Name: Joe Bitker
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Pitcher, apparently
Value of card: A slug cooked on a sidewalk in the summer in Arlington
Key 1990 stat: Christ, who could care after looking at this card?
C'mon, Fleer; clean it up: Really, Fleer? Really? This is your attempt at a baseball card in the early 1990s? Pathetic. Look at this schmuck. You felt it necessary to include in the set some bum who even die-hard Rangers fans — both of them — have never heard of? This guy's chocolate sundae-splotched mustache should have been enough to leave him off the esteemed 1991 Fleer roster. The blinding yellow border is torture enough, for chris'sakes. My eyes! My eyes! But, as the Fleer brass, you made the decision to track down old Jack ... er ... John ... er ... Joe Bitker for a studio shot. Couldn't we have chalked this one up to "We'll get 'em next year"? I mean, come on: Sears provides the poor with better studio-shot backgrounds. Yeah, and great work with the contrast between his jersey and the bed sheet behind him, too. The only way you could have given collectors a worse card is if instead of that pallid sheet behind this bum you gave the world the gift of a little more of the eye-gouging yellow that's plastered on the border of every card in what is perhaps the ugliest set of sports memorabilia the world has ever seen.
Team: Houston Astros
Value of card: Two noogies
Key 1987 stat: Kept jacket zipped at all times to hide man boobs
Nerd alert: Poor old Charlie Kerfeld never really fit in. He was a pitcher, but his fastball was so slow it looked like it was moving backward. No one ever told him you were supposed to spit out the chew. He grew a mullet like the rest of the 1980s ballplayers, but it really just looked like a dead ferret. He heard earrings were gaining popularity, but he only had enough money to put a lead fishing weight in his piercing. He wore a jacket to cover up his girth, but never learned how to pop his collar. So, for all us other misfits and outcasts, we say to you, Charlie Kerfeld: Nice glasses, loser!
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Value of card: Wait, guard?
Key 1990-91 stat: Was an impoverished man's Steve Nash
Give it up for the little man: We close White Ballers Week with an anomaly: the white guard. All this week, we've brought you the finest white centers money could buy (oh, and that Laettner guy), but today we'll examine their diminutive cousin. Brad Davis carried all the traits of a white baller — mullet, porn 'stache, a thicket of armpit hair, playing for a really crappy team — and yet he stood only 6-foot-3. In the early '80s, Davis was starting for the Mavericks, who were winning about nine games a year. During that time, he averaged about 11 points and seven assists a game — not bad for a guy who could get a sunburn from a flashlight. In the end, Davis blamed the lengthening of the league's shorts for his departure, saying his creamy thighs would never be smothered by such censorship.
Team: Seattle Supersonics
Value of card: A used mustache grooming kit
Key 1990-91 stat: One forgettable finish
Choose your own adventure: You are Dave Corzine, The Great White Hope. But at age 34, you know your time in the league is near an end. You can barely get up the court anymore without your short-shorts bunching up so far that "The Space Needle" nearly falls out. Your days of growing a scraggly beard and carousing with Bill Cartwright and friends have passed; you've since grown a respectable mustache and started using Just For Men. However, life after basketball is a daunting notion. How will you spend your retirement?
To put that mustache to its god-given use and become, ahem, an adult entertainer, click here.
To give up, put on 50 pounds and start collecting stamps, click here.
To open a multimillion-dollar business babysitting Shawn Kemp's 271 children, click here.
Name: Dan Leslie Schayes
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Value of card: No bucks
Key 1991-92 stat: One manly middle name
Time for a hard-court pop quiz:
What makes Dan Schayes a white baller?
(A) The distinction of having the most chest hair on the Bucks in 1992-93.
(B) His early Neil Diamond mini-fro.
(C) That alert look on his face.
(D) His 2.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
(E) All of the above.
Name: Dwayne Schintzius
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Value of card: 1 cup of residue from Aquanet application
Key 1990-91 stat: Three shades of neon
10 little-known facts about Dwayne Schintzius' god-awful mullet:
10) He grew the top himself and stole the rest from a ferret.
9) It inspired the Spurs to add neon to team uniforms.
8) Despite flag on warmup jersey, it was not made in America.
7) Voted twice as ridiculous as the name "Schintzius."
6) Barber used spurs to cut it.
5) In playing time, it averaged two minutes more per game than Schintzius himself.
4) It drew attention away from Schintzius' disfigured ears.
