5.30.2010

Nick Leyva, 1989 Topps

Name: "Fat" Nick "The Tuna" Leyva
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Genovese Family
Positions: Manager, Capo
Value of card: "Hey, oh, who's askin', wiseguy?"
Key 1988 stat: 162 times the Phillies didn't cover the spread
The Legend of Fat Nick the Tuna: As a mid-level mafioso, "Fat" Nick "The Tuna" Leyva bungled orders and commanded little respect. His racket was gambling, but the bosses couldn't bet on his results. Fat Nick was a made guy, so whacking him wasn't in the cards. "Hey, oh, this Fat Nick, he's a strunzo. I need a bigger taste of the baseball business," one boss said to another over some gabagool. "In this thing of ours, ya know, a guy like Fat Nick can be valuable," the other boss said. "Let's send this jamoke to Philadelphia and get him in the game." Within weeks, Fat Nick the Tuna was reassigned from Brooklyn to Philadelphia, where he gave the Phillies' owner an offer he couldn't refuse. Fat Nick was named the manager in 1988, and the team fell short of the spread in every game that season. The Phillies' play suffered under the weight of Fat Nick's questionable decisions, but the family in New York raked in the dough. Fans said the team was in the dumps. Fat Nick agreed, somewhat: "My crew, we're in the waste management business."

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