5.10.2010

Joe DeSa, 1986 Topps

Name: Joe "El Tigre" DeSa
Teams: Chicago White Sox, Sinaloa Cartel
Positions: First base, drug kingpin
Value of card: 1 kilo
Key 1985 stat: 347 gangland killings ordered
The boss of bosses: In the early 1980s, Jose "El Tigre" DeSa ruled much of Mexico with an iron fist ... an iron fist of blood. He was responsible for nearly a third of all the cocaine that flooded across the U.S. border and ordered hundreds of killings with his trademark "sign of death," a stroke of his mustache. He was worth millions and had more power than the president, but the law was fast approaching. El Tigre, who earned the nickname because his mustache and eyebrows looked like tiger stripes, knew he needed to transform his life or he would rot in jail for decades. After a midmorning meal, El Tigre saw his children playing catch in a field on his ranch. At that moment he knew: His new life would be baseball.
A regular Joe: Jose "El Tigre" DeSa's first order of business was drastically changing his name to something unrecognizable. He became Joe "El Tigre" DeSa, a first baseman with a monobrow as wicked as his taste for blood. He had trouble finding a team until he sliced out the kidney of the White Sox's director of scouting. From there, drug runs turned into home runs, kilos became singles, triple-murders turned into triples and, yes, hits became hits.

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