Name: Dwight Gooden
Team: New York Mets
Value of card: The residue on a bag that an 8-ball came in
Key 1991 stat: Three teammates, one intervention
Conversation among Kevin Elster, from left, Tom Herr, Dwight Gooden and Dave Magadan, Aug. 15, 1991:
Gooden: "Guys, what are you all doing here on the mound before the first pitch?"
Magadan: "Dwight, we need to talk. This is an intervention. That's why no one is in the stadium but us."
Gooden: "Whoa, whoa, whoa, guys. I don't have a problem. Sure, I like to party, but ..."
Herr: "Dwight, this is serious. You snort more than a pig with a deviated septum. You drink more than sailor, a sailor who fell overboard."
Elster: "Seriously, Dwight. We like going to the club with you, but last time you put a shotgun in my mouth and then ended up drinking gin out of the barrel later."
Herr: "And there's the time you tried to snort the baseline."
Gooden: "But, but ..."
Magadan: "And the time you dropped acid on your off day and were convinced that Strawberry was actually a strawberry."
Herr: "You smoked part of my mitt, man."
Magadan: "You mistakenly shot up Mr. Pibb."
Gooden: "Hey, that was a good high, man."
Elster: "It's time you got help, Dwight. No more bathtubs filled with pills or Winner's Cup Vodka showers."
Herr: "Especially in the locker room after a loss."
Gooden: "Guys, thank you for this. (crying) I just needed someone to lay it out straight, ya know? These vices have such a powerful grip on me. Now, let's get me to a doctor."
Magadan: "That's great, Dwight. You're handling this so well."
Herr: "Yeah, that's great, Dwight. We'll get you to the doctor."
Gooden: "OK, good. His name is Dr. K. His office is down the street. Just drop me off in the dark alley near the martini neon sign. Let's get there, stat. Right after the next hit." (Gooden runs)
Magadan: "I don't think he means a base hit."
Elster: "Freebase hit, Dave. Freebase hit."
Team: Cleveland Indians
Value of card: Gum from 1986
Key 2005 stat: 84 trips to the human resources office
Heeeere's Jhonny: What's the most inappropriate thing about this card?
A) The bat, duh.
B) The look on Jhonny Peralta's face
C) The look on the Indians' mascot's face
D) The wanton disregard with which Jhonny Peralta (mis)spells his name
E) All of the above
Name: Brian Barber
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Value of card: A wasted first-round draft pick
Key 1991 stat: Zero girlfriends
Cardinals scouting report on first-round pick Brian Barber, circa 1991: "He's a little young — we're hoping he goes through puberty before too much longer. ... Wears his watch on the underside of his wrist. Yeah, he's one of those people. ... Has a wider variety of polo shirts than pitches. ... Last name may be a better career fit than big leaguer. ... If this kid was any greener, he'd be a frog. ... Definitely has the potential to help our AA club win a few games. ... Got an "A" on his history research paper junior year, so that's gotta be worth something. ... Says Bob Tewksbury is his role model. We're pretty sure nobody has ever said that before. ... Refuses to eat regular hot dogs. He'll only eat the kind with the cheese inside."
Names: Chris Gwynn and Tony Gwynn
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres
Positions: Outfield and outfield
Value of card: It's nothing between brothers
Key 1991 stats: 35 hits for one, 168 hits for the other
Time for a Gwynn family edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Ultra-mesh undershirt peepshow (Winner: Tony)
Round 2: Weight, in ounces, of sweat collecting on neck and jacket (Winner: Chris)
Round 3: Circumference of head, measured around cheeks (Winner: Tony)
Round 4: Lip-gripping 'stache (Winner: Chris)
Round 5: Tucked-in jacket fashion faux pas (Winner: Chris)
Round 6: Overall baseball success and cheerfulness (Winner: Tony)
Round 7: Mama's favorite (Winner: Chris)
Score: Chris 4, Tony 3
Synopsis: In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in Matchup history, Chris Gwynn shows his Hall of Fame brother that a mother's love really is all that matters.
Name: Benito Santiago
Team: San Diego Padres
Value of card: An ear infection
Key 1990 stat: One killer flat top
It's a Studio Saturday pop quiz:
What did Benito Santiago's mother say the first time she saw his sweet new earring?
A) "Jesus wept."
B) "You look like your sister, except with a smaller mustache."
C) "I guess we'll have to start calling you Benita."
D) "Maybe that'll help you hit a curveball."
E) "You put that back in my jewelry box right now, young man!"
