Names: Dave, left, and Doug Widell
Team: Denver Broncos
Positions: Tackle (Dave), guard (Doug)
Value of card: Three rubber pieces from a ripped-apart racquetball
Key 1990 stat: 22 times they shaved each other's faces
It's time for another brotherly edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Belief that sleeves are for suckas (Winner: Tie)
Round 2: Penchant for wearing sister's shorts (Winner: Tie)
Round 3: Mad racquetball skills (Winner: Tie)
Round 4: Desire to get sweaty, stay sweaty, live sweaty (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: Sweet high-tops, bro (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Life spent in the shadows (Winner: Tie)
Round 7: Hair (Winner: Doug Widell)
Score: Doug 1, Dave 0, Ties 6
Synopsis: When you have two brothers who are this similar, you're going to have a close contest. But Doug shined, mainly because his brother's head did too.
Name: Reggie Cleveland
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: An empty can of Old Milwaukee
Key 1980 stat: Not yet mentioned in Bill Simmons' column
Fun facts about pitcher Reggie Cleveland and the city of Cleveland, Ohio:
- The city of Cleveland lies on the shore of Lake Erie. Reggie Cleveland has passed out on the shore after drinking too many brewskis.
- The city of Cleveland once saw the Cuyahoga River light on fire. Reggie Cleveland once lit his own flatulence on fire.
- The city of Cleveland is the 45th-largest city in the U.S. Reggie Cleveland had the fourth- or fifth-largest beer gut among the Brewers.
- The city of Cleveland has been called "The Cleve." Reggie Cleveland has been called "The Creep."
- Summers in the city of Cleveland are hot and humid. So are Reggie Cleveland's armpits.
- The city of Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Reggie Cleveland has been to his share of KISS concerts, but will certainly never be in the Hall of Fame.
Name: Kerwin Bell, apparently
Team: Orlando Thunder, apparently
Value of card: The towel tucked into Bell's waistband, unwashed
Key 1991 stat: Was paid to dress like this
Avert your eyes and take this pop quiz: What's the least athletic thing on this card?
A) Kerwin Bell's body
B) Kerwin Bell's name
C) Kerwin Bell's uniform
D) Kerwin Bell's mustache
E) The World League of American Football
Names: Cesar Jimenez, German Jimenez (actually the same person)
Teams: Atlanta Braves, Greenville Braves
Positions: Portly pitcher
Value of card: An ounce of Caesar dressing
Key 1988-89 stat: Zero haircuts (not counting mustache)
It's a mistaken-identity Matchup: Sure, we're aware that the above two cards both feature pitcher German Jimenez, and that Fleer just got his first name wrong (go figure). But that won't stop us from pitting one chunky man against himself.
Round 1: More masculine mustache (Winner: Cesar)
Round 2: Cooler uniform (Winner: Tie)
Round 3: Less racist mascot (Winner: German)
Round 4: Puffier hairdo (Winner: German)
Round 5: Card that vaguely resembles a candy cane (Winner: Cesar)
Round 6: Chins (Winner: German)
Round 7: Worried expression that may portend a dumb mistake on Fleer's part (Winner: Cesar)
Round 8: Insistence upon signing card with his real name (Winner: German)
Final score: German 4, Cesar 3 (Ties: 1)
Synopsis: German survived a blitzkrieg from his made-up counterpart to take a narrow victory. There will be no hailing Cesar, and definitely no hailing Fleer. Real nice work, guys.
Cards submitted by Sean Griffin
Name: Rob Picciolo
Team: Oakland A's
Value of card: It's worth more crumpled up and used for kindling
Key 1978 stat: 440 hours practicing on the piccolo
So, just what does Rob Picciolo stand for:
Rain, his biggest fear
Overhead, a storm is coming; inside him, a storm already rages
Blue-and-violet sky sends shivers up his spine
Perhaps he was struck by lightning; perhaps, it was bird poop
Intimidating skies above frighten him
Clouds, onerous clouds, have been known to make him weep
Curls of his hair even seem to run from the approaching weather
Inside his soul, a young boy — with a mustache — is frightened by the thunder
Others mock him about his fear; others, such as his mother and father
Lightning, thunder, rain, sleet, snow, hail. His nightmares are only of these things
Oh, lord, Rob. Run! It's starting to drizzle!
