A Mound of a Man

“I guess you could say I’m the redemption of the fat man. A guy will be watching me on TV and see that I don’t look in any better shape than he is. ‘Hey Maude,’ he’ll holler, ‘get a load of this guy and he’s a twenty game winner.'”

–Mickey Lolich

Since last January, I’ve lost almost 40 lbs. I had packed on some weight gain from a combination of middle age sloth and a nearly 3 month bout with bronchitis; when I tipped the scales at just over 200 lbs, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.

With some inspiration from my buddy Ed, I discovered ways to change the way I eat (along with how I think about food) plus I increased my weekly running mileage to 25-30 miles a week. It feels great to be back at my ideal weight, and now that I’m no longer a mound of a man, I’m a little lighter on my feet at work as I get up and down the hall during a busy clinic schedule.

I think I have lost a few mph on my speedball, though. You see, baseball is a game that has always had a place for the man of girth–usually either first base or the pitcher’s mound.

Mickey Lolich was one pitcher who never met a buffet line that he didn’t join. Although he’ll most likely never make the Hall of Fame, he did have his day during the 1968 World Series against the Cardinals. That year, he pitched, and won, three complete games, allowing only five total runs (Randy Johnson was the last pitcher to win three games in 2001). Rightfully so, Lolich won the Series MVP award.

After that, Lolich went on to have a couple more twenty win seasons in the early 70s, but in 1975 he lost 18 games with the Tigers. They traded him to the Mets where he proceeded to lose thirteen. He ended his career with the San Diego Padres in 1979.

Here’s a look at Lolich from his 1972 3-D Kelloggs card:


Here he is in 1975, his last year with the Tigers:


Lolich is only listed at 215 lbs on that last card, which is really not too bad for a 6’0″ frame. In fact, by today’s obesity standards, he probably wouldn’t even qualify as a “fat man.” He probably made a little more over his weight than needed in order to serve up some self-deprecating humor.

I don’t know what he weighs now, but I have a feeling he may have packed on a few pounds. You see, after he retired from baseball, Lolich returned to his first love.

He opened up his own donut shop.

  1. Jeff Slater

    When I was about 17 years old, a good friend and I got up early on a Saturday morning and drove to Mickey Lolich’s donut shop.

    As we were going in, we saw Mickey taking a couple of bags of garbage out to the dumpster.

  2. Hal

    Congratulations on the weight loss!! I’ll bet you feel much better.

  3. Mike the Eyeguy


    If you click on that Mickey Lolich link above and scroll down to the bottom of the article, you can see a picture of Mickey holding a tray of donuts.


    Thanks, that’s putting it mildly. I’m actually thinking I may want to do another marathon now, but the joints and bones aren’t what they used to be. One day at a time.

  4. Laurie

    If you’ve lost forty pounds, it must now REALLLY be killing you to not be playing soccer. 🙂

  5. Mike the Eyeguy


    You nailed it. Despite the weight loss, I know my back could still go out with one bad fall. Last night while I was coaching my U19 team, I was playing and juggling with the ball on the sideline. I threw in a few Cruyffs, Revelinos and Maradonas, and I thought I was good to go.

    Then a ball rolled out of bounds and I bent over to pick it up.

    Ouch. Back to reality.

  6. Bill Gnade

    No stinking way! Thirty pounds?! Impressive. Now at least you don’t have to leave the exam room to make space for your patients to see the eye chart.

    I would not be too alarmed at losing some velocity on your “speedball.” Little ol’ Pedro Martinez seems to get a bit of steam on the old fastball at his puny weight (though his torn rotator cuff is no consolation for the small pitcher).

    It was age, and not weight, that brought my fastball down to frisbee speed. I mean, my pitch is even too slow for fungo. Nay, my pitch is easier to hit than a ball on a tee. It is quite disconcerting.

    As for Rogers using a bit of traction for his pitching hand, he should have said it was residue from a bat. After all, he’s been doing a lot of BP these days in anticipation of MAYBE facing St. Louis’ pitchers in Game 5. That, and a little smudge of tobacco juice, surely account for his blemished palm.



  7. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey BG, good to hear from you!

    Yes, stinkin’ way! And I have the pants falling down around my hips to prove it (sorry, no pictures).

    I never threw that hard anyway, so no big loss there.

    Rogers must have been anticipating batting against the A’s too…

  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    Milt, good job, that’s perfect. Looks like Mickey may be a few pounds over his playing weight now. That picture must be from some kind of Tiger fantasy camp.

    Hey, at least his sanitary socks are still showing. Old school is cool.

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