Name: Chris Miller
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Value of card: Monetary equivalent of Pets.com stock in 2011
Key 1991 stat: One endorsement deal (with Fleer Ultra)
Wait, wait, wait, what? Yes, what you're seeing is real. Fleer Ultra dedicated a 12-card subset to Chris Miller in 1991. Yes, that Chris Miller. We were confused, too, so we checked the record books. Yup, plenty of good players took the field in 1991. The mediocre Miller wasn't the only player in the NFL that season. The brainiacs at Fleer could have picked a quarterback who was playing then or one who had retired. They could have held out until basketball season and picked a more exciting Miller or held out until baseball season and done the same thing. But no, they wanted to highlight Chris Miller's 26-touchdown, 18-interception 1991 season, which, though pedestrian, would far and away be his best season. So, grab a set of 1991 Fleer Ultra Chris Miller Series cards and flip one over. Miller's sole "performance highlight" is listed: "Miller had a 12-card Fleer Ultra football card series dedicated to him in 1991."
Name: Moose Haas
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: 14 pounds of moose dung
Key 1981 stat: 128 beads in his pearl necklace (umm, dudes wear pearl necklaces?)
The Wiki Entry (changes in red): The Moose Haas
Name: Dave Engle
Team: Minnesota Twins
Value of card: Cat hair on the back of your black T-shirt
Key 1981 stat: Made this face 1,933 times
Video dating service profile for Dave Engle, circa 1981:
Weight: 210 lbs. — with my clothes off
Ethnicity: I'm in Minnesota. Duh.
Want children? As many as possible so they can take care of me when I flame out of baseball
Relationship status: Rhymes with Engle
Best feature: My "I've got a secret" face
Drink? Boone's Farm
Seeking: An end to the loneliness
Location: Minnesota, until they trade me
Her height: As long as she can stand, that's cool
Her weight: On me
Her ethnicity: Nymphomanian
About me: Hi ladies, I'm Dave Engle. I like Pringles, I don't have shingles and I believe in Kris Kringle. If you're single and want to mingle, give me a jingle. I'll make you tingle!
Name: Larry Milbourne
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop-second base
Value of card: Six water bottles filled with tobacco spit
Key 1979 stat: 14,390 chews taken
10 things Milbourne might be chewing in his left cheek:
10) The ball from his first, and only, hit of the season
9) A fish thrown at his face at Pike Place Market
8) An actual mariner
7) 1.5 pounds of bubblegum stolen from a chubby kid in row 1
5) The Topps logo that's mysteriously not on this card
4) A third batting glove covered in chewing tobacco spit
3) The second "R" in his first name that he left out of his signature
2) His other lambchop
1) A chew, a chew, a chew, a chew and another chew
Name: Orlando Miller
Team: Jackson Generals
Value of card: $1 off at M&M lumber, where the lumber melts in your mouth, not in your hand
Key 1990 stat: One piece of lumber melted in mouth
Opponent's scouting report on Orlando Miller, circa spring 1991: "Has almost as much range as his left eyebrow. ... Refuses to wear team's hat, instead opting for the one he got at space camp. ... Knows all the words to Billy Joel's "Piano Man," and sings it to any runner at second base. ... Posed like a pitcher when those baseball card clowns came around, and honestly looked more natural than he does at short. ... Has the sleeves of a champion. ... He's very good at Chutes and Ladders. I lost $70. ... He's just not that good in the hole. And he's only an average shortstop."
Name: Tony Scott
Team: Houston Astros
Value of card: One afro's worth of jheri juice, squeezed into a rusty coffee can, left in the sun for a day
Key 1981 stat: One hairstyle trademark
Introducing ... The GreatScott®: Only the brightest fashion stars in the baseball universe can lay claim to coining their own signature hairstyle. Of course, no one can forget The Greasy Earmuffs® or The SaberMullet®, two all-time classics, but few have moved from the head to the handlebars, and no one did it better than the man they called Tony Scott, who, well, really didn't look like a "Tony Scott." This mediocre early-1980s Astros outfielder brought the world The GreatScott®, in all its shining, dripping glory. Scott took a hairstyle and facial hair and made them one. He married afro with mustache, and then introduced lambchops to the relationship, creating a menage a trois of hair that had no heir apparent. Women wanted him; Southern Civil War generals wanted to be him. His resemblance to a certain mouse could have gotten him free rides at Disneyland but, because of The GreatScott®, he could get into The Blue Oyster Bar and dance the night away. The GreatScott®, you'd have to be some kind of an Astro to walk around with this thing.
