Saturday, February 27, 2010

#15: Roger Salkeld - Star Rookie

Two questions:
1. Is that large Mariners emblem on your jacket a sticker?
2. If it's not, what would you trade me for it?

Players taken after Salkeld (#3) in the 1989 MLB Draft: Frank Thomas (#7), Mo Vaughn (#23)

Friday, April 17, 2009

#14: Willie Banks - Star Rookie

The overall third pick in the 1987 draft was expected to do better than an overall 33-39 record, althought Banks' true value to his clubs came in the clubhouse. As an amateur magician, Banks holds the MLB record for asking teammates to "pick a card, any card" the highest number of times during a season (442). Twins management took the opportunity to scour his contract at one point in 1993 to see if his trick "Make Me Mordecai," during which he creates the illusion of severing two of the fingers on his pitching hand, violated any of the terms or clauses. After being traded to the Cubs prior to the 1994 season, several rolls of paper towels, a case of David brand sunflower seeds, and pairs of sunglasses belonging to Rick Aguilera and Pat Mahomes were said to have disappeared.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

#13: Patrick Lennon - Star Rookie

Forget fractured arm.
Double up on the wristbands.
Stardom will be yours.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#12: Ted Wood - Star Rookie

What makes Ted Wood different from Ed Wood? Quite a lot, actually.

Ted Wood is not considered the worst director of all time.

Ted Wood did not direct the cross-dressing exploitation film Glen or Glenda, he is only a cross-dresser.

Ted Wood played for the San Francisco Giants and the Montreal Expos. Ed Wood only made it as far as triple-A in the Dodgers organization.

Monday, March 2, 2009

#11: Donald Harris - Star Rookie

This card includes at least three examples of trick photography. First of all, Donald is actually using a 12-inch souvenir bat. American League bylaws state that the hitter may not use use "any stupid-looking two-tone bat" and have particular disdain for "anything purchased at the Fun Zone, located on the concourse outside section 208." Harris is fooling the naked eye by holding his tiny bat closer to the camera than the rest of the foreground, kind of like the way hobbits were filmed in the presence of regular-sized character in The Lord of the Rings.

Donald's left pants leg is masquerading as a stirrup. His specially designed pants fulfill a promise Donald made to his dying grandfather, that if he ever made the big leagues, he would wear his pants high. As the trend started to go out of style in the 1990s, Harris found it necessary to appear to be wearing his cuffs low in order to gain the acceptance of his dugout peers, Steve Buechele in particular. In reality, Donald's uniform lacks stirrups of any kind, and his pants actually extend to the beginning of the toe area on each foot.

Upper Deck had the good grace to airbrush out the "Team Sundial" placard the Rangers vets hung around his neck. For long stretches of time throughout the season, Harris was made to kneel in the same position for hours on end so the team could tell time based on the position of the sun. Judging from the shadow lengths and angles, it looks like this picture was taken at around 2:30 PM.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

#10: Rob Maurer - Star Rookie

Go to Wikipedia and type in "Rob Maurer." Go ahead, I'll give you a second.

Okay, so it suggests "ron master." Don't know who that is, but fine, I'll look. I'm guessing he was a local news anchor in Tulsa, or Boise, or some place like that. Just sounds like one of those names.

So I bite. Not only is there no "ron master," now it's suggesting "ron oester." At least it came around full circle to another baseball guy.

I had a whole Rob Maurer/Rob Morrow dual identity thing planned for this post, but it was going to be two scoops of awful. Perhaps one of the 690 cards left will give me a chance to work in a Marilyn from Northern Exposure reference. Too bad there weren't any really heavy, deadpan, Alaskan Indian women on any of the 1991 40-man rosters.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#9: Chris George - Star Rookie

Shortly after this photo was taken, Chris Bosio gave Chris George a knuckle sandwich. The reasons for this act of violence were many, but the primary rationale was twofold in nature.

1. Bosio took offense to George's loosey-goosey interpretation of a knuckleball. Bosio, not a knuckler by trade, but an active practitioner of the Hagakure, the book a traditional samurai commentary, saw George showing other pitchers how one might throw a knuckleball if one just had one's nails done. Bosio posited that this brought dishonor upon his chosen trade, so he dropped George in order to prevent any further defamation.

2. Chris Bosio hates all people whose surname and Christian name could both be interpreted as a first name. Late-1980s Brewers/Yankees matchups stunk to high heaven with animosity whenever Tommy John took the mound, and God forbid Jack Clark would be playing during a 1988 Bosio/John duel. Other players whose heads Bosio hunted included Manny Lee, Dion James, Bob Melvin, and Mitch Webster. Oddly enough, "the Bos" also loved to plunk Wade Boggs; rumor had it that Chris' best friend as a child was a boy named Boggs Clemens. Despite his name, that fucker couldn't hit or throw for shit.