Names: Some Mets
Team: See above
Positions: Flying, kneeling, kicking
Value of card: 1 cent for each moron in this photo
Key 1991 stat: 487 innings playing grab-ass
It's time for ultra-stupid pop quiz:
Just what the hell are these three Mets players doing?
(A) Practicing for second, more successful careers as mimes.
(B) Losing a baseball game.
(C) The guy on the left is diving; the guy on the ground is shooting dice; the guy on the right is walking like a toy soldier.
(D) "FUN AT THE BALLPARK"
(E) Demonstrating typical Mets baseball
(F) All of the above, except D.
Name: Danny Ainge
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Infield, outfield, shooting guard, whatever
Value of card: Two tainted meatballs
Key 1981 stat: 1-for-9 from the 3-point line
10 reasons Danny Ainge couldn't hack it as a major-leaguer:
10) He'd try to dribble a ground ball after it was hit to him.
9) He'd set screens on the base paths.
8) He kept watching the clock.
7) He'd play man-to-man defense in the outfield.
6) He'd sneakily paint all the balls orange.
5) He'd catch a pitched ball with his bare hands when he was batting and chest-pass it to the guy in the on-deck circle.
4) He kept crossing out "Blue Jays" on his jersey and writing "Celtics."
3) He made his jockstrap and cup out of a nylon net.
2) He made teammates nervous by talking about "hardwood."
1) He wouldn't take off his shorts.
Name: Chris Zorich
Team: Chicago Bears
Position: Defensive tackle
Value of card: 2 inches of elastic from that waistband
Key 1990 stat: 176 chicks propositioned
Chris Zorich's dating profile, circa 1991:
Screen name: BigChris97
Age: Young, son
Height: 6-foot-1 and done
Weight: About 280 of pure muscle
Hair color: Dark
Ethnicity: Croatian, African-American and awesome
Want children? My muscles are my children
Past relationships: All started in the weight room
Best feature: Sweatpants bulge
Smoke? Not this dude
Drink? Protein shakes
Seeking: A buff broad
Location: The Windy City
Her height: 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-6
Her body type: Filled with muscles
Her ethnicity: Tan
About me: What's up, ladies? I'm Big Chris and I'm ready to pump you up, if you know what I mean. Sure, I spend a lot of time in the weight room, but I also spend a lot of time in the bedroom. Wink, wink. Want to sweat it out and share a couple of protein shakes? You can find me at the gym
Name: Taylor Buchholz
Team: Colorado Rockies
Value of card: It ain't worth a buck-(holz)
Key 2007 stat: 712 games of "shadow"
It's time for another edition of ... What are the chances?
What are the chances ...
Buchholz was aware someone was behind him: 85%
Buchholz was aware aware it was the Pirate Parrot mascot behind him: 85%
Buchholz was aware someone behind him was touching him inappropriately: 100%
What are the chances ...
Buchholz was excited about this photo: 45%
Buchholz was embarrassed by this photo: 65%
Buccholz was reliving a decade's worth of childhood nightmares in this photo: 100%
What are the chances ...
Buchholz's relationship with Pirate Parrot was a bit "rocky": 10%
Buchholz and Pirate Parrot were "two birds of a feather": 90%
Buchholz and Pirate Parrot were caught in this compromising position more than once: 100%
What are the chances ...
This card was the best card of Buchholz's career: 100%
This moment was the highlight of Buchholz's career: 100%
This bird was embarrassed to no end to be caught with a pitcher of Buchholz's caliber: 100%
Name: Jack Snow
Team: Los Angeles Rams
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: Three melted snowflakes
Key 1971 stat: Several weeks of regret
Here's what Jack Snow stands for:
Jumping around like a ninny
Acting like a fool
Carrying the ball in way that's just begging for a strip
Kicking his legs in the air like a toddler
Strutting around like an idiot
Nosing ahead in the race for NFC's biggest jackass
Obeying every ridiculous command from the photographer
We didn't even get to his pasted-down hard part. Oh well.