3) Its nickname: the Lobster. (True)
2) For two years, attracted more tourists than the Alamo.
1) He brushed it once.
Name: Christian Laettner
Teams: Duke Blue Devils, Minnesota Timberwolves
Value of card: One stolen basketball net
Key 1991-92 stat: 90210 sideburns
Timberwolves' scouting report on No. 1 pick Christian Laettner: "Has a knack for stealing nets, let's hope that translates into in-game steals, too. ... Female fans will appreciate his resemblance to Luke Perry and Jason Priestley. ... If he doesn't work out on court, we can transfer him to the ladder division of the in-house hardware store. ... More of a white rascal than a Blue Devil. ... Name, Christian; religion, Muslim. ... Plus: He's one of the first white ballers to wear his shorts at a level that doesn't blind fans with pasty white thighs. ... Minus: He's still a white baller."
Name: Mark Eaton
Team: Utah Jazz
Position: White center
Value of card: One clump of armpit hair
Key 1990-91 stat: Shorts ending 2 feet above the knee
The natural: Mark Eaton is a white baller's white baller. He has it all. Member of the perennially whitest team in the NBA? Check. Pasty white thighs barely covered by short-shorts? Check. Seven minutes of mop-up playing time a game? Check. Knee brace? Check. But Eaton had one thing that separated him from most white ballers. A badass beard usually reserved for athletes in other sports. Combining the beard with all Eaton's other attributes makes the Jazz center the whitest baller of 1991-92, which shouldn't be confused with any legitimate honor based on skill.
Name: Rich King
Team: Seattle SuperSonics
Value of card: To purchase, you needn't be rich, you needn't be a king
Key 1990-91 stat: Approximately 13 feet tall
Welcome to White Ballers Week: White NBA players often get mocked, and why would The Bust take the high road and do anything different? In honor of the all-star game, for seven long, long days, we'll bring you some of the most awkward white guys to wear an NBA uniform — or a barf-inducing suit — in the early 1990s. Enjoy.
Fit for a King: What a name. What a guy. Rich King is the epitome of the early 1990s white baller. He was a star at the University of Nebraska but ended his career with more serious injuries than points per game. If he weren't 7 feet 2, you'd expect him to be a competitive "Donkey Kong" player or a huge fan of prime numbers. He owned a suit your father wouldn't be buried in; it's probably for sale at Goodwill right now for $14.99. This guy's name is "Rich King" for the love of god. It doesn't get more elitist than that. Rich King: what a white baller.
Name: Lynn Jones
Team: Kansas City Royals
Value of card: A pouch full of beard trimmings
Key 1985 stat: 11 beatings of people making fun of his name
1986 Topps, you did it again: A classic card from a classic set of a classy dude with a classic woman's name. Wow. This card has it all. It packs about 50 "busts" within its edges, and yet appears simple and straightforward. Forget the puns and lists and other regurgitated crappola you usually find on The Bust. All we need to do is point out the range of awesomeness contained in this card. First, the guy's name is "Lynn." Lynn is a beast of a dude. He appears to always be flexing and looks like he could snap a neck between his thighs. His bulge? It's what you'd expect on such an impressive card: prominent, oblong and dignified. That's not all. Jones rocked a beard that by all accounts was the most "boss" grown by anyone ever named "Lynn." It's no surprise he was listening to a Kenny Loggins' cassette when this photo was taken. Then, of course, there's the glasses. Grandmothers across the nation wore the same pair. We salute you, Lynn and 1986 Topps, for showing us that sometimes perfection can be attained without trying.
Name: Rob Deer
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Right field
Value of card: 3 pounds of venison
Key 1990 stat: 1,952 strikeouts
10 (terribly punny) things you might not know about Rob Deer:
10) His middle name is white-tailed.
9) He is often shot at in the woods because of his name.
8) He is often shot at in Detroit because it's Detroit.
7) Instead of growing antlers, he grows a mustache, which he nonetheless uses to attract mates.
6) He loves huge racks, if you know what we mean.
5) He's covered in ticks at all times.
4) He still has nightmares he's being chased by Robert De Niro.
3) His biggest addiction: salt licks.
2) Instead of burial or cremation, he plans to have his head hung above the mantel upon his death.
1) He was often caught in the headlights, including in the photo above.
