Harold Baines, 1992 Donruss Triple Play

Name: Harold Baines
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Designated hitter
Value of card: The gum stuck under the desk at which you're sitting
Key 1991 stat: 188 strands of gum stuck in Baines' beard
Script from Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum commercial, circa 1991: "(Gum bubble bursts in camera.) Hey, kids, Harold Baines here for Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum. I'm a designated hitter on the diamond, but I'm a designated blower everywhere else. (Baines blows a bubble that splatters all over his face. He uses his tongue to get it off.) I blow at home. I blow in the car. I blow in the store. I blow on the streets. I blow in alleys. I blow in bath houses. I blow whenever I see a teammate in the locker room. I blow whenever I get the chance. You see, kids, it's all about blowing. And if you want to blow the best, blow Bazooka Joe. You get a good pop in your mouth every time."



O.J. McDuffie, 1993 Upper Deck Star Rookies (Football Friday No. 48)

Name: O.J. McDuffie
Team: Miami Dolphins
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: 4 grams of used kitty litter
Key 1992 stat: Walked everywhere in full uniform and pads
Miami Dolphins scouting report on top draft choice O.J. McDuffie: "Earned a degree in labor relations, so he's probably a hard worker. Or maybe a Teamster. ... All the guys were jealous of his super slim waistline. ... Played for Joe Paterno, so he'll have no trouble with our crusty, old coach, Don Shula. ... Excellent knitter. ... Last name is a little girly. ... May be the key to getting Marino a Super Bowl ring — hopefully that way he'll actually stop whining about it for once. ... Says his life dream is to join Boyz II Men. ... Spends a little too much time around statues of lions. ... Has the same first name as O.J. Simpson, and he was real fast."


Frank Thomas, 1991 Star Pics

Name: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First base
Value of card: 6 kilos of nuclear waste
Key 1990 stat: 15 megawatts of home run power
10 names Frank Thomas called his bats:
10) Atomic Long Bombs
9) The Radiation Run Producers
8) Upgrades from Dynamite
7) The (Burned to a Crisp) Louisville Sluggers
6) Three Times the Fusion
5) Lumber Reactors
4) Bats of Mass Destruction
3) "Fat Man," "Little Boy" and "The One I Don't Use"
2) The Nuclear Family
1) The Chernobyl Sticks



Kirt Manwaring, 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Kirt Manwaring
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Catcher
Value of card: One point
Key 1991 stat: Constantly frightened
Kirt Manwaring here with a pop quiz:


(A) Where? What? Where?
(B) It's first base, Kirt. I know you don't get there very often, but relax.
(C) Chill out, Kirt. It's just Kevin Mitchell's bulge.
(D) Whoa there, big guy. It's only Darren Lewis' fade.
(E) None of the above.


Bobby Bonilla's sunglasses, 1993 Upper Deck Illustration

Names: Bobby Bonilla, Bobby Bonilla's sunglasses
Team: New York Mets
Positions: Outfield, sunglasses
Value of card: One paint stain on your carpet
Key 1992 stats: 128 games played; zero times taken off
Train of thought by V. Wells, Upper Deck checklist artist, from 7:11 to 7:12 p.m., Jan. 4, 1993: "Let's see, Mets, Mets. ... Holy crap look at these sunglasses! So shiny. So manly. So futuristic. I must paint them. They're so graceful! Look at the sleek lines. They're the ultimate in reflection. I bet if I had a pair of these, I'd be more respected as a part-time baseball illustrator! ... Wait, what's this? There's a person in these photos? Damn you, Bobby Bonilla and your veiny arms! I swear by all that is holy on this Earth that I will make those sunglasses mine!"
Update: According to that bastion of information, the Internet, V. Wells, who has done many Upper Deck illustrations, is actually Vernon Wells Sr., father to current Toronto Blue Jays "star" Vernon Wells. Also, he never stole Bobby Bonilla's sunglasses.