Name: Steve Bedrosian
Team: Minnesota Twins
Value of card: 18 pounds of hair
Key 1990 stat: Head was never cold
It's beard against hair helmet in this barbershop-style Matchup:
Round 1: Resemblance to collar (Winner: Beard)
Round 2: Resemblance to hedgehog (Winner: Hair helmet)
Round 3: Resemblance to normal human hair (Winner: Neither)
Round 4: Better groomed (Winner: Beard)
Round 5: Ability to catch crumbs (Winner: Beard)
Round 6: Ability to conceal an iguana (Winner: Hair helmet)
Round 7: Bigger attraction for the ladies (Winner: Neither)
Final score: Beard 3, hair helmet 2, with two DNFs
Synopsis: Sure, Bedrosian has enough hair above his neck to clothe a Nepalese family, but it's his beard that proves rougher and tougher, coming out on top of his mountainous hairdo.
Name: Bo Jackson
Team: Los Angeles Raiders
Positions: Running back, emergency room
Value of card: Three screws extracted from hip
Key 1990 stat: Zero career-ending injuries
Key 1991 stat: One career-ending injury
Key 1992 stat: Zero games played
Ouch: We've shown you hundreds of cards that are so bad they can cause severe pain, but this is the first time a card on The Bust has shown a player suffering a career-ending injury. Sure, we've shown you injured players and a bisected Bo, but this is Bo getting his life bisected by a terrible injury. Imagine if Bo's kids in 1991 picked up a pack of Pro Set cards and saw Daddy's hip shattering? Brutal. What could have been worse? We have a few ideas:
- The 1991 Topps card that showed Bo's wife cheating on him with a 375-pound lineman.
- The 1992 Pro Set card that showed Bo sitting on his couch with his leg in a cast.
- The 1991 Score card that showed Bo's golden retriever getting hit by a car.
- A ridiculous 1991 card that compared Bo to a certain rascally TV character.
- The 1992 Pro Line Portrait card that showed Bo's kids thumbing through a pack that contained all the above cards, including the one that pictured their dad's football career being cut short by a gruesome hip injury.
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Value of card: Sore ears
Key 1981 stat: 100 pounds of plastic
Quiz time: Which of these things is bulkier than Darrell Porter's eyeglasses?
A) A sack of pizza dough
B) A dead rhinoceros
C) A Navy warship
D) John Kruk
E) None of the above
Name: Chan Ho Park
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Positions: Pitcher, standing in line at Customs
Value of card: Whatever bogus silver leaf sells for these days
Key 1996 stat: Six fake stamps
Three good things and three bad things about this foldout card:
Good: Promotes a sense of multiculturalism in the game.
Bad: Does not work as an actual passport
Good: Attempts to present the player in a more personable way.
Bad: Does not mention Park's Flying Squirrel Kick skills
Good: Having card open like a book provides a new dimension to card collecting.
Bad: Having Park's signature allowed forgers to take over his Columbia House CD account, resulting in mass overcharges for albums from Slayer, Yanni and Garth Brooks.
Name: Barry Jones
Team: Chicago White Sox
Positions: Pitcher, scoundrel
Value of card: Two shots of Winner's Cup Vodka (charcoal filtered, of course)
Key 1988 stat: 22 shots of Winner's Cup Vodka (charcoal filtered and puked up, of course)
Clean it up, Barry (face palm): Barry Jones, you and Fleer should be ashamed of yourselves. You look like you just woke up and rolled off a dead hooker. And by "hooker," we mean "fisherman." If this card were scratch-and-sniff, it would be 80 proof. You're wearing a mesh jersey that would be laughed off a beer league field, but it's covering a gut that only belongs on that field. Nice black-tar smack scar on your arm. What flytrap motel on the South Side played host to that night? And the mustache. C'mon. If you're going to do handlebars, go all the way and grow a pair. That uneven mess above your lip looks like it crawled there after the Port-O-Potty tipped over. But, hey, shaving your sweaty chest hair into a heart was a nice touch. In closing, run a comb through that filthy mullet, ya jerk.
Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp
Name: Ryan Hawblitzel
Team: Chicago Cubs
Value of card: 6 ounces of infield dirt, swallowed, and then regurgitated
Key 1991 stat: 14 candles on his birthday cake
Chicago Cubs' scouting report on "top prospect" Ryan Hawblitzel: "Let's see, hmm, Hawblitzel. Yeah, that name really rolls right off your tongue. ... We'll need to schedule his workouts around his catechism and eighth-grade algebra classes. ... Coach will have to teach him a changeup — and how to shave. ... Let's get him a ridiculously huge hat. Oh, wait. Never mind. ... Man, the kid sure does dislike sideburns. ... This photo shows his head in the clouds. From what we hear, that's appropriate."
Names: Glenn Braggs and Kirt Manwaring
Teams: Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants
Positions: Outfield and catcher, respectively; hunter and hunted, respectively
Value of card: Four used Band-Aids
Key 1991 stat: One catcher crash KO
It's time for a knockout edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Momentum (Winner: Braggs)
Round 2: Magnitude of velocity (Winner: Braggs)
Round 3: Upper-body strength (Winner: Braggs)
Round 4: Position allowing for the exacting of painful damage (Winner: Braggs)
Round 5: Electromagnetic force + propulsion + bulge (Winner: Braggs)
Round 6: Fear-soaked scream of an 8-year-old girl (Winner: Manwaring)
Round 7: Trips to the emergency room (Winner: Manwaring)
Score: Braggs 5, Manwaring 2
Synopsis: Seldom do we see a Matchup with such an obvious loser. Manwaring is screaming in anticipation of being run over like a quadriplegic on the Talladega Superspeedway, foreshadowing the brutal pummeling that will give Glenn Braggs something to boast about.
Name: Charlie Hough
Team: Chicago White Sox
Value of card: It's equal to the cost of a loaf of bread the day Hough was born (5 cents)
Key 1990 stat: 62 birthday candles on cake
Conversation between Charlie Hough and Studio photographer, April 13, 1991:
Charlie Hough: Hello, sonny. Is this the photography studio?
Studio photographer: Yes, sir. It's good to have you here, Mr. Hough.
CH: I remember when you fellers used the big, exploding flash.
SP: Yeah, it's been a while since we used those. Why don't you sit there and hand me that towel.
CH: I'll keep the towel.
SP: Mr. Hough, hand me the towel, please.
CH: I'm never throwing in the towel.
SP: This photo will look a lot better if you at least put the towel on your lap.
CH: I ain't never throwing in the towel, no matter what you or them suits say. I may be old, but I can still pitch.
SP: Sir, this has nothing to do with your ability to pitch. I'm sure you're a fine pitcher. Just put the towel down.
CH: You whippersnappers are all the same, telling me to hang 'em up. Telling me a 62-year-old can't play in the bigs. Well, I'll show you. I ain't never throwing in this towel.
SP: OK, sir. That's fine. One, two, three. Cheese. That should make for a fine, distinguished photo you can show your grandkids.
CH: Why you ...
Name: Steve Emtman
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Position: Defensive end
Value of card: A nail in your tire
Key 1992 stat: 100 boxes of Entenmann's donuts eaten
Just one question:
Which of these was a worse idea than this Wild Card set?
A) Filling blimps with hydrogen
B) The designated hitter
C) Napoleon's invasion of Russia
E) None of the above
Name: Will Clark
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: First base
Value of card: Six globs of eye black
Key 1992 stat: 66 ducks shot dead
Time for a critical pop quiz:
What was Reggie Jackson's assessment of Will Clark on the back of this card?
(A) "Clark is a great player. He has a smooth swing and knows the game. But he's nowhere near as good as me, Mr. October."
(B) "Clark is one of the most clutch players I know. I once asked him to get me a donut. You guessed it: clutch."
(C) "Clark looks like a baseball player should look. He has a sweet swing and wears eye black well. All he needs are some movie-star shades, a ratty mustache and afro puffs."
(D) "Clark is known as 'The Thrill.' It's a good nickname. But his middle name is 'Nuschler.' C'mon, 'Nuschler'? Give me a break. Get off the field, sissy."
(E) All of the above.
Name: Brady Anderson
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Value of card: Count the bats; half that many cents
Key 1990 stat: Seven bats, no hits
10 titles for this card:
10) "The Batman (George Clooney Version)"
9) "A Portrait of the Douchebag as a Young Man"
8) "Fruit, Bats"
7) "Suspect: The Baltimore Bat Thief Case of 1991"
6) "Empty Dugout, Empty Head"
5) "Bats, Balls and Bangs"
4) "Baltimore Hills 90210"
3) "Brady's Bunch"
1) "Bat Bulge"
Name: Terry Bross
Team: New York Mets
Positions: Pitcher, turtle groomer
Value of card: 3 ounces of Turtle Wax
Key 1991 stat: 9-inch turtleneck
A salute to the turtleneck king: Wow. Take a few moments and breathe in the beauty of the turtleneck before you. You're witnessing greatness, from the clavicle to the chin, a few yards of rolled-over cotton and polyester covered by a 2-pound "Mets" logo. Despite the size, it appears Bross didn't think enough attention would be paid to his turtleneck, so he wore a jacket made from the aluminum siding of a Blue Angels jet and polished it to a blinding sheen. Bross showed that kind of dedication during his brief career, too. He was a two-sport star at St. John's University, where he played basketball and undoubtedly could have made our White Ballers Week. After a few years in the big leagues, Bross moved on to Japan, where he played on a team called the Swallows. (Insert your own joke here.) Now, he's an agent with Gaylord (ahem) Sports Management, and represents a handful (ahem) of major leaguers. Though he has had many stops that add to his legend, Bross will likely go down in history as the man whose turtleneck was so magnificent, everyone called it the "Tortoiseneck."
