Jim Rosenbohm, 1993 Topps

Name: Jim Rosenbohm
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Five more minutes of recess on the playground
Key 1992 stat: Six-inning complete game in Little League farm division
Giants' scouting report on No. 2 draft pick Jim Rosenbohm: "Has a youthful exuberance, which makes sense for an 11-year-old. ... Averages three walks a day: one to the bus stop, one to the fifth-grade classroom, one to the candy store. ... Needs time to develop his jersey buttoning, possibly with help from his mommy. ... Upper lip capable of decent mustache in six to eight years. ... Throws 67 mph from 45-foot mound. Not sure how that will translate from Little League to the big leagues. ... Has grasp on addition and subtraction, but multiplication tables confuse him. ... Detriment: still collects baseball cards."


Tim Drummond, 1990 Topps

Name: Tim Drummond
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Relief pitcher
Value of card: $1 on a 5-sack
Key 1989 stat: Three bongloads between innings
10 ways Tim Drummond gets stoned before games and photo sessions:
10) He hot-boxes the bullpen car.
9) He uses pipe resin instead of pine tar.
8) He rigs up a pitching machine bong.
7) He gets put on the disabled list with a "joint problem."
6) He hooks up with Twins farmhand Willie Mota.
5) The third-base coach gives him the "green" light.
4) He rolls blunts the size of bats and takes his "hacks."
3) His chewing tobacco has seeds and stems.
2) That's not a mustache. It's a cleverly disguised joint.
1) He steals a bag.



Andy Van Slyke, 1993 Fleer Ultra

Name: Andy Van Slyke
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One burned baseball
Key 1992 stat: 1,930,217 times uttered the word "Whoa!"
Clearing up some rumors about Andy Van Slyke:
  • Van Slyke was not killed by a falling meteor during a game. He was merely injured by one.
  • Van Slyke's face did not freeze that way after making this face.
  • Van Slyke did not start all 162 games in 1992. He did, however, start all of his games falling-down drunk.
  • Van Slyke does not have gills. It just looks like it in the above photo.
  • Andy Van Slyke is, in fact, an anagram for naked navy sly.



Bobby Jones, 1993 Topps Coming Attractions

Name: Bobby Jones
Team: New York Mets
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: 99-cent rental at Blockbuster Video
Key 1992 stat: More strikeouts with girls than on the mound
Mets 1992 scouting report on Bobby Jones: "It's a good thing he can pitch, because he sucks at golf. ... In high school, reportedly ate his weight in popcorn shrimp at Red Lobster. ... Calls his fastball 'The Hairy Mother,' then laughs maniacally. May need some counseling. ... Among his hobbies: avid stamp collector, plays fantasy sports, eats deep-fried candy bars at the county fair. ... Claims to have invented the 10-seam fastball. ... Once got kicked out of a game for calling the home plate umpire 'mommy.' ... Smells vaguely of root beer. ... Plus fastball, plus changeup, plus-plus monobrow."


Maury Wills, 1987 Topps Turn Back the Clock

Name: Maury Wills
BrooklynLos Angeles Dodgers
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: Six splinters from the wood grain within the wood grain
Key 1962 stat: Two mismatched eyes
Topps middle manager marketing pitch, circa 1986: "OK, I have this great idea. In our 1987 set, we include an insert series called 'Turn Back the Clock.' It'll be great. Kids will love getting worthless cards of players they've never heard of. Yeah, yeah, I have the perfect example. We start out with this fabulous card from 1962. It's a classic: Maury Wills, staring blankly at the camera, showing no personality whatsoever, looking like he has never worn a baseball cap before. It's perfect. And you know what's even better? The borders are wood grain, just like the '87 set. So we'll have an emotionless player and wood grain within wood grain. You see the genius here, right, sir? We show our customers we really haven't evolved in 25 years. They'll appreciate how far we haven't come. Uh-huh. Yes, I thought of it myself. What do you mean, 'Have I been drinking?' Well, I don't have any better ideas."



Jose Canseco, 1990 Topps Kmart Super Stars

Name: Jose Canseco
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Blue Light Special sale price: $Dung
Key 1989 stat: 26-inch mullet
Fun Facts about Kmart and Jose Canseco:
  • Kmart offers deals to customers. Canseco offers deals for performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Kmart caters to the working class. Canseco has no class, working or otherwise.
  • Kmart sells toddler-size T-shirts. Canseco is wearing one.
  • Kmart once had Blue Light Specials. Canseco once had "something special" in the red light district.
  • Kmart is an upfront business. Canseco's hair is business up front, party in the back.
  • Kmart used to advertise Jordache jeans. So did Canseco.



