How the Pirates indirectly caused kids to be poisoned

9 Comments

You never know where you’ll find some random baseball factoid or reference. Today I was reading this story about those old Mr. Yuk poison stickers over at Mental Floss and learned that Mr. Yuk’s creation was attributable, at least in small part, to the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Mr. Yuk’s story begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1970. Dr. Richard W. Moriarty, then a chief pediatric resident at the Children’s Hospital, noticed that there were many calls about poisons coming to the emergency room, not to mention many needless visits, when parents should have been calling Poison Centers first . . . Complicating matters was the fact that the Jolly Roger—a skull and crossbones that had traditionally been used to warn kids of poisonous substances—had been incorporated into the logo of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and appeared on everything from cereal boxes to gum labels. “Children are relating the danger symbol for poison with pleasant surroundings,” Moriarty, then director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The confusion may even have led to an uptick in poisonings in the area.

Way to go, Buccos.

In other news, my brother and I used to get sheets of the Mr. Yuk stickers from drug stores when we were kids. Ours said “West Virginia Poison Center” on them:

source:

We’d take black markers and black out letters to make them say ‘Virgin son,” which we decided would be a great name for a band or a production company or something. As you can see, the words would be nicely arced over the top of the sticker, so they looked cool. We stuck them on everything.

I still think I’d like to use Virgin Son as the name of a production or publishing company or something someday. I also think that, if I did, Richard Branson would sue my butt off.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.