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League of his own (cont.)

Posted: Thursday September 7, 2006 4:49PM; Updated: Thursday September 7, 2006 4:49PM
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The batting helmet stayed intact until 1987, Bochy's final season in the big leagues. In a pique, he smashed it on the dugout cement. "Then I had to glue it back together," he recalls.

Evidently, there's no upside to having a huge head. You take a lot of razzing -- Headquarters and Headly are two of the printable slurs -- plus you look like a Little Leaguer in a standard cap. "Believe me," Bochy says. "There have been bigger heads in baseball than mine."

Like who's?

"Like Kevin Mench's. They call him Shrek."

Alas, the cranium of the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder is a silly millimeter shorter than Bochy's.

"Well," says Buckethead. "There's ... there's ... well, Faye Vincent."

Bochy may be onto something. The former commissioner has such a humongous head that in 1991, when he was attending a World Series game in the Metrodome with his daughter, a ball hit his daughter on the head and left press box wags wondering how it could possibly have missed her old man.

Because snug-fitting caps are hard to come by, Bochy has gone entire seasons wearing the same one. He could never wash them, lest they shrink. "Around September, you didn't even want to look at or smell one of those caps," he says. "They'd be pretty gross, all mildewed and soaked with sweat. All kinds of molds and diseases would grow in the inner flap of an all-season cap. You could probably start an epidemic with one of them."

As capacious as Bochy's caps are, he still must stretch them before donning them. "I'm not sure if that's because the caps are shrinking or my skull is enlarging," he deadpans. "Unfortunately, because of the whole steroids deal, I have to watch my mouth now. If I say my head's getting bigger, people might take it the wrong way."