Norm Thompson, 1977 Topps (Football Friday No. 43)

Name: Norm Thompson
Team: Baltimore Colts
Position: Cornerback
Value of card: 50-cent Ace comb, used
Key 1976 stat: One painted-on jersey
Mother knows best: Norm Thompson was excited. It was picture day at training camp, and he had been working on his 'fro all spring and summer, trying to look like his idol, Oscar Gamble. Thompson was about to grab his keys and head to practice when a knock came at his door. He opened it to find his mother, hands on hips, foot tapping, with a menacing look on her face. Mrs. Thompson grabbed Normie by the ear, marched him into the bathroom and handed him a comb. "You're not going to practice looking like that," she scolded. "Now get to combing!" Thompson spent the next 30 minutes transforming his afro into the hardest part since Adolf Hitler's. The only thing that hurt worse than his scalp that day was the mocking from his teammates — and the Topps photographer.


Bo Jackson, 1989 Topps

Name: Bo Jackson
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Value of card: What's cheaper than dirt? See above
Key 1988 stat: 23,854 times awestruck
It's time for a Bo-dacious pop quiz:

What has Bo Jackson so enthralled?

(A) He sees a guy who looks just like him playing running back for the Raiders.
(B) Nothing. He's blinded by the reflection from his bright-blue pants.
(C) He's gazing upon Kansas City, and is amazed by the dullness.
(D) He has never seen a center fielder so fetching.
(E) Bulge.
(F) None of the above



Rick Wilkins, 1992 Upper Deck

Name: Rick Wilkins
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Catcher
Value of card: A piece of chalk
Key 1991 stat: 92 times stepped on
Excellent plate coverage: There are catchers who block the plate, and then there was Rick Wilkins. Any time a play began to develop at home, Wilkins would belly-flop across the dish and wait for the throw home. Once it came, he would hold the ball high in the air, growling at the runner and cursing his mother's name. Opponents, unable to touch home, would either have to sneak a hand in under Wilkins' crotch or stomp on the small of his back until he rolled over, bleeding and semi-conscious. Most chose the latter, ending Wilkins' career after two injury-plagued seasons.



Fred Lynn, 1989 Topps

Name: Fred Lynn
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Three used dryer sheets
Key 1988 stat: 491 times asked, "Why so serious?"
And the award goes to: In 1975, Fred Lynn became the first player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. Here are some other awards he received over the course of his career:

1977: Gray's Auto Body customer of the month (April)
1979: Major League Baseball Spelling Bee participant award
1982: Wiener and Still Champion award (most hot dogs eaten in one hour at First National Frank in Boston)
1983: Spanish 102 student of the year at Landau Community College
1985: "I Survived The Zipper" T-shirt, Frederick County Fair
1987: $5 loyal customer gift card from Cork & Bottle Liquor Store, Baltimore, Md.
1988: 14th-place trophy, 33rd Annual Detroit Three-Man Potato Sack Race
1990: Best back rub of the year, according to Tony Gwynn


Harold Reynolds, 1989 Fleer

Name: Harold Reynolds
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Second base
Value of card: A princely sum
Key 1990 stat: One search for love in an unfamiliar land
Coming to Seattle: Harold Reynolds, then named Akeem Joffer, the prince and heir to the throne of Zamunda, isn't content with his pampered life and royal bathers. Akeem concocts a plan to travel to America in search of love after his parents, the king and queen of the African nation, present him with a bride-to-be trained to obey his every command. Akeem and his servant, Semmi, arrive in Seattle, and take up residence at a rat-infested apartment. Akeem wants to hide their wealth, so he leaves behind all his possessions and takes the name "Harold." But he can't completely let go of Zamunda and his royal life. After much soul-searching, Akeem begins wearing a wristband with the word "prince" stitched across it, but otherwise he hides his connection to the throne. After about 20 minutes, Akeem and Semmi find jobs with the locally owned baseball franchise, and Akeem soon falls in love with the owner's daughter, an ambitious woman dating one of the doctors from "ER." From there, hilarity ensues, including when Akeem pretends to be a handful of people, including a barber and a testy elderly man. Near the end of his time in Seattle, a Soul Glo worker finds out Akeem's secret because of the wristband, forcing the prince to leave Seattle for another role.



