6.30.2009

Mario Ramirez, 1986 Topps

Name: Mario Ramirez
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: A lifetime of smiles
Key 1985 career stat: .192 batting average
Mario's not-so-super moment: Mario Ramirez was a happy-go-lucky fellow, the kind of guy who could brighten a locker room with his big, bushy smile. He was also gullible, and his teammates loved taking advantage of this fact. But when Mario asked Steve Garvey what the new letters on the sleeves of their uniforms meant during spring training in 1985, it set in motion a series of events that would end Ramirez's baseball career. Garvey knew that RAK were the initials of Ray A. Kroc, former Padres owner and the man responsible for such atrocities as the McPizza and McRib. Instead, Garvey told Mario they stood for the team's new motto, "Really Ass-Kicking." It was an endless inside joke in the clubhouse, but Mario got a little carried away. "Hey, Topps camera guy," he yelled shortly before the photo on this card was taken, "Padres are Really Ass-Kicking!" Unfortunately, a prominent San Diego sports journalist was on the field at the time, and publicly berated the cheerful shortstop for not respecting the late Mr. Kroc. Ramirez, ashamed and heartbroken, chose to make up for his guffaw by retiring from baseball and spending his life savings on the first 10,000 pack of Chicken McNuggets.
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