewers thought of this issue. For at least four years in the mid-to-late 1980s, the team partnered with various sponsors and had "Brewers Growth Chart Day." Kids aged 15 and under would get a rolled up poster as they entered the stadium of one or more of the Brewers with a growth chart in inches on it. 

Here's the catch: these growth charts are life-sized photos of the player shown.

As part of my poster purchase from my new buddy from North Carolina, I picked up four of these gargantuan posters.

Let's start with the man: Robin Yount.

I don't know if you can see it,  but along the right side of the poster is the growth chart -- from 1 inch at the bottom all the way up to 6'3" tall at the top. Humorously, Robin was listed as being only 6' tall exactly, so even he wouldn't measure up to...himself. 

Here's a better look at that:

For what it's worth, this chart has a 1984 copyright date on it.

By the way, Sentry is a still-in-operation grocery store in Wisconsin. WBCS was a country music station which changed call letters to WLZR and became a hard rock station called Lazer 103 in 1987. These days, it's still playing pretty much the same music as it did in the 1980s and calls itself 102.9 FM The Hog.

Not that you care that much about Milwaukee radio history...

The next big man, of course, would be Paul Molitor:

Molitor's growth chart moved up the sponsorship levels to a national brand of Wonder Bread. Paul always did seem so white bread to me as a kid -- before I knew he had a serious cocaine problem in the early 1980s (him and 3/4 of baseball) and before he changed wives as part of a post-playing life change and married a woman named Destini, with whom he had cheated on his wife Linda and had a child. Destini was at least the second woman with whom Molitor had a child outside of his marriage to Linda, as he was also paying child support to a Canadian woman named Joanna Andreou.

I guess Paul could keep using these growth charts for quite a while.

Molitor also is just 6' tall and, as was the case with Yount, he didn't measure up on his own chart either -- even if the good folks with the Brewers and Wonder Bread gave Mollie an extra couple of inches:

Another of the growth charts I got came from one of the years where the giveaway was sponsored by the The Dairy Council of Wisconsin. 

I believe this one would be either from 1988 or 1989, depending on whether the team used a current photo or one from the archives. The H/K Patch on the left sleeve to honor Harvey Kuenn was used during the 1988 season to honor Harvey in the year after he passed away.

A few snide remarks: Baseball Reference's height for Robin Yount at 6' tall either came from 1974 and Robin grew a couple of inches during his career -- which is certainly possible -- or Paul Molitor is more like 5'10" tall than 6' tall. It's pretty obvious that Yount is taller here. Now, that could be because they put two photos together too, but it looks like the shadows are right for them to be in the same room.

Next snide remark: Molitor holding cheese with the cheesy grin is the most appropriately Midwestern photo I've ever seen.

Final snide remark: that little logo for the "square" meal/diet looks like it includes steak, beer, a tomato, and bread. This would be a 100% accurate Wisconsin diet so long as that tomato is the sauce on a Tombstone Pizza.

Okay, last one:

Here's Rob Deer -- a guy legitimately listed at 6'3" tall and who appears to be shortened by this growth chart. Dude was a very large man. Being a late 80s power hitter, it's always open to question whether he was playing with "help". Of course, when you look at his strikeout totals, you know for certain that the only help he really needed was to go to the optometrist to check his eyesight.

So, all four of these growth charts are really cool items. But, you might be able to see my dilemma with these already: am I really going to put a life-sized, full-body photo of three different baseball players up? If so, do you know how much the frames for that will cost?

The real answer is that those questions don't matter. The real answer is, "My wife said absolutely not."

I'm having a difficult time arguing with her on that. The most important point about displaying them is that, well, I don't have the wall space to do so. These things are massive! 

So, I'll keep them in my closet for now, biding my time until a later day when I might have the wall space. 

Or, maybe I'll just put them up on the backsides of the doors that my wife never sees. 

Hiding is always an option.


  1. Hey it could be worse, I know some guys get these big door prints of females. They know they're past the point of shame and doomed to the single life.

  2. I still like Jack's more, but Tombstone pizzas are underrated. Really hit the spot sometimes.

  3. Biggest collectibles I've ever seen

  4. Those are awesome! For some reason I had a Clyde Drexler growth chart growing up, which was weird. I love the concept though.

  5. Those are great. The best Robin and Paul poster I remember seeing was in my hometown card shop, still in operation, it was the one titled Batman and Robin and it had the two in front of a black Porsche all foggy with Molly holding a bat on his shoulder and Robin crouched down.