Name: Ron LeFlore
Team: Chicago White Sox
Value of card: 14 dead flowers
Key 1981 stat: One bout of lead poisoning from that necklace
Garbage-time pop quiz: Why is Ron LeFlore dressed like the garbage man?
(A) We don't know, and neither does he, judging by the look on his face.
(B) Hey, he had to do something during the '81 strike.
(C) It's not intentional; he's just allergic to every clothing fabric except plastic.
(D) It beats wearing those old White Sox uniforms.
(E) None of the above
Name: Donnell Thompson
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Position: Defensive end, giant
Value of card: Helplessness
Key 1990 stat: Judging by this card, he was 8'4", 403 lbs.
It's a Football Friday Caption, which likely didn't run in the Indianapolis Star sometime in 1990: "Packers quarterback Blair Kiel futilely winds up to pass to a target he almost certainly cannot see shortly before having more than half of the bones in his body mercilessly crushed by Colts defender and oversize human Donnell Thompson on Sunday in Green Bay, Wisc."
Name: Covelli "Coco" Crisp
Team: Oakland A's
Value of card: Spilled milk
Key 2013 stat: Kept it old school
A historic hair day: Baseball Card Bust today welcomes Coco Crisp into its Afro Hall of Fame. Standing more than a foot tall and having batted .312 with 84 home runs (with the ladies), the Coco-Fro has more than earned this hallowed honor. Congratulations, Coco. Today, you join this partial list of other all-natural legends:
- Oscar Gamble, whose hair was never airbrushed, even when his uniform was.
- J.D. Hill, who played his part in hairstyle history
- Wonder Monds, whose name said it all
- Ray May, who was always to the point
- And Larry Giroux, who broke barriers by bring the afro to the ice
Name: Karl Best
Team: Seattle Mariners
Value of card: See that necklace? It's worth nothing even close to that.
Key 1986 stat: 122 fish caught at Pike Place Market
Some of the reasons Karl was "the Best":
- No one else wore a $4 mesh hat during a Mariners game.
- No other pitchers had serial killer eyes.
- No other 11th-graders made it onto a baseball card.
- No other Mariners spent their evenings bagging your groceries.
- No other Major League Baseball player had such an ironic last name.
Name: Jack Morris
Team: Detroit Tigers
Value of card: An avocado pit
Key 1981 stat: Zero non-grainy photos taken of him
Wow, what a card: Let's take a moment to thank Fleer for this fine card. The effort and hard work that must have gone into such a fine representation of such a stellar pitcher is mind-blowing. Just think of the countless hours the photographer invested to capture such an important moment. It's not just the artistic acumen required to present Morris in a grainy, out-of-focus image, it's the foresight to picture him not during a game, but throwing in front of a chain-link fence, apparently in a prison yard in southern Michigan. So bravo, Fleer executives, you've outdone yourselves once again.
Name: Dave Winfield
Team: California Angels
Value of card: Million-dollar smile
Key 1990 stat: One attempted steal (of your girlfriend)
Dave Winfield's dating profile, circa 1990:
Screen name: WinfieldOfDreams_12
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 220 pounds (all muscle, baby)
Hair color: Black
Ethnicity: Minnesotan, originally
Want children? I could use a bat boy
Best feature: These pearly whites
Smoke? The occasional fastball
Religion: I believe in Angels
Seeking: The ladies
Location: Los Angeles? Anaheim? Orange County? One of those
Her body type: Beach bod
Her ethnicity: Tanned
About me: Hey girl, Winny here. After too many seasons in the cold (and cold-heartedness) of New York, I'm back in SoCal, ready to heat things up. Once you're done getting lost in my eyes, drop me line, and we'll see if you can help me work on my power stroke. After all, my jersey may say I'm an Angel, but I'm a real demon once the lights go out. Rrrowwrrr!
Name: Morten Anderson
Team: New Orleans Saints
Value of card: 10 toenail clippings
Key 1990 stat: 240 hours spent perched on a goal post
Conversation between Pro Line photographer and Morten Anderson, circa 1990:
Pro Line Photographer: "Morten, Morten, will you please come down from there?"
Morten Anderson: "No. No, no, no, no. No!"
PLP: "Morten, please, this is supposed to be a professional photo shoot."
MA: "I don't wanna. I don't have to take some stupid picture if I don't wanna."
PLP: "Morten, this is written into your contract. Please, come down."
MA: "My mom says I don't have to do anything that I don't want to."