Team: Los Angeles Raiders
Position: Defensive end
Value of card: 268 lbs. of hunk
Key 1990 stat: Two gigantic veins
The essence of a man: Look at Howie Long. Women want him, men want to be him, and artists want to draw him. The bulging, rippling arm muscles. The cropped, well-manicured blond hair. The jaunty neck pads. The steely gaze that reminds us of Slider from "Top Gun." The incredibly defined arm veins. The bullet marks in the wall behind him. The slightly torn jersey that only hints at the oiled chest below. The suggestively untucked belt that hints at, well, you know. It's likely no coincidence the artist stopped just above the crotch. He probably couldn't bring himself to draw that bulge. Some things are simply not for children's eyes.
Name: Neal "Heat-On" Heaton
Team: Cleveland Indians
Value of card: The last ounce in a Budweiser can at last call
Key 1983 stat: 24 beers, 24 hours, 24 times in April
Heaton continues to "get his heat on": Before Neal Heaton had a handlebar whiskey stain and a job collecting the Budweiser cans he discarded in Pittsburgh, he was by day pitching for the Indians and by night drinking his weight in the cheapest swill in Cleveland. He enjoyed the lifestyle, but, as can be seen above, it left him a bit disheveled in the morning. He didn't care. He relished the attention baseball brought him and the euphoria brought on by the booze. He even took to wearing a new gold necklace every day indicating how many drinks he had ingested the previous night. The losses piled up alongside the empty bottles and regrets, but Heaton continued on, saying, "Hey, I'm drunk in name only." Then he met a woman, Claire Soberup, who inspired him to leave the booze at the bar and embrace life's easy comforts. Heaton followed his love's lead and indeed found a way to "sober up" and right his life. That is, until they married and she took his last name.
Team: San Francisco Giants
Value of card: Less than one star
Key 1984 stat: Refused to wear team-issued clothing
When flash photography goes wrong: We were going to make our typical brand of jokes about Jeff Leonard, his nondescript clothing, his backward hat, and (as usual) his mustache, but we've been partially blinded by the light reflecting off his forehead. Just because this is an all-star card, doesn't mean it needs to have a light source comparable to sun, Topps!
Card contributed by FatShawnKemp
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Relief pitching prospect
Value of card: Whatever these crazy bar charts mean
Key 1994 stat: Eight minor-league saves
Top 10 categories not listed by the "Topps Skills Rating System" on the back of this fabulous card:
10) Number of big-league appearances (0)
9) Number of Villones on this card (3)
8) Open-mouth rape stare: (8.4)
7) Tradeability (10.0)
6) Hot dog eating (7.1)
5) Number of team's he'd pitch for by 2010 (12)
4) Appearances in the Mitchell Report (1)
3) Chin (2.0)
2) I.Q. (85)
1) Mullet (Immeasurable)
Bonus nugget from Wikipedia: "During a July 23, 2010, game with the Durham Bulls, Villone took the mound in the eighth inning with a one-run lead but gave up a walk to what would become the tying run. He then threw to first base 12 times to hold the runner, without once throwing to home plate, annoying the crowd, who booed Villone mercilessly. When Villone finally threw to home plate, the batter bunted the ball back to Villone, who appeared to be caught off guard and failed to make the play. The local press called him visibly 'rattled' at that point. Villone walked the next batter and hit the following batter with a two-strike pitch to force in the tying run. He was immediately pulled from the game. Less than a month later, on Aug. 12, 2010, he was once again released after posting an ERA of 6.59 during his time in Triple A."
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Shortstop, second base
Value of card: One meaningless signature
Key 1979 stat: 281 nets held onto
Fun facts about a man named Junior:
- Spent six seasons in the show, though at no point did he post a stat line deserving of the title "major-leaguer."
- Grew a sideburn like nobody's business.
- A rare condition caused him to lose his balance around batting cages.
- Junior Kennedy once called Johnny Bench "the greatest catcher to play the game." Johnny Bench once called Junior Kennedy "that prick who grounded into the game-ending double play today."
- Could tie seven different types of knots. Was tied up in even more by pitchers.
- No one was really sure why he was called "Junior." No one, that is, except the ladies.
- Had one son. His name? Junior Kennedy Jr.
