9.01.2009

Turk Wendell, 1993 Upper Deck Diamond Debuts

Name: Turk Wendell
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: 13 toothbrush bristles
Key 1992 stat: 795 debilitating superstitions
Turk the jerk: When Turk Wendell was brought up to the big leagues, he made an immediate impression. It wasn't for his fastball, curveball or impressive bulge; it was for his ridiculous, dramatic and embarrassing superstitions. He didn't last long with the Cubs, which, hmm, let's see, partly could have been a product of his having to brush his teeth — yes, brush his teeth, for chris'sakes — between each inning.
10 more of Turk's crippling on-field superstitions:
10) Used a rosin bag as baby powder on his crotch during Saturday afternoon games.
9) Forced grounds crews to trim mullet before starts against National League West teams.
8) Took a whiz in water fountain every time he gave up a go-ahead triple in the 10th inning.
7) Snorted baseline chalk when balk was called with two outs in an inning on a cloudy day.
6) Spit chewing tobacco into his jock strap — which was stuffed with Kitty Litter — when home plate umpire with a moustache was hit with a foul tip by a left-handed hitter.
5) Made sweet love to a catcher's mitt after walking three batters in one-run game during a four-game series.
4) Bit the head off a seagull every time a batter hit a line drive that hit a seagull, dropping the bird to the ground on the infield ... during a twinight doubleheader ... in August.
3) Covered his arm in canola oil before wrapping it with three towels when brushing his teeth after throwing a scoreless inning against a team whose name started with the letter "R."
2) Wore blue socks.
1) Spit toothpaste into an ugly trophy after reading a lackluster blog post about his superstitions.

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