Roger McDowell, 1990 Topps

Name: Roger McDowell
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Closer
Value of card: Endless flowing curls
Key 1989 stat: Zero neck pain
Script from Roger McDowell's 1989 TV commercial: "You may know me for being the go-to guy when the Phillies need a save. But until recently, I've been wondering who would save me from neck pain. (Cut to shot of a grimacing McDowell rubbing his neck during a game.) My mullet is my baby, but its volume and heft were killing me! That's why I invented this: Roger McDowell's Hair Bra. (Cut to shot of McDowell holding product like a newborn.) The Hair Bra works like this: Slip it over your head and tuck it under your mane. Adjust to fit, and that's it! Your neck gets the support it needs without covering up that beautiful Tennessee waterfall. Sure, you won't be able to fit a ballcap over it, but that just means the party in the back will be that much more visible. Thanks, Hair Bra!"



Tom Lasorda, 1990 Topps

Name: Tom "Tommy" Lasorda
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Manager
Value of card: One spare rib bone
Key 1989 stat: 45 pounds gained
It's a managerial quiz:

What's getting the old thumbs-up from Tommy Lasorda?

(A) News that the team's training table now involves only barbecued beans and Stouffer's frozen macaroni and beef.
(B) Dress rehearsal for Kirk Gibson's all-male burlesque revue, "I Can't Believe What I Just Saw."
(C) The five Dodger fans who stayed past the seventh inning.
(D) An invitation to an Asia concert from Eddie Murray.
(E) All of the above


Greg Vaughn, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Greg Vaughn
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Handful of dryer lint from a load of towels
Key 1992 stat: Four layers, 101-degree day
Script from Acme Towels television commercial, circa 1993: "What's up, guys. Greg Vaughn here for Acme Towels. You ever go outside and start sweating? Don't even think about taking off that heavy jacket. Grab an Acme Towel and wipe away the heat. Acme Towels are cool and soothing, kind of like me. (Tips back head in pleasure.) They feel good on your head, whether you have an afro, jheri curl, mullet or flat top with lines shaved into the sides. Acme Towels come in three colors: white, white and white. They're soft to the touch and hard to forget. Acme Towels, grab one the next time you need relief from the heat but you're too cool to take off that jacket."



Bill Bergey, 1980 Topps (Football Friday No. 47)

Name: Bill "The Bulge" Bergey
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Position: Middle Linebacker
Value of card: If you adjust for (crotch) inflation, 2 cents
Key 1979 stat: One awkward dance before each game
10 things that could be stuffed down Bill Bergey's pants:
10) 66-pound cup
9) A mediocre baseball card blog's cup
8) A disco ball that's prompting him to dance
7) All the NFL's Astroturf
6) Shoulder pads for his "buddies"
5) The gameday football, and two other balls
4) A living, breathing eagle
3) A living, breathing Eagles player
2) An identical bulge to the disguised man behind him
1) Another beard



Bo Jackson, 1990 Donruss MVP

Name: Bo Jackson
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Less than the sweat wiped from Bo's forehead
Key 1989 stat: 112 paint splotches on card
Time for a most valuable pop quiz:

What does this particular M.V.P. award stand for?

(A) Misplaced V-neck Position
(B) Mouth Very Problematic
(C) Most Valuable Bust
(D) Mass Volume: Perspiration
(E) Moderately Vile Penmanship
(F) None of the above


Eddie Murray, 1987 Topps

Name: Eddie Murray
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Positions: First base, motionless
Value of card: $3 ticket to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Key 1986 stats: Zero hits, zero RBIs, zero movements
The stand-in: Before the days of unrestrained free agency and contracts that surpass the gross domestic products of small countries, Eddie Murray was making a little over $900,000 on a struggling team. He was a perennial all-star and a jovial guy in the clubhouse, so it was understandable he felt he deserved a bigger contract. But the Orioles brass disagreed, and a chasm grew between the spectacled superstar and the flailing franchise. Murray told team leaders he wouldn't play; team leaders said they wouldn't pay. But the dispute went on behind closed doors and outside the media. When Murray went to the Bahamas instead of spring training, the Orioles did the only sensible thing: They commissioned an artist to create a lifelike wax sculpture of Murray, seen above, which the Orioles played at first base and batted fifth in the order. This facade went on for weeks, until the Florida sun melted the doppelganger, leaving only a pile of fake hair, a gigantic pair of glasses and arms made of trash bags.