Name: Earl Weaver
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Value of card: A minuscule denomination of money no longer in circulation
Key 1981 stat: 211,900 wrinkles
10 real quotes from the one and only Earl Weaver:
10) "Coaches are an integral part of any manager's team, especially if they are good pinochle players."
9) "We're so bad right now that for us back-to-back home runs means one today and another one tomorrow."
8) "Optimism is the cheerful frame of mind that enables a teakettle to sing, though in hot water up to its nose."
7) "Smart managing is dumb. The three-run homers you trade for in December will always beat brains."
6) "(That umpire) is incompetent. (Those other two umpires) are almost as incompetent as (the first umpire). ... The blind one. ... The worst. ... Not smart enough to remember the rule book. ... If he ever touches me again without that blue uniform on, I'll consider it assault and his family will have to fly to see him at Johns Hopkins Hospital."
5) "Don't worry. The fans don't start booing until July."
4) "I think the National League has better biorhythms in July."
3) "Every time I fail to smoke a cigarette between innings, the opposition will score."
2) "If you know how to cheat, start now."
1) "On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived.'"
Names: Chet Lemon and Dennis Lamp
Team: Chicago White Sox
Positions: Outfield and pitcher, respectively
Value of card: One lamp that doesn't work
Key 1981 stat: One plate of spaghetti shared, a la "Lady and the Tramp"
It's a Name Hall of Fame Matchup between two Pale Hose:
Round 1: Better name (Winner: Lemon, but only because of "Chet")
Round 2: Resemblance to a walrus (Winner: Lamp)
Round 3: Square acreage of collar (Winner: Lemon)
Round 4: Got more ladies to pucker up (Winner: Lamp, surprisingly)
Round 5: Brighter personality (Winner: Lemon, again, surprisingly)
Round 6: Requisite early-'80s hair helmet (Winner: Lamp)
Round 7: Noise-muffling sideburns (Winner: Lamp)
Final score: Lamp 4, Lemon 3
Synopsis: Dennis Lamp shines at the end to peel the victory away from Chet Lemon. Lemon doesn't look too sour about the whole thing, though
Name: Jose Rijo
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Value of card: $5? No way, Jose
Key 1994 stat: One letter away from a Reds player with the last name "Rojo"
It's time for a shady pop quiz:
Why is Jose Rijo wearing those sunglasses?
(A) He pulled them out of a box of Honey Smacks.
(B) He was a huge P.M. Dawn fan.
(C) He always viewed the world through rose-colored glasses, so what the hell.
(D) He just returned from guest starring on "A Different World."
(E) All of the above.
Name: Wilbur Wood
Team: Chicago White Sox
Value of card: Three rotten logs
Key 1976 stat: Got two rave reviews from his dentist
Differences between us and Wilbur Wood:
- We wouldn't sign our first name so huge that we then had to cram our last name in at the end. But Wilbur Wood.
- We wouldn't eat that piece of cheesecake that's been sitting in the fridge for two weeks. But Wilbur Wood.
- We wouldn't stand idly by while Topps airbrushed what appears to be a graduation gown on us. But Wilbur Wood.
- We wouldn't stare up at the Bust Cup and wonder if it was filled with delicious raspberry syrup. But Wilbur Wood.
- We wouldn't let a photographer make our second and third chins the focus of a photo. But Wilbur Wood.
Name: Maury Buford
Team: Chicago Bears
Value of card: Humiliation
Key 1991 stat: Two first names that fell out of fashion long ago
It's a Sunday Caption, which could have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times in 1991, maybe: "Bears punter Maury Buford kneels on the ground and looks longingly after the group of offensive linemen who removed and stole his pants while calling him 'Barfy Muford' as the evening breeze ruffles his windbreaker and mullet Friday morning in Chicago."
Name: Dick "Don't Call Me Richard" Harter
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Value of card: One commercial for Cialis
Key 1989-90 stat: Constantly chuckled at
Yes, we're 13 years old: Dick Harter. Say it out loud. Dick. Harter. Huh-huh. Huh-huh-huh. Dick Harter. Who will Dick Harter insert into the game next? Huh-huh-huh. Dick Harter prefers rigid defense. Huh-huh. Dick Harter has a stiff coaching style. Huh-huh.