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Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

Dec 27, 2011, 6:48 AM EDT

Drysdale Brady Bunch

Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day:

Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids Team. The All-Mustache Team. The idea is to find one player for each position who fits the category.

Genzlinger makes up one of his own: the All-TV-Cameo Team.  Players who made a walk-on appearance on some scripted television show.  Difficulty: no “Seinfeld” or “Simpsons” allowed. He also limits himself to only a couple California or New York players because that would be too easy.

Because of that rule he has neglected one of my favorites ever: Don Drysdale appearing on “The Brady Bunch,” telling Greg Brady that he could be a bonus baby, thereby causing Greg to big-time everyone and neglect his responsibilities.

I can’t remember the setup — maybe Mike was designing an addition for Drysdale’s home or something — but I did always wonder if he was related to Mike’s boss who, you will recall, was named “Mr. Drysdale.” Probably got a discount on Mike’s valuable architect services. Or maybe there is some elaborate back story we never knew about in which Drysdale himself was both a pitcher and an architect. That would be something. UPDATE: Crap. As noted in the comments below, I blew this one. Mr. Drysdale was on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Mike’s boss, I am now remembering, was “Mr. Phillips.”  I think I’m just gonna quit for the day.

By the way: Wasn’t Greg just the biggest rube? Prone to suggestion. Remember how he stole the other high school football team’s playbook that time? Remember when he stole the other school’s mascot? All because someone told him he should. If his life didn’t end up with him being the wheel-man/fall-guy for a robbery of some kind I’d be shocked. Dude looked like he was gonna go through life never knowing quite what happened to him.

Probably expected, of course. I mean, his natural mother disappeared completely and was never spoken of again and was never any part of her sons’ lives. Just tragic, really. She probably ran off to join the Manson Family or something. L.A. in 1969 was a dark place for many people.

OK, baseball needs to come back or else I’m gonna do another 2,000 words on the social dysfunction and pathos of “The Brady Bunch.” Which is fine, but may get a bit uncomfortable and difficult when we get to Jan.

  1. RedHeadedBastard - Dec 27, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    It might not have been a TV cameo, but Roger Clemons’ cameo in Kingpin was hilarious.

    • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      “The mother dead these fourteen years did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off. The father never speaks her name, the child does not know it.”

      Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

  2. Jonny 5 - Dec 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Pretty soon Craig will be discussing the statistical probability of Sylvester getting brained by Granny’s umbrella as opposed to her purse for tossing Tweety bird into his mouth. Or maybe Wile E. Coyote’s usage of Acme brand pyrotechnics as opposed to giant slingshots while on roller skates.

  3. Paul White - Dec 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    Tragically, the list gets a big “incomplete” because it didn’t name Sparky Anderson the manager for his epic cameo in an episode of “WKRP in Cincinnati”.

  4. lewp - Dec 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    I think Craig mentioned it earlier this week…and I’ll paraphrase…”Between Christmas and New Years is the slowest time for baseball news”.

    No offense Craig, but this story would certainly support that.

  5. kaoticbandito - Dec 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Drysdale must have been a bit of a media whore. If I remember right he did an episode of “Leave it to Beaver” as well. Beaver made a long distance call to the Dodgers locker room and got in trouble for running up the charges. I assume Ward gave him the belt later on off-camera because that’s how he rolled.

  6. kiwicricket - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    I remember cringing when McGwire was on ‘Mad About You’.
    (N.Z only had 3 channels back then, cut me some slack guys)

  7. deathmonkey41 - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Well, I got to go with LA since I’m a Rams fan and use Roman Gabriel on Gilligan’s Island when he played a native.

  8. nolanwiffle - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    If Sidd Finch never appeared on “That’s Incredible”…. he probably should have.

  9. Jacob - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I’m don’t think Mike’s boss was Mr. Drysdale, but that was definitely the name of the banker on The Beverly Hillbillies.

    • hcf95688 - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      Yes. I was about to post the same thing. Milburn Drysdale.