Rich "Goose" Gossage, 1989 Topps

Name: Rich "Goose" Gossage
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Closer
Value of card: Junkyard handlebars from a rusty tricycle
Key 1988 stat: 12,831 "gooses" to teammates' backsides
Clearing up some rumors about Goose Gossage's mustache:
  • Gossage didn't call his facial hair a "handlebar mustache." He called it "The Whole Damn Motorcycle."
  • Gossage didn't always wear a handlebar mustache. Sometimes he flipped it over and wore sideburns and a beard.
  • Gossage didn't steer his motorcycle. His mustache did.
  • Gossage didn't wear a mouth guard. His mustache guarded it alone.
  • Gossage didn't use a razor to shave his face. He used a bazooka and band saw.
  • Gossage didn't eat. He was nourished by the power of the handlebar.



Chuck McElroy, 1992 Studio

Name: Chuck McElroy
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Relief pitcher
Value of card: Two used contact lenses, rubbed in dirt
Key 1991 stat: One turtleneck worn, 162 games, 162 lonely nights
Script from Acuvue Moist Contact Lenses commercial, circa 1992: "Hey there, sports fans. I'm Chuck McElroy, a mediocre relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. As you can see from the photo behind me, I know something about wearing massive, hideous, windshield-size glasses. I'd wake up every day with neck pain. I'd get laughed at in pool halls. Teammates started calling me 'The Engineer.' It was no walk in the park. (Cut to shot of Wrigley Field.) But then I got Moist. Acuvue Moist Contact Lenses, that is. (Cut to shot of McElroy winding up and throwing a package of contact lenses at the camera.) Take it from a career 38-30 middle relief pitcher with mediocre facial hair to match a mediocre arm: When you get Moist, you get in the game."



Dan Dierdorf, 1979 Topps (Football Friday No. 42)

Name: Dan Dierdorf
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Offensive tackle
Value of card: Two 99-cent cheeseburgers from a Dumpster
Key 1978 stat: 22 pancake blocks (eaten in one sitting)
It's an offensive (line) pop quiz:

Why, oh why, is Dan Dierdorf despondent?

(A) He's looking at his stomach.
(B) His bulge's width is overshadowing his bulge's length.
(C) Despite his haircut and mustache, he was cut from the Hall and Oates tribute band, Brawl and Goats.
(D) His "Dierdorf on Golf" straight-to-video instructional series was eclipsed by a smaller gentleman.
(E) He has more chins than a ... what was that joke?
(F) The Nintendo Power Glove he's wearing is too tight.
(G) His dreams are filled with Dick (Enberg). Oh my.
(H) All of the above.



Ron Karkovice, 1991 Donruss

Name: Ron Karkovice
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Catcher
Value of card: One blank fortune-cookie fortune
Key 1990 stat: Four house-training lessons
The new legend: After finding so much success with Greg "The Kodiak Brute" Luzinski, the Chicago White Sox sent scouts all over the world, looking for their next slugger. They needn't have bothered — he was already on the South Side. Abandoned at age 7, Ron Karkovice grew up feral along the shores of Lake Michigan, fishing with his bare hands, building a shelter out of mud and garbage, and befriending a family of raccoons. At age 24, the hulking Karkovice was spotted by a scout sailing the lake. The scout saw the next Luzinski, but lightning did not strike twice for the Pale Hose. Karkovice had never seen a baseball bat before, and swung over more curveballs than Pedro Cerrano. But his years of snagging carp out of Lake Michigan had made him quick-handed, with reflexes previously unseen in baseball. As a catcher, he knocked down pitches eight feet outside the zone, and only a few times did he try to eat them. The Sox stuck him behind the plate, batted him ninth and tried to ignore the stench of seaweed emanating from his golden locks.


Lenny Webster, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Lenny Webster
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Catcher
Value of card: A used piece of gauze
Key 1992 stat: One new scar
We've got questions, you've got a pop quiz:

What just happened to Lenny Webster?