Team: Cleveland Indians
Positions: Pitcher, spaz
Value of card: A nightmare
Key 1992 stat: One mullet tucked in
Back-of-the-card special: The backs of baseball cards used to feature tiny print on colored cardboard, detailing a player's career stats, height, weight, hometown and a few season highlights or nuggets about the player himself. But in the early 1990s, Upper Deck and a handful of other card companies decided it would be a good idea to feature a second photo of the player, as well as the statistical information. Thus, we got to see what Dennis Cook would look like shortly before he bashed in our skulls while growling and laughing maniacally. Thanks, Upper Deck. Now I won't be able to sleep tonight.
More back-of-the-card gems: There's this Skybox atrocity. There's Jeff Nelson's Kenny Powers impersonation. And then there's the worst sports card ever.
Team: Chicago White Sox
Value of card: The joy of an innocent smile
Key 1990 stat: One Sharpie mustache
The fur flies: Before Sammy Sosa became a home run-hitting hero for the Chicago Cubs, he was an animal-loving outfielder on the city's south side. After arriving in a trade from Texas, Sosa opened up a shelter for abandoned creatures. Sammy, however, was never the sharpest tool in the shed, and began taking in more than just lost cats and dogs. Soon, Sosa's chicken-wire cages were filled with ferrets, raccoons, porcupines, a handful of wolf spiders and one ill-tempered mole rat. In fact, a mischievous badger can be seen atop Sosa's head in the above photo. Sosa called it Lamar.
Team: Buffalo Bills
Positions: Special teams, wide receiver
Value of card: A series of boring dreams
Key 1993 stat: A bunch of punts covered
What it means to be Steve Tasker:
Special teams expert
That's like being an expert at growing grass
Everyone knows they're supposed be impressed, but
Very few people give a crap —
Even Mrs. Tasker
Tumbled from the ugly tree
And hit every branch on the way down
Seems to be emerging from a rip in the time-space continuum on the above card
Keeps trying to grow chest hair, but it just isn't working
Even though those neck flaps look like gills, he can't actually breathe under water
Resembles the lady at Walmart who rang up our groceries the other day
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Aging ace
Value of card: Knowing that Bret Saberhagen actually played for the Rockies
Key 1995 stat: Two wins
Bret Saberhagen's dating profile, circa 1996:
Screen name: FormerCy2
Age: Younger than Nolan Ryan
Height: 6'1", but I look taller in purple pinstripes
Weight: 160 lbs., without my cleats on
Hair color: Dirty blond. Very dirty
Hair style: Sweaty mullet
Religious views: You better pray I don't bean you
Want children? Nah, I only like women 18 and older
Martial status: I believe in pre-marital and post-marital
Best feature: Fastball
Smoke? How does 96 mph sound?
Drink? Not before 8 a.m.
Seeking: Women; a new contract
Location: Wherever I get traded to
Her body type: Anything with teeth
Her ethnicity: Redneck
About me: Everyone says it, but I never pictured myself ending up here. No, not an Internet dating service — Denver. I was a legend! I had it all! Cy Youngs, fans, groupies, all the barbecued brisket I could eat. Now, here I am, on a team that didn't even exist back then. Anyway, needless to say, I'm new in town and could use a friend to help me groom my mullet, line up my pinstripes and get the crumbs out of my goatee. I won't deny I've been around the block a few times, but there's a lot of gas left in this old heater. And while I ain't as good as I once was, I'm as good once as I was two weeks ago.
Team: Texas Rangers
Value of card: A three-day-old scab
Key 1993 stat: 72,018 things sanded
On deck, one pop quiz:
What's ol' Dan Peltier up to in this photo?
A) Getting a bat ready for his next plate appearance
B) Oh, wait, Dan Peltier never actually got any playing time
C) Getting a bat ready for one of his teammates' next plate appearances
D) Oh, wait, he wasn't allowed to touch the team's bats or talk to any of the other Rangers
E) Hmm. I guess that leaves ... grinding his shaft?
Names: Roger Cedeno, Ron Coomer
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Positions: Outfield and first base, respectively
Value of card: Two Coomers (not sure how much that is, but it's definitely not much)
Key 1994 stats: Hold on, we're still looking
What's On Deck? The Matchup:
Round 1: Confusion over seeing a camera for the first time (Winner: Cedeno)
Round 2: Ironing-board hat bill (Winner: Cedeno)
Round 3: Last name that could be a synonym for genitalia (Winner: Coomer)
Round 4: Resemblance to competitive eater (Winner: Coomer)
Round 5: Knife-sharp Adam's apple (Winner: Cedeno)
Round 6: Future nickname (Winner: Coomer aka Coom Dawg)
Round 7: Taped-on eyebrows (Winner: Cedeno)
Score: Cedeno 4, Coomer 3
Synopsis: The future Dodgers outfielder outplayed the one-and-only "Coom Dawg" despite being confused about where he was and what he was supposed to be doing.