Zane Smith, 1990 Topps

Name: Zane Smith
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One used, broken retainer
Key 1989 stat: 154 fan boat rides a week
From the swamps to the big leagues: The year was 1989, the Alabama air was thick and the flies were the size of fists. On the edge of the swamps stood a man named Zane Smith, fan boat tour owner and champion gator wrestler. He was a local legend who made toothless women swoon and Klan members bow in his presence. His snaggletooth grill was the standard "look" in his town and was emulated by dozens of men and boys. But "Main Zane" had a hole in his soul that no 8-foot reptile or heaping pile of grits could fill. He pined for something more, something that could catapult him onto the national stage so he could promote his "Frantic Fan Boat Rides." "Main Zane" threw on his bib overalls, sleeveless flannel shirt and trucker hat and started balling up his already-chewed tobacco and heaving it toward a wall on his floating mobile home as a way to deal with his frustrations. In a chance encounter, a French-Canadian scout from Montreal was visiting the Cajun swamp trash part of his family and saw a sweaty, shirtless, snaggletoothed Smith rocketing soggy tobacco balls at his bedroom window. After a promise of front-row Lynyrd Skynyrd tickets, "Main Zane" was in Quebec throwing baseballs instead of chewing tobacco, mullet and all.


Frank Thomas, 1994 Topps Stadium Club Award Winner

Name: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First base
Value of card: Seven fonts
Key 1993 stat: Six fingers held in front of face
Here's an award-winning post: The Big Hurt was the 1993 AL MVP. Here are 10 awards he was nominated for that year:

10) Tightest, whitest pants, sponsored by Fruit of the Loom
9) The Reebok Foundation's Sweatiest Wrists of the Year
8) The Larry Csonka Memorial Award for Best Secret Flipping of the Bird
7) Dean's List, Lasorda University
6) The Friends of Johnny Cash Man in Black of the Year
5) 24 Hour Fitness' Jazzerciser of the Month
4) The Pulitzer Prize for Most Fake Labels on a Baseball Card
3) Fisherman of the Week, Oct. 6-13, Lake Michigan Harbor Society
2) American League Most Bestest Player
1) Nobel Prize in Eye Black



Sid Bream, 1993 Studio

Name: Sid Bream
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: First base
Value of card: Two ounces of wrinkle cream
Key 1993 stat: 12,042 times recounted the story of "The Slide"
The man, the legend: There's much more to Sid Bream than a neatly trimmed mustache and 1,000 crows' feet, despite what you see on this card. This is "El Sid," the man who launched a million mulleted Braves fans into ecstasy after sliding under the tag of "Spanky" LaValliere in Game 7 to send Atlanta to the World Series. He was the first man to keep a ring off Barry Bonds' finger (though he wouldn't be the last). Sure, by 1993 he was mostly washed up, regaling his young teammates with the story of a play that had happened only one year earlier, but "El Sid" is legend.
Speaking of legend: The 1993 Studio set, however, is definitely not legend. It's hard to believe that the makers of one of the most mockable sets in baseball history just two years prior decided it would be a good idea to throw a section of jersey or hat behind every player for each card. Even Chris Sabo's face-windshield couldn't save it from its own lameness.


B.J. Surhoff, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

Name: B.J. (snicker) Surhoff
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Catcher
Value of card: One sexy first name
Key 1992 stat: Ran the 40 in 1.3 seconds
One fast B.J.: I remember watching B.J. Surhoff play. I remember laughing a little every time his name was uttered over the airwaves. I even heckled him one time in person when he was with the Orioles. But I don't remember him being faster than light. Look at that motion blur! He must have gotten out of his crouch before the batter was done swinging. Of course, we all know how hard it is to capture B.J.s on film, so it's possible Topps set up a motion-sensing camera outside Surhoff's home, hoping to catch an unsuspecting B.J. before he shot out of the frame.



