Name: Shon Ashley
Team: Stockton (Calif.) Ports
Value of card: 2 NewPorts
Key 1987 stat: 7 days spent in Stockton 1 night
Seattle Mariners' scouting report on minor-league prospect Shon Ashley: "Five-tool player. Of course, one of those tools is a hammer and another is a wrench. ... Minor-league 'stache, big-league arm hair. ... Tough to evaluate anyone in a uniform like that. ... Decent argument to bring him up just to get the poor guy out of Stockton. ... Could distract the pitcher if he actually bats like this. ... Not sure we want anyone on our team who spells 'Shon' like that."
Card submitted by Zach Jones
Name: Dave Stewart
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Value of card: Whatever Stew says
Key 1981 stat: 451 people intimidated
It's time for a serious pop quiz:
Would you mess with Stew?
(B) Hell no.
(C) Absolutely not.
(D) For the love of god, no.
(E) (runs away)
(F) All of the above
Name: Luis Aquino
Team: Kansas City Royals
Value of card: 1/22,100 of the cost of those gold chains
Key 1990 stat: 18 pounds of jewelry
Some things you might not know about Luis Aquino:
- His mustache was so razor-sharp he used it to shave off his sideburns.
- His mullet alone qualified him to be a ranchera singer.
- In this photo, he was staring down Mr. T in a chain-intimidation attempt.
- He had as many holes in his cheek as he did in his jersey.
- He went on the 15-day disabled list with neck fatigue.
Name: Tommy John
Team: New York Yankees
Value of card: It's value is fuzzy
Key 1981 stat: Zero revolutionary surgeries
Photos so crisp, it's like you're at the ballpark: Above we see another fine example of that world-renowned Topps quality in the 1980s. But the blurry, washed-out picture on this card had to beat out a handful of other options, one would think
- A blurry photo of Tommy John's windup from the back side
- A blurry photo of Tommy John standing in the dugout
- A blurry photo of Tommy John picking his nose
- A blurry photo of Tommy John's UCL scar
- A blurry photo of some guy named John Thomas
- A perfectly clear photo of Reggie Jackson with Tommy John in the background
Name: Pete Vuckovich
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: One copy of "Major League" on VHS (with no VCR to play it)
Key 1983 stat: Enough hair to clothe a third-world country
The joke's on us: Dear readers (yes, all eight of you), we owe you an apology. It has come to our attention that early in our run of mediocrity, we passed on to you some bad information. You see, Pete Vuckovich here was featured on the second card we ever posted on this site, and the story that accompanied it, it turns out, was blatantly false. Pete was never a swamp cooler repairman; in fact, his major league career lasted 11 season and he even won the Cy Young! That'll teach us to believe everything we hear from Bob Uecker.
Name: Conrad Dobler
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Value of card: The same as if this card was ripped into tiny pieces
Key 1977 stat: Hair on only three-quarters of scalp
Conrad Dobler's musical train of thought from 9:45 to 9:47 a.m., Oct. 23, 1977: "Mister Trouble never hangs around when he hears this mighty sound: 'Here I come to save the day!' That means that Mighty Conrad's on his way. Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right, Mighty Conrad will join the fight. On the sea or on the land, he gets the situation well in hand. We're not worryin' at all. We're just listenin' for his call. 'Here I come to save the day!' That means that Mighty Conrad's on his way."
Name: Bob Kipper
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Value of card: As much garbage as you can fit in that hat
Key 1985 stat: 365 kips (British slang for naps)
Conversation between a Topps photographer and Bob Kipper during spring training in 1986:
Topps photog: "Hi Bob, we're gonna take some photos
Bob Kipper: "Huh? Oh, hey, man. You got any chips? And dip?"
TP: "Hmm, no. I was just going to take your picture. Do you want to stand up?"
BK: "No, man, I'm good. Standing's just so strenuous, you know? It's much cooler staying close to the ground. With the Earth."
TP: "Well, I guess that'll work. Can you open your eyes a little more, though?"
BK: "My eyes are open, man. Wide open. I can see everything, you know?"
TP: "Oh yes, and I can see what you've been up to, for sure. But before a baseball game? That's so nuts."
BK: "Doughnuts? I love doughnuts! Can I have one, man?"
TP: "Um, sure." (Hands Kipper a batting doughnut) "Chew on that for a little while."
Name: Greg Maddux
Team: Atlanta Braves
Value of card: Paint on your carpet
Key 1994 stat: One foot much smaller than the other, apparently
Here's a literal interpretation of the above masterpiece: A sullen and stranded Greg Maddux waits for rescue while sitting atop a giant dirt clod rising from the ocean at the very edge of the earth. Too depressed to feed himself by trying to grab the fish jumping just inches away from him, Maddux is unaware that he is about to be pummeled by a hailstorm of baseballs as two ships shaped like gigantic Cy Young trophies sail right past him.