    • anxovies - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM

      And Mr. Drysdale’s head teller was a scared, bumbling little guy named Cratchit. I loved that. Someone please make a blockbuster trade before I turn to the egg nog.

  10. Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Isn’t it possible that she died in childbirth with her oldest kid, and had the rest of them while already dead?

    • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Come to think of it, what was the second Mrs. Brady’s former married name? It’s not like her horrible bunch of brats talked about their dad much either.

      If I were those two, I would have shipped all the little monsters off to military school and thrown swinger parties every weekend. Then they could have moved the show to Cinemax when the network cancelled them.

      • APBA Guy - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        Given how much adults drank in the ’60’s, at least at my parents’ parties, swinging was pretty much out of the question. Snoring, barfing, then snoring again, that was more the style.

    • ncphilliesguy - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM

      Mike’s first wife died, Carol’s first husband died too. They didn’t talk about it because it was the 60’s, and a whole country of people existed that swollowed the pain and treated it with dry martinis. Now, someone stubs their toe and they whine about it on facebook.

      • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Treating all those kids with dry martinis would have gotten pretty expensive – what were the well labels back then, and where could they be purchased cheaply before Wal-Mart? But it also would account for why those kids were all so vapid and imbecilic.

  11. jeffbbf - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    “Married With Children” gave us a couple of greats in some funny episodes: Bench and Banks (along with Namath) in one episode (can’t remember the story), and another episode in the middle of the 1994 strike where Al and his buddies formed their own baseball league – I know Piazza and Frank Thomas were in that one along with a few others. Funny stuff.

    • kopy - Dec 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      There’s also an episode of “Yes, Dear” where Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Johnnie Bench all make cameos.

  12. kiwicricket - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Sam Malone had a few guys stop into the bar at some point, can’t remember who though.

    • ncphilliesguy - Dec 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Wade Boggs and Kevin McHale. Maybe Espisito.

  13. anxovies - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Maybe the first Mrs. Brady was buried under the driveway.

  14. marinersnate - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    VERY SLOOOOW news day, huh, Craig?

    Also, Greg didn’t steal the other high school’s playbook. Marsha’s boyfriend, who was from another high school, stole Greg’s playbook. Solid effort though.

  15. marklar1025 - Dec 27, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    c’mon Craig – dont let these guys mess with you. Drysdale WAS on the Bunch – episode named “The Dropout”


    A compliment from Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball star Don Drysdale goes to Pony League pitcher Greg’s head. Greg becomes convinced he’s the next big Major League Baseball superstar and becomes obsessed with the sport, driving his family and teachers crazy. Drysdale returns later and – knowing that Greg is listening in – has a conversation with Mike talk about the realities of life on the road, but it takes a major shelling for Greg to get knocked into reality.

  16. APBA Guy - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    My girlfriend has an All-Ugly team. Randy Johnson was the captain until he retired, then it was Jorge Cantu. I always look forward to her updates in April, after Opening Day rosters are confirmed.

  17. leftywildcat - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Harmon Killebrew did an appearance about 15 years ago on one of those sitcoms that had 8 or 10 children.

  18. ahmiller21 - Dec 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM


  19. normcash - Dec 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I seem to recall and “Mr. Ed” episode that featured some Dodger players…I think Drysdale was one of them and Koufax and Roseboro were the others.

  20. dink53 - Dec 27, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    There is a Drysdale connection. The Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills was providing the sub-primes for Mike’s projects.

  21. jimbo1949 - Dec 27, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Kevin Joseph Aloysius Connors

    Celtics, Dodgers, Cubs and The Rifleman

  22. Francisco (FC) - Dec 27, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Joe Torre, 2nd Season of Castle.

  23. psousa1 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Don’t forget Wes Parker was bangin’ Greg’s teacher.

    Joe Namath was also on the Brady Bunch. Walt Hazzard on Gilligan’s Island was also emmy worthy.

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