A) Drilled in the ear hole by Nolan Ryan
B) Punched in the neck by Tom Brunansky
C) Judo chopped in the jaw by Alan Trammell
D) Got in the ring with Mike Tyson
E) Got an earful — literally — after sitting too close to Kent Hrbek's spit cup



Craig McMurtry, 1986 Topps

Name: Craig McMurtry
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One stick
Key 1985 stat: Zero times blown over
Weight training in Atlanta: At 6-foot-6, 138 pounds, Craig McMurtry was not exactly the most intimidating presence on the mound. Sure, he won 15 games his rookie season, but he also was charged with 7 balks, each coming when he'd get knocked over by a strong gust of wind. The Braves attempted to get McMurtry to eat more, lift weights and put rolls of quarters in his pockets. Nothing really worked — that is, until the team optometrist realized the righty needed glasses. He was fitted with 22-pound lenses and steel frames large enough to hold hamster wheels. McMurtry also took some initiative, adding a bushy handlebar mustache and seven inches of teeth. And while he was never relevant in baseball again, at least he looked good in the bullpen.



Shawon Dunston, 1989 Topps

Name: Shawon Dunston
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: One thrift-store Christmas sweater
Key 1988 stat: Four cases of hypothermia
Putting the "O" back in Shawon: In 1988, Shawon Dunston was mired in the worst slump of his career. Hitting .131 through the first two months of the season, Dunston sat down with manager Don Zimmer for a chat. "You need to heat up," the large-headed Zimmer told his struggling shortstop, "or you're coming out of the lineup." Never a mental giant, Dunston took Zimmer's advice literally. The next afternoon, Dunston stepped out of the dugout wearing three thermal undershirts, a cardigan and a turtleneck under his jersey. Drenched in sweat, he hit safely in his first two at-bats before collapsing from dehydration.


Mike Mussina, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Mike Mussina
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: A pile of moose dung
Key 1990 stat: Zero complete mustaches
Orioles' scouting report on prospect Mike Mussina: Has four solid pitches, plus a couple of liquid ones. ... Mike is actually short for Michelle. I know, weird, huh? ... Wears too much cologne. ... Despite his nickname, has never had contact with a moose (at least, that he'll admit to). ... Not sure about his smarts. When told he'd be starting for the Suns, he asked "Point guard or power forward?" ... Makes a delicious green bean casserole. ... Patchy facial hair will never win over the ladies. ... Wrote something obscene on Billy Ripken's bat handle. ... He's probably going to be a stud, so make sure not to let him sign as a free agent with the Yankees!


Brad Komminsk, 1988 Donruss

Name: Brad Komminsk
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Positions: Outfield, designated hitter
Value of card: One VHS copy of "The Tonight Show" that aired Feb. 23, 1997
Key 1987 stat: 40 square feet of jowl
Top 10 things Brad Komminsk could do with that jaw:
10) Host a late-night talk show
9) Provide an African village with shade
8) Generate 5,000 watts of electricity just by chewing
7) Grow a beard large enough to challenge Jeff Reardon's
6) Cut it in half and donate it to some poor, jawless bastard
5) Plant shrubs on it
4) Protect humanity by deflecting asteroids
3) Store a metric ton's worth of acorns for winter
2) Stuff it with enough chew to kill Bigfoot
1) Inspire a cartoon character


Junior Seau, 1994 Topps Stadium Club Members Only (Football Friday No. 41)

Name: Junior Seau
Team: San Diego Chargers
Position: Linebacker
Value of card: Ow — zilch
Key 1993 stat: One product line bankruptcy
10 items in the Say-Ow Gear product line:
10) The Say-Ow Abscess Patch
9) The "Junior" Say-Ow Baby Bib Choker
8) The Say-Ow Mustache Plucker
7) The Say-Ow Broken Leg (Seau himself comes to your home and snaps your femur like a twig)
5) The Say-Ow Respect Reducer (seen above)
4) The Say-Ow Nose Flattener
3) The Say-Ow Home Enema Kit
2) The Say-Ow Practical Visor (bill facing the correct way, thus serving its purpose to shade one's eyes from sunlight)
1) The Say-Ow Pun Generator (recalled)



Kendall Gill, 1993-94 Upper Deck Checklist (NBA Finals Week No. 7)

Name: Kendall Gill
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Position: Guard/forward
Value of card: One probe
Key 1993 stat: One crashed pilot
Kendall Gill is not an alien: The above illustration was originally made for Kendall Gill's television pilot, "ALF: Alien Life Forward," about a creature from another world who crash lands on our planet with no way to get home. After being adopted by a middle-class family in Charlotte, the 6-foot-5 creature ends up signing a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets. He then learns that the NBA is actually populated with all kinds of aliens, including Sam Cassell, Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan. Hilarity ensues. The show never aired, as network executives realized that it somehow had managed to be even less funny than the original "ALF."

Toni Kukoc, 1994-95 Fleer Pro-Vision (NBA Finals Week No. 6)

Name: Toni Kukoc
Team: Chicago Bulls
Position: Small forward
Value of card: One ruble
Key 1994 stat: Zero puzzles completed
Choose your own illustrated adventure: You are Dustin Swift, a 14-year-old boy living in Starkville, Miss. You are putting together the world's easiest puzzle, of a slightly above-average NBA player whose main claim to fame was causing Scottie Pippen to throw a snit fit. You're holding the second-to-last piece, wishing that you were skateboarding; instead you're grounded and taking a break from sorting through a stack of ridiculous baseball cards. What do you do next?

To put the piece in its place, click here.
To scrap the puzzle and go hunting for porn in your older brother's room, click here.
To say screw it and go back to that stupid choose-your-own-adventure book you were reading earlier, click here.


Patrick Ewing, 1991 Fleer Pro-Visions (NBA Finals Week No. 5)

Name: Patrick Ewing
Team: New York Knicks
Position: Center
Value of card: 34 bone spurs in knees
Key 1990 stat: 7,000 inches tall
This pop quiz is a tall order:

Just how tall is Patrick Ewing?

(A) He dwarfs buildings ... in LEGO Land.
(B) His armpit stench changes the color of the sky.
(C) His flat top lines were made by airplane propellers.
(D) He plays basketball with the moon.
(E) His glistening hair sweat causes monsoons.
(F) When his knees crack, nations go deaf.
(G) All of the above.



Robert Horry, 1992-93 Fleer Ultra (NBA Finals Week No. 4)

Name: Robert Horry
Team: Houston Rockets
Position: Forward
Value of card: One hip check
Key 1992 stat: Half a mustache grown
Houston Rockets scouting report on top draft pick Robert Horry: "Needs to work on his shot selection and tie selection. ... His mustache tested negative for performance-enhancing Sharpie ink. ... Not afraid to borrow his dad's 18-button suit for a photo shoot. ... Has never committed a foul during a game, according to him. ... Thinks he's a real big shot. ... Has professed his love for Hakeem Olajuwon. Not admiration. Love. Olajuwon has hired an attorney. ... Insists on eating mashed potatoes with every meal, including breakfast. ... His ability to shoot the 3 is surpassed only by his ability to be a dick. ... Has an unhealthy obsession with rock band Great White. ... Has a tendency to crack under pressure; will likely never be good in crunch time."


Michael Jordan, 1991-92 NBA Hoops Tribune Headliners (NBA Finals Week No. 3)

Name: Michael Jordan
Team: Chicago Bulls
Positions: Shooting guard, in the air
Value of card: A smudge of newspaper ink
Key 1990-91 stat: One more failing newspaper
10 other headlines from this moment of the 1991 Finals:
10) Jordan scores, Lakers just stand around
9) Jordan somehow makes it past Divac's armpit stench
8) 1991: The year of the Bulls and short-shorts
7) NBA Hoops photographer too lazy to get front-facing shot
6) Jordan scores, gets felt up by Divac
5) Bald wins, beard loses
4) Three black dudes, one white dude can't stop black dude
3) Oh my god, there's a floating hand on the right!
2) Jordan overcomes yellow fever
1) Jordan, Bulls win first NBA title as Johnson stands erect



Chuck Daly and Pat Riley, 1990-91 NBA Hoops (NBA Finals Week No. 2)

Names: Chuck Daly, Pat Riley
Teams: Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers
Positions: Coaches
Value of card: A small pile of gray hairs
Key 1989-90 stat: Two executive haircuts
Coaches are in the spotlight in The Matchup:

Round 1: Popped collar (Winner: Daly)
Round 2: Leather skin (Winner: Riley)
Round 3: Look of love (Winner: Tie)
Round 4: Rolex knock-off (Winner: Daly)
Round 5: Chest hair poof (Winner: Riley)
Round 6: Inch-deep wrinkles (Winner: Tie)
Round 7: Womanly features (Winner: Daly)
Round 8: Umbrella-sized ears (Winner: Riley)
Round 9: Mafia hair helmet (Winner: Riley)

Score: Riley 4, Daly 3, Ties 2

Synopsis: It took the entire All-Star Weekend to figure it out, but Lakers coach Pat Riley squeezed out a victory against the Pistons' Chuck Daly by the slimmest of margins. The outcome again proves that no matter how much two grown men seem to lust for each other, there are no friends in The Matchup.