Name: Gary Pettis
Team: California Angels
Value of card: 14 plucked nose hairs
Key 1984 stat: 25 performances as part of the Sexy Angels Chippendale crew
It's time for an angelic pop quiz:
What's Gary Pettis pointing at?
(A) His sixth-grade classmate.
(B) A handful of teammates making fun of this pose.
(C) Someone else with freakishly huge hands.
(D) He's not pointing; he's using the wrong finger to signal his dissatisfaction with this card.
(E) All of the above.
Name: Mike Griffin
Team: New York Yankees
Value of card: So little, those creases don't decrease the value
Key 1980 stat: Hold on, we're still looking ... looking ... looking ...
This card is so bad, it's time for a rant: Excellent work, Fleer. Once again, you fine folks have outdone yourselves. What a photo choice. So much action. Mike Griffin just jumps off the cardboard and into our living rooms. Few things in sports are more exciting than a pitcher hanging out in the dugout watching a game. Riveting stuff. And don't worry about getting a shot of this guy in his real uniform. Collectors everywhere prefer shots of guys that make them look like they're on a beer league softball team. We must give you kudos, however, for choosing to keep the random flannel guy in the crop. Totally necessary. Well, at least this card has one redeeming quality: Griffin looks a lot like Larry Bird.
Name: Yogi Berra
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Bench coach
Value of card: "Ninety percent of the value is half of nothing," Berra said.
Key 1986 stat: 1 bench coach featured on a baseball card (all time)
Some of the leading Yogiisms that Berra used when helping coach the Astros in 1986:
- "You could observe a lot by watching this group. Well, maybe not."
- "It ain't over till it's over, unless we're talking about our World Series chances, which are over."
- "Watching this team lose is deja vu all over again."
- "Nobody comes to the Astrodome anymore. It's too crowded."
- "This team is a bunch of overwhelming underdogs. Make that underwhelming overdogs."
- "They made too many wrong mistakes."
Name: Sean Berry
Team: Memphis Chicks
Position: Third base
Value of card: One berry, eaten by a baby chicken and then crapped out
Key 1989 stat: Was a Chick
Well, well, another winner: Oh, just fantastic work here, ProCards. We won't even worry about your card design, with the giant block of red not even half-filled with that text that looks like it was stamped on. What the crap is this photo? Did your photographer half-ass it because he was disappointed that the Memphis Chicks were not, in fact a women's baseball team? Or did this consummate professional intentionally have everyone pose so that their faces would be buried in shadow? Whatever the case, one thing is for certain: this whole card was triple-A-ball, indeed.
Name: Don Shula
Team: Miami Dolphins
Value of card: A pound of neon chalk dust
Key 1990 stat: Mentioned 2,497 times that the '72 Dolphins went undefeated
It's a Football Friday edition of The Caption, which might have appeared in the Miami Herald circa 1990: "Dolphins head coach Don Shula attempts to laugh off being ditched by a group of his players at a Latin nightclub late Friday night in downtown Miami. Shula sat quietly in a corner for two hours, his smile eventually turning to tears, before Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino showed up, carried Shula out of the club in his arms and placed him in the passenger seat of his car."
Name: Biff Pocoroba
Team: Atlanta Braves
Value of card: 11 wispy hairs from that mustache
Key 1980 stat: 22 times said, "We're in Hotlanta," when it was warm outside
Well-earned induction: We here at The Bust would like to welcome Biff Pocoroba to the Name Hall of Fame. Biff joins an exclusive group, which includes the great Rowland Office, the renowned Charles Assmann, the legendary Dick Pole and, of course, Rusty Kuntz. Biff's name doesn't convey sexual innuendo or sound like a law firm, but it is one of the funnest names in the world to say out loud and references the best character in the "Back to the Future" series. (Isn't that right, butthead?) In Spanish, his surname loosely translates to "little steals," which is pretty awesome for a catcher. And, let's be honest, anyone who lets everyone call him "Biff" has earned his spot in the Name Hall of Fame.
Name: John Kruk
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: First base
Value of card: The paint it took to make that earring
Key 1993 stat: Three colors of hair
Let's check out what's on John Kruk's checklist:
- Wear an octopus under the hat (check)
- Look suspiciously like a feudal Japan-era samurai (check)
- Misapply sunscreen, resulting in four colors of skin (check)
- Resemble the Wolverine, albeit with an extra chin (check)
- Appear on a baseball card that's a true work of art (no check here)
Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp