Saturday, February 9, 2013

Van Lingle Mungo

Pitchers and catchers start reporting for spring training tomorrow so this will be my last Hot Stove League post.  We'll end with a little jazz music called Van Lingle Mungo.

Van Lingle Mungo was a fireballing hurler for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1931 to 1941 before ending his career with two seasons on the New York Giants.  From 1932 to 1936 he was a star, leading the National League with 238 strikeouts in 1936.  The Dodgers were a mediocre team and over the last four seasons of this period Mungo racked up 25% of the team's victory total. The following year he hurt his arm and never recovered although he hung on in the majors for another six years.  Over the course of his career he won 120 games and gained quite a reputation for fighting and drinking.

Van Lingle Mungo, was written by jazz pianist Dave Frishberg in 1969 and features the names of many ballplayers from the 1930s and 40s - in fact, with the exception of the words "and" and "big" the lyrics consist entirely of ballplayer names. 


  1. Great nostalgia and soothing music, too. dm

  2. Thanks so much for the memory and posting Frishberg's great song - I heard this song about fifteen years ago on a Baseball's Greatest Hits CD and haven't been the same since - Mungo is a great story for any fan of old baseball-not to mention Dodger fan...hope to tell it well...