Moses Malone, 1988-89 Fleer (NBA Finals Week No. 1)

Name: Moses Malone
Washington BulletsAtlanta Hawks
Position: Center
Value of card: The air from a deflated basketball
Key 1987-88 stat: Two sets of eyes
Hey, four eyes: When Moses Malone signed with Atlanta, he brought with him a crisp shooting touch, a strong inside presence, a defensive mind set and what was probably his most valuable contribution, two sets of eyes. Malone had eyes just above his nose, where normal people have them. But he also had a set at his hairline, allowing him to see the court in ways others couldn't. With one set of eyes trained on his defensive assignment, Malone could scan the court for possible passing or driving lanes with the other set, allowing him to get a lot of steals and stop opponents from penetrating lanes. There was a problem, though: Malone's top eyes were nearly blind, which forced him to wear massive goggles with Styrofoam floatation devices around them. But this didn't worry the Hawks' owners. They had faith Moses would take them to the promised land.



Ken Griffey Jr., 1989 Star

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: The Future
Value of card: One retirement
Key career stat: 1 million times asked what might have been
Goodbye, Kid: Ken Griffey Jr., seen above being interviewed by a man with a silver tabby cat on his head, announced his retirement from baseball Wednesday. Thus ends a spectacular career that could have been even better had Griffey's ligaments and bones not been made of wax paper. The 1997 AL MVP appeared in 13 All-Star games and hit 630 career home runs, fifth-most all time. He's a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but today, even more importantly, he becomes a Baseball Card Bust MBP — Most Busted Player. Let's relive some of his memorable moments here.
  • Old-timey Kid carries a sandwich around in his pocket.
  • Griffey Jr. and Sr.: From TV superstars to prostituted has-beens.
  • Junior the magician levitates bats, balls and hearts.
  • Griffey loses his only Matchup to Tubby and The Bone.
  • The Kid and some other potential MBPs shine.
  • Put on your sunglasses and prepare for the fuchsia.


Surgery, 1986 Topps

Name: Surgery
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Seven ligament fragments
Key 1985 stat: 211 times under the scalpel
Player and procedure become one: The year was 1974, and a young pitcher named Surgery was enjoying a successful season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Surgery spent the first half of the season mowing down batters, but spent the second half of the season mowed down by an injury. Surgery still had a passion for the game, so he opted for a procedure that had never been tested on a human. The procedure was called "Tommy John surgery," named after the two most generic first names for white Americans. Surgery went under the scalpel, and came out a better pitcher. As can be seen in the card above, Surgery went on to play until age 68, thus paving the way for hundreds of players who regained their form after the Tommy John procedure. Surgery, the man, felt so indebted to the procedure that he took its name as his own.
Fun (true) fact: Tommy John decided to retire in 1989 after 26 major league seasons when he surrendered two hits to Mark McGwire in his rookie season. McGwire's father had been John's dentist years before. When asked about his decision, John said, "When your dentist's kid starts hitting you, it's time to retire."



Rafael Ramirez, 1986 Topps

Name: Rafael Ramirez
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: Three pine-tar pancakes
Key 1985 stat: Two-hour photo session, one usable photo
Conversation between Topps photographer and Rafael Ramirez, April 17, 1986: "Hey, Rafael. I'm here to take your picture for the 1986 set. (Photographer looks up from notebook at Ramirez for the first time; shiver runs through his body.) Jesus, you're ugly. (pause) Sorry, that was rude. OK, let's get this over with. Now just look in the camera. No, the camera. You're looking into right field. At least one eye is. Look at the camera. The camera. Rafael. Please look at the camera. How do you play this game with eyes like that? OK, forget your eyes for now. Just suck in your gut and close your mouth. Can you understand the words I'm saying? Look at the camera. Suck in your gut. Close your mouth. You're not going to do any of those things, are you? Oh my god, you're kind of looking at the camera. At least with one eye. Fine. Fantastic. We'll go with that. You know, when you're done with baseball, you might want to try modeling."