Team: Oakland A's
Value of card: One eighth-grade graduation certificate
Key 1988 stat: 1,922 flies caught in mouth
Jose Canseco's train of thought from 12:10 p.m. to 7:44 p.m. July 23, 1988: "Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Ice cream ... Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Cars go fast ... Catch ball ... Hit ball ... Puppies are cute ... Hit ball ... Socks go inside shoes ... Hit ball ... Catch ball ... Hit ball ... Steroids ... Hit ball ... Keys are shiny ... Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Ladies are pretty ... Catch ball ... I like ketchup ... Catch ball ... Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Garfield. Ha-ha. ... Hit ball ... Hit ball ... Two plus three is — uh-oh. Wait. Crap, what do I do with ball? Oh no, Mr. LaRussa's going to beat me again. Oh yeah! Hit ball!"
Name: Ryan Nye
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Value of card: Nil for Nye
Key 1993 stat: One hat PhotoShopped on his head
Phillies' scouting report on 1994 draft pick Ryan Nye: "This kid's biggest attribute: mesh. ... Nye will be an experiment, just like his uncle, Bill. ... Looks promising against a background of a speeding train. ... Should be able to concentrate on the strike zone with his eyes 3 centimeters apart. ... Stands 6 feet 7 when we put a giant hat on his head. ... Often looks like he just ate something sour, and his play makes scouts look the same way."
Team: Montreal Expos
Value of card: A broken spark plug
Key 1990 stat: 14 tons of gold purchased
Transcript from a late-night cable TV commercial circa 1990: "Hey everyone, Oil Can Boyd here to let you know that there's a valuable resource in your home. No, it's not your children; it's your unwanted gold! Tangled gold chains, broken gold watches, loose gold teeth; you may not want them any more, but your old pal Oil Can sure does — and I'm willing to pay top dollar for them. Here at Oil Can 4 Gold, I'll melt down your unwanted jewelry and turn it into hundreds and dozens of thin gold chains that I can wear on the mound. I know what you're saying: 'Oil Can, you already have a Zales' worth of crappy necklaces; what can you possibly want with more?' Look, that's really none of your damn business, is it? You get the money, Oil Can gets the gold, everyone goes away happy. Send me your freakin' gold!"
Name: David Treadwell
Team: Denver Broncos
Position: Isn't it obvious?
Value of card: 3 ounces of foot powder
Key 1990 stat: 14 hamstring pulls
10 things you might not have known about David Treadwell:
10) He twice tried out for the Rockettes, but, alas, failed to make the squad.
9) For him, "splitting the uprights" was more than a sexual metaphor.
8) He's got legs, and he knows how to use them.
7) He single-handedly made tucking in a T-shirt unfashionable.
6) In the photo above, he's wearing skin-color leg warmers between his snow-white thighs and ankles.
5) His hair was made of semi-synthetic plastic.
4) Somewhere in there, there's a bulge.
3) This is how he waved hello to everyone he saw.
2) He once shot a punter just to watch him bleed.
1) He prefers to get his kicks in bathhouses.
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Value of card: One used syringe
Key 1990 stat: Normal-size testes
We've got questions, you've got answers:
What crime was Barry Bonds accused of before this mug shot was taken?
A) Facial hair fraud — that thing is drawn on, and poorly at that
B) Reckless smirking
C) Grand theft crappy personalized necklace
D) It's (cream and) clear, isn't it?
E) All of the above
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: First base
Value of card: One nasty sunburn
Key 1978 stat: Eyes never fully opened
Fun facts about towhead Dan Meyer:
- The title character in the movie "Powder" was loosely based on Dan Meyer.
- Meyer had to play in Seattle — it was the only place where he could stay out of the sun enough to keep from being burned alive.
- His torso was so pale, you could actually see his organs through his skin.
- Meyer was so white, his home uniform looked gray on him.
- Meyer grew out the mullet seen above in hopes that his hair would darken as it got longer. Instead, he ended up looking like he was wearing a doll's wig.
- His chain is made of — wait for it — white gold.
- Meyer portrayed the abominable snowman in TV's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Christmas special.