Name: Shawn Boskie
Team: Chicago Cubs
Value of card: A dog craps on the sidewalk; you step in it in Vans; you have to get the crap on the bottom out with a toothpick; this card is worth three toothpick scrapes of that dog crap.
Key 1991 stat: Three concurrent cases of gingivitis
Time for a happy-go-lucky pop quiz:
Why is Shawn Boskie smiling so wide?
(A) He wanted to show off all six of his teeth.
(B) He heard a joke about his mother and all the holes in his jersey.
(C) He's trying to copy the shape of his massive V-neck.
(D) He was just presented with his only honor of 1991: The Arm Hair of the Year Award.
(E) None of the above.
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Positions: Third base, Tae Kwon Do champion
Value of card: "What'd you ask?" (roundhouse kick to the face)
Key 1981 stat: 17 knockouts (from roundhouse kicks to the face)
Clearing up some rumors about
- Mike Schmidt doesn't shave around his mustache. The hairs are afraid to grow.
- Mike Schmidt didn't sign his name on this card like a third-grader. He punched the ink into letters, and then punched a third-grader.
- Mike Schmidt doesn't have girl bangs. He bangs girls.
- Mike Schmidt doesn't cheat death. He beats it fair and square.
- Mike Schmidt doesn't dress like Chuck Norris. He's on the Phillies, not the Texas Rangers.
Name: Todd Van Poppel
Team: Oakland A's
Value of card: An IOU for 25 cents
Key 1990 stat: Appeared on hundreds of thousands of worthless baseball cards
Remember this guy? How can a site that calls itself the Bust not have a Todd Van Poppel card yet? Consider that oversight fixed. Van Poppel certainly isn't the biggest failed prospect ever, not with the likes of Steve Chilcott in the history books, but he sure was a memorable one. Van Poppel was the Next Big Thing at the same time baseball cards were surging in popularity. This made for a lot of
Name: Tre Johnson
Team: Washington Redskins
Value of card: Tre cents
Key 1993 stat: 66-pound head
Redskins' scouting report on rookie Tre Johnson: "We like any draft pick with a name from "Boyz n the Hood," though this guy looks more like a 'Doughboy.' ... Smart kid? Well, his brain weighs a lot, at least. ... The size of this kid's head will distract many people from our offensive mascot. ... We'll have to play him; he ate the starter. ... Wow. This player runs a 4.2 40. Excuse me, a 44.2. ... If he doesn't work out on the football field, we could recoup some of our investment from his guaranteed success on the sumo circuit."
Name: Rob Dibble
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Value of card: The inability to look away
Key 1991 stat: One extreme close-up
Here comes the Old No. 1: There it is. Boom, right there for everyone to see. Stop looking at it. You can't, can you? It doesn't matter. Now that you've seen it, you'll never unsee it. You'll probably sleep poorly tonight. I mean, it's right there, hovering above Cincinnati, thrust toward you. No wonder they called him a "Nasty Boy." That's right, it's Rob Dibble's leg kick. Wait, what did you think we were talking about? Sicko.
Name: Tom Veryzer
Team: Cleveland Indians
Value of card: Track marks
Key 1981 stat: This was the best photo of him
Familiarity breeds contempt: We know we've seen this guy before, but where?
A) Definitely not at the barbershop
B) Outside that flophouse down the street
C) In the bum park downtown, yelling at his mustache to grow
D) Working behind the counter at the Veryzer Wireless store
E) All of the above
Name: Lee Tinsley
Team: Boston Red Sox
Value of card: A five-second TV delay
Key 1995 stat: One evil twin
Q: How many Lee Tinsleys does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one — he's had a lot of practice at his job at the hardware store since he flunked out of baseball.