Bryant Young, 1994 Upper Deck Heavyweights (Football Friday No. 46)

Name: Bryant Young
Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Sandy Skins beach team
Positions: Defensive tackle, seaside quarterback
Value of card: 18 grains of sand, pulled from between the cheeks
Key 1993 stat: 44 touchdowns thrown (in meaningless games on the beach)
It's time for a football pop quiz; please remove your shirt:

Why is the fat white guy running at Bryant Young?

(A) He's an Upper Deck employee, and he's trying to save the company's reputation by stopping this card from making it into production.
(B) He's blinded by lust, and is trying to grab a couple of pineapples.
(C) He's an actor, inserted into the shot by the photographer to provide scale to just how buff Young is compared with an average middle-aged white guy.
(D) He's the photo shoot's oil boy, and beachgoers are about to be disgusted.
(E) He's a Fruit of the Loom lawyer, and he's serving Young with a cease-and-desist order for copyright infringement.
(F) None of the above.



Luis Sojo, 1990 Topps

Name: Luis Sojo
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Utility infielder
Value of card: Value, as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder
Key 1989 stat: 1,652 women seduced
Sojo's mojo: Most players make it to the big leagues because of their on-the-field skills. A few make it because of their swagger. One man made it because of his looks. That man: Luis Sojo, utility infielder and casanova. Sojo left his family and 67 wives in Venezuela to come north to Toronto, Canada's City of Romance. The Blue Jays needed power, speed and defensive sure-handedness. Sojo had none of those things, but he did have a monobrow, manicured mustache and greasy hair peeking out from beneath his ill-fitting hat. Within days in Toronto, his massive head adorned billboards. Women immigrated to Canada just to catch a glimpse of the man they called "El Guapo." He couldn't hit worth a lick, but a wiggle of his ears caused capacity crowds to faint. The Blue Jays' attendance went up, bedroom trysts went down, and Sojo stayed even, hitting .225 on the field and .775 with the ladies.



Randy Johnson, 1994 Topps Stadium Club Members Only

Name: Randy Johnson
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Ace
Value of card: 2 ounces of tobacco spit and mullet grease mixed together
Key 1993 stat: 22 inches of mullet
Time for a pop quiz that's a tall order:

What name did Randy Johnson's teammates give his mullet?

(A) The Soggy Squid
(B) The Bigger Unit
(C) Cascading Scumminess
(D) The Wraparound Neck Warmer
(E) Sopping Strands of Intimidation
(F) All of the above



Dave Henderson, 1992 Topps Kids

Name: Dave "Hendu" Henderson
Team: Oakland A's
Positions: Outfield, kids show host
Value of card: Six beard hairs, partially burned
Key 1991 stat: Last-place ratings, 4:30 a.m. time slot
Script from "Hendu's Romper Room" children's TV show commercial, circa 1992: "Hey, kids, gather 'round. It's your big buddy Hendu, host of 'Hendu's Romper Room' on public-access Channel 74 in Oakland. You want to get in the game at 4:30 in the morning? Stop by and have some big-league fun with your pal Hendu, a guy who likes to clown around. What kind of fun do we have? Well, check out my buddies in the dugout: We talk on the phone, we drink beer, we catch some zzzz's, we catch some more zzzz's, we grab our gloves and get ready for the game, we cross our legs and chew tobacco, and we cheer on our fans - you little guys. So, tell your parents to get you up before the sun comes up and turn your TV to Channel 74. 'Hendu's Romper Room' is on, and we're playing with balls - baseballs, that is."


Cliff Floyd, 1992 Topps Draft Pick

Name: Cliff Floyd
Team: Montreal Expos, Tuscaloosa Purple Whirlwinds
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One gold medal, filled with chocolate
Key 1991 stat: One Mercedes emblem necklace worn, 134 games
Expos' scouting report on top draft pick Cliff Floyd: "Big-league swing, bush-league hat. ... Wears Little League uniform with pizazz. ... Creepy stare may intimidate pitchers; will intimidate children. ... Impressive credentials: second-place medal, pig raising, Tuscaloosa County Fair 4-H competition. ... Spent time in prison yard, as photo shows. ... Hits doubles, hits on singles. ... Looks like an athlete, has name of a nerd. ... Fashion sense points to guaranteed future in beer league softball. ... Likes Molson, hockey and wrestling bears - should fit in well in Canada. "



Bob Boone, 1989 Topps All-Star

Name: Bob Boone
Team: California Angels
Position: Catcher
Value of card: Three splinters
Key 1988 stat: 2,881 heads busted
Clearing up some rumors about baseball hardass Bob Boone:
  • Bob Boone once caught both ends of a doubleheader. For both teams.
  • Bob Boone did not take batting practice. He just took batting. Practice is for wusses.
  • During spring training in 1988, Jim Abbott once did in fact shake off a pitch Boone had called. That is how Abbott lost his hand.
  • It's true. Boone did not wear a cup. His bulge was tougher than any baseball.
  • The brim of Boone's hat in the above photo is not 5 feet wide. It's just that anything Boone touches becomes larger than life.



Kirt Manwaring, 1993 Fleer Ultra

Name: Kirt Manwaring
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Catcher
Value of card: The thrill of the unknown
Key 1992 stat: 1,390,288 screams
What was Kirt Manwaring yelling when this photo was taken?
(A) "The fastball! Throw the fastball!"
(B) "I hate the Dodgers!"
(C) The chorus of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"
(D) "Get to the chopper!"
(E) None of the above.



George Seifert, 1989 Pro Set (Football Friday No. 45)

Name: George Seifert
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Position: Coach
Value of card: Half a Geritol capsule
Key 1989 stat: One full-body cast
Bad, bad decisions: Fed up after star quarterback Joe Montana threw his eighth interception of the 1989 season, head coach George Seifert knew he could turn to only one man. No, not future hall-of-famer Steve Young. The only man George Seifert could trust was George Seifert. On the team's next possession, the coach told both of his QBs to ride the pine and strutted out onto the field in his windbreaker to lead the offense. A calm, confident Seifert called a play for his bewildered offense, took the snap from center, dropped back, and was promptly crushed by three Atlanta defenders. Seifert watched the rest of the season from the sideline, where he made Young use a wire to scratch under his full-body cast.


Roger McDowell, 1988 Donruss Baseball's Best

Name: Roger McDowell
Team: New York Mets
Position: Closer, jerk
Value of card: Jack squat
Key 1987 stat: 129,031 insults of teammates
Catching heat: Roger McDowell must have majored in being a jerk at Lasorda University. When Donruss came around to take its photos for its 1988 set, McDowell stole one of catcher Gary Carter's mitts and promptly took a squat. "Hey guys, look at me! I'm Gary Carter. Did you guys know I only batted .235 last year? And that I'm fat and slow and stupid?" McDowell went on, saying unfortunate things about Carter's wife and questioning his masculinity in about 20 different ways. The cameramen were uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as McDowell after an irate Carter ran over and stretched the mitt over the closer's face.


Scott Bradley, 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Scott Bradley
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Catcher
Value of card: A shot of rum with a cigarette butt in it
Key 1991 stat: .14 average BAC
Seattle-area TV commercial for Captain Morgan rum, circa 1991: "Hey there, Mariners fans, I'm your platooning catcher, Scott Bradley. Ever wonder how I keep my cool when a runner is bearing down on me at home plate? (Cut to shot of Bradley tagging out Brady Anderson at the plate, then pan out to reveal a posing Bradley.) It's because I've got a little Captain in me. Captain Morgan rum gives me the confidence I need to take the field 83 times a year. And when my batting average starts slumping below the Mendoza line, I can count on Captain Morgan to raise my blood-alcohol content above it. (Cut to shot of Bradley taking a shot of rum through his catcher's mask.) This smooth, spiced rum soothes my aching knees and takes the edge off when rumors start flying about a demotion to Triple-A. I'm Scott Bradley, and I've got a little Captain in me. (Cut to Bradley posing again.) Do you?"


Felix Jose, 1991 Score

Name: Felix Jose
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Outfield
Value of card: 4 ounces, used contact solution
Key 1990 stat: 10,942,444 blinks
Felix Jose's train of thought from 2:19 to 2:20 p.m. May 28, 1990: "Dang, strike one. I never should have bet Willie McGee that I could get a base hit with my eyes closed. Whitey's gonna kill me! At least with my eyes closed, I don't have to look at Willie's face. Crap, strike two. I think I almost had that one, though. Oops, wait, I'm not actually in the batter's box. Isn't it weird that I have two first names? Maybe I'll name my kid Jose Jose. Ha! Little JoJo. OK, here comes the pitch. Ow! I can't believe I just swung at a pitch that hit me in the head!"



Bernard Gilkey, 1993 Fleer Ultra

Name: Bernard Gilkey
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Outfield
Value of card: The contents of one vacuum bag
Key 1992 stat: 10, 839 "curtain calls"
Thank you, thank you very much: Bernard Gilkey always had a flair for the dramatic — just not with the bat or glove. Gilkey loved praise, and would respond to any positive remark with a tip of the cap. If he heard a fan say "Good eye!" after he took a pitch for a ball, Gilkey would step out of the box, turn in the fan's general direction, and doff his cap. Every time he'd catch a fly ball at home, he respond to the scattered applause with a bow and a wave. And the seven home runs he hit in 1992? Remember the lap Cal Ripken Jr. took around the stadium when he became the Iron Man? Like that for each dinger, only more grandiose.



George Brett, 1993 Pinnacle Now & Then

Names: Old George Brett, Young George Brett
Teams: Kansas City Royals
Positions: First base, third base
Value of card: Not sure, but it depreciates with age
Key 1992 stat: Three decades with mediocre team
It's time for a Kansas City edition of The Matchup:

Round 1: Homeless kid hair (Winner: Young Brett)
Round 2: Face crevasses (Winner: Old Brett)
Round 3: Ability to grow eyebrows (Winner: Young Brett)
Round 4: Two first names, aka likelihood of subversive behavior (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: Massive teeth gap (Winner: Young Brett)
Round 6: Abundance of moles (Winner: Young Brett)
Round 7: Hat from a toilet (Winner: Young Brett)
Round 8: Ability to look at camera (Winner: Old Brett)
Round 9: Freakish resemblance to Dale Murphy (Winner: Young Brett)

Score: Young Brett 6, Old Brett 2, Ties 1

Dale MurphyYoung George Brett proves age ain't nothing but a number in his shellacking of his older self, whose orangish glow can't overcome a boy who excelled in special-education classes.



David Nied, 1993 Studio

Name: David Nied
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One manicure at Gimme a Hand Nail Salon
Key 1992 stat: Three hangnails
Script from Rawlings baseballs TV commercial, circa 1993: "Hey, sports fans, David Nied here for Rawlings baseballs. You ever go out to play catch with your kids and realize you have nothing to throw to them? Go out and grab some balls. You ever want to take some swings but have nothing to hit? Go out and grab some balls. You ever want to toss it around with a buddy, but all you have is a couple of gloves? Go out and grab some balls. Take it from me, a guy who always has a handful of balls, if you're not holding them, things can get a little testy."



Manny Fernandez, 1976 Topps (Football Friday No. 44)

Name: Manny Fernandez
Team: Miami Dolphins
Position: Defensive tackle
Value of card: It's scary how little it's worth
Key 1975 stat: 1,602 children frightened
10 monster names for Manny Fernandez:
10) The Creature from the Balding Lagoon
9) The Hunchback of the University of Utah
8) Tyrannosaurus Mex
7) Draculug
6) The Mummy from the Waist Down
5) The Blob
4) The Lineman from 20,000 Fathoms
3) The Boogeymanny
2) The Wolfman but Hairier
1) Frankenmustache