Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Clown Prince & The Chicken

Does anyone remember Max Patkin, aka The Clown Prince.  I remember first hearing about him as a pretty young kid, it may have been on a This Week in Baseball feature but I can't seem to track down a video of it.  The Clown Prince was a performer at minor league baseball games for more than 50 years.  He estimated that he performed about 6000 times and was famous for his contort his face in a way that made it look like rubber.  He claims to be able to make 1000 shapes with his face.  He gained fame with an appearance in the move Bull Durham.  Patkin passed away in 1999 but I was lucky enough to spy the cards on my LCS's bid board and pick it up for a buck:

Not only is it a great card featuring one of his signature faces, it is autographed - so cool!

Fast forward a few decades and there was another famous performer who I clearly recall seeing on The Baseball Bunch.  He started out with the San Diego Padres but eventually took his show on the road.  I can't recall exactly where but do know I saw him live.  At my other LCS, I was able to pick up these two cards for 50 cents each:

According to there are 7 different chicken cards with one being a Donruss Recollection auto of the 1983 card released in 2003.  As you can see from the back, you could send in your Chicken cards to get them autographed back in the early 80s.  I may take on the Chicken as a mini collection and try to pick up each of the 6 cards and autographed cards the Donruss ones.

Two great characters of the game captured in cards.  I am very happy to have these cards as part of my collection, I feel they are great connections to the past and my childhood along with a part of baseball lore.


  1. I actually did send in the 1983 card and have it autographed. I never understood why I should send a card of the erstwhile San Diego Chicken to Memphis, though. It is yours if you'd like it.

  2. Max Patkin autograph for a buck? What a steal!

  3. A buck is a steal for that card. He used to give those away at parks where he was performing. I saw him a couple of times, he was great.