This Week in Milford

June 11, 2018



Ha ha, Joe Shaky! Good one, Gil. You really nailed Kaz with that. Ha ha, Kaz is shaky before he has his coffee. Ho ho, that is rich, Gil!

I don’t know anything about Joe Sharkey. He’s definitely from the pre-TWIM era of Gil Thorp. The way Gil is touching his chin, I think we’re going to go into a flashback. Why not? We’ve got all summer.

All right long time Gil Thorp fans, enlighten us noobs to the legend of Joe Sharkey and his mighty stick!

ETA: It looks like there was a passing reference to Joe Sharkey during the Elmer Vargas story. We’re still largely in the dark. I will thumb through the one Gil Thorp treasury I have at home later and see if there’s a Sharkey story there.



  1. Joe Sharkey rings a bell but not much more. I think he appeared in the late 60s or maybe a little later. There was something about a career-ending accident, but I think it happened off stage.

    Comment by vaganova — June 11, 2018 @ 7:08 am

  2. “Best stick we ever had” is competing with Deadspin’s constant use of “dongs” to turn all of baseball into a Field of Dickjokes.

    Comment by Downpuppy, Lord of the Files (@Downpuppy) — June 11, 2018 @ 7:25 am

  3. Nice []]] brand laptop, Gil. It’d be a shame if Kaz’s tremors spilled some coffee into the keyboard tray…

    Really, Kevin? Someone? Why so bashful? Who the heck’s secret identity are you trying to protect, anyway? Clambake’s?

    I, for one, am always excited to see a vintage Gil Thorp callback, even if I’ve no recollection of Joe Sharkey in particular. I wonder how tall he is/was.

    Comment by timbuys — June 11, 2018 @ 9:10 am

  4. Joe Sharkey was a big GT character back in the 70’s. Gil is so old by now, that his dementia is making it hard to remember exactly when JS played but he does at least remember that he did.

    Comment by franku2016 — June 11, 2018 @ 9:39 am

  5. Joe Sharkey was a Milford Baseball legend who wound up playing in the Major Leagues for the Tigers after a battle with alcoholism, at least that is if Bugs McCoy is to be believed.

    Sharkey’s actual appearances in the strip, I believe, date to the mid-1970s. He was a big deal student character in the True Standish fashion, as I understand it.

    Comment by billytheskink — June 11, 2018 @ 9:58 am

  6. Billy comes through again. Booze. I knew there had been an obstacle but couldn’t remember what it was. The Bugs McCoy link takes us to a recollection of Joe Sharkey as Gil tried to intervene to prevent Elmer Vargas from being deported.

    Comment by vaganova — June 11, 2018 @ 10:12 am

  7. Man, look at the ten year old comment thread. Where have all those folks gone I wonder? Interestingly, the last one was left by no other than current TWIM Friday anchor RobM. Neat. I coulda sworn I was commenting back then but don’t see any traces of whatever ID I would’ve been using at the time.

    Neat backstory on Joe Sharkey. It’s no A Song Of Ice And Fire but the attempt at world building demonstrates a bit more effort than we usually see around here.

    Comment by timbuys — June 11, 2018 @ 11:19 am

  8. Gil makes a cameo in his own strip. What a turd. He’s Joe Shaky before his first shot of rotgut. I know, it’s too easy but needed to be said.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — June 11, 2018 @ 12:10 pm

  9. Wow, timbuys, that list of Mfnrdians in the comments section of the Elmer Vargas strips really is a blast from the past. Miss a lot of those people. As I remember, Elmer was a pretty good all around player, at a higher level than Palooka. I think Kevin is at his best more at the college walk-on level or possibly the Cape Cod League (high amateur.)

    Comment by vaganova — June 11, 2018 @ 12:38 pm

  10. I say “college walk-on level” because college baseball, whether Div 1 or 3, is very different from Div 1 football and men’s basketball, which are essentially the minor leagues for the NFL and the NBA. Baseball has its own minor league system and most of the top prospects enter it right out of high school. By about age 23 they are usually at about the AA level and far more advanced than all but the best college players. There are any number of exceptions (Mike Mussina was drafted out of Stanford after his junior year and completed his degree in 1990 by taking off season classes) but relatively few players see a lot of college before turning pro.

    Comment by vaganova — June 11, 2018 @ 12:47 pm

  11. Vaganova, I wonder about all those posters of old too. I wonder if I did something to drive them away. Not really, but maybe a little bit. Oh well, the door is open for everybody to come and go as the mood strikes.

    I’m pretty sure spirited commenter Regina can frequently be seen commenting over on Mary Worth & Me.

    On your point about college ball, I recall there was something in Michael Lewis’ Moneyball about a trend (at the time anyway, that book is 14 years old now) where college players were getting more attention by scouting because there was more data to evaluate them by. I guess stats compiled by high school players isn’t considered as useful, maybe because the talent isn’t distributed as evenly. I mean, if you hit .638 over the course of a season, one would wonder what kind of pitching you were seeing.

    I looked at my own link to the Gil Thorp book and the description said that there is a Joe Sharkey story. Hooray! I will fill everybody in on it later tonight or tomorrow.

    Comment by nedryerson — June 11, 2018 @ 1:40 pm

  12. Who was the baseball player that fell in love with the Davenport Holliday Inn singer? Gil asked her to sing Disenchanted.

    Comment by Joe H — June 12, 2018 @ 7:17 am

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