PLP: "Morten, this will be quick. Please come down and I'll take a photo and we'll be done. I'll even give you a candy bar."
MA: "Fine, I'll come down. But I'm not putting on any pants or combing my hair."
PLP: "Forget it. (shoots photo) We're done here."
MA: "But you promised me a candy bar!"
Name: Zane Smith
Team: Atlanta Braves
Value of card: Even trade for a cassette tape of the "Top Gun" soundtrack
Key 1986 stat: 17 ladies seduced with this look
Top 10 side gigs for Zane Smith:
10) Swamp gator wrestler
9) Comb tester
8) Totally tubular cool dude
7) Staring contest participant
6) Backup country singer
5) Vidal Sassoon pitchman
4) Racist logo apologist
3) "Melrose Place" extra
2) Mesh model
1) Common baseball card subject
Name: Tom Dempsey
Team: New Orleans Saints
Value of card: Even trade for a dirt sandwich
Key 1974 stat: 219 kicks (in the pants)
Some of the records held by Tom Dempsey:
- Most cheeseburgers eaten in a quarter
- Volume of handlebar mustache in a game
- Number of women and children frightened in a season
- Least number of toes vs. most field goals in a career
- Most members of a biker gang mistaken for in a life
Name: Edgar Diaz
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: 2 gum balls (chewed)
Key 1990 stat: 162 games spent daydreaming in the dugout
Let's see what Edgar Diaz stands for:
Eyes were covered by a vending machine purchase
Dollar shades, $5 haircut
Glasses blocked out the sun — and the ridicule of the masses
Arrived at the decision to gaze at the clouds when he couldn't look himself in the mirror
Radical look? Not so much
Didn't realize he was soon to be nominated for "Coolest Dude on the Brewers"
Incidentally, he stole these shades from a 6-year-old
Awful look in 1991, but a stylish hipster in 2014
Zero chance his teammates let him live down this card
Name: Randy Velarde
Team: New York Yankees
Value of card: Bend over and we'll show ya
Key 1988 stat: 27 times accosted by second baseman Willie Randolph
It's time for yet another homoerotic pop quiz:
What in the living hell is going on here?
(A) Teammate Wille Randolph is playing Tickle Monster.
(B) It's what the announcer called the "really, really exaggerated shift."
(C) Love. Sweet, sweet love.
(D) This is how the Yankees pick "Season's Best Bulge."
(E) All of the above.
Name: John Elway
Team: Oneonta Yankees
Value of card: It's not a mile high
Key 1998 stat: 10 interceptions
New York Yankees' scouting report on minor-league prospect John Elway: "I've seen a lot of pros, and this kid will never be a pro at anything. ... Looks kind of like a horse. Maybe he should play for the Broncos (laughter fills room). ... He's got a good bat but he really needs to work on that arm. ... He's got a face that would look better with a helmet over it. ... Judging solely from this painting of him, he might have a career as a Diamond King. ... I'd bet my salary we never hear about this Elway kid again."
Name: Ted Power
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Value of card: One blown 40-amp fuse
Key 1990 stat: 160 electrical cables taped to walls
Here's what Ted Power stands for:
That mustache is pretty powerful, all right
Despite surname, arm wasn't all that strong
Pittsburgh's most eligible bachelor
Once starred in his own choose-your-own-adventure book
Wears that curly mullet like no one's business
Eyes firmly planted on that tiny ball headed right for him
Really taking his time signing that autograph
Name: Marty Schottenheimer
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Position: Head coach
Value of card: 4 strands of wool
Key 1990 stat: 4 "Tecmo Bowl" plays used in a game
Some fashion tips from coach Marty Schottenheimer:
- "Your sweater should have at least five sections; but six or more is preferred."
- "Whenever you can put a logo on your slacks, do it. Ladies love logos."
- "When you get a new hat, don't adjust it. In fact, don't even look at it. Just put it on your head."
- "There's nothing wrong with feminine cuffs."
- "Have your great-aunt sew you a sweater when you have to look your best."
- "Wool is the perfect fabric for special occasions."
Name: John Castino
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Third base
Value of card: Twin pennies
Key 1980 stat: 14 times mistaken for a sickly Arnold Schwarzenegger
It's time for The Caption, which we're pretty sure never ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1981: "John Castino, above, pretends to be in his batting stance despite being turned the wrong way on the field before a game in Chicago against the White Sox during which his duck face pose frightened 11 children in the stands and sent seven of his teammates into uncontrollable fits of laughter on Tuesday."