Mike Armstrong, 1983 Topps

Name: Mike Armstrong
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: For Armstrong? A broken LiveStrong bracelet
Key 1982 stat: One — count 'em, one — photo session all year
Meet the Mike Armstrongs:

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Has windshield glasses
Circle Mike Armstrong: Has windshield glasses

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Wears his hat like a 2000s frat boy
Circle Mike Armstrong: Wears his hat like a 2000s frat boy

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Sports a perfect butt chin, a la Kirk Douglas
Circle Mike Armstrong: Sports a perfect butt chin, a la Kirk Douglas

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Only poses in front of stripped airline hangars
Circle Mike Armstrong: Only poses in front of stripped airline hangars

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Mixes mustache hair with nose hair for a refined look
Circle Mike Armstrong: Mixes mustache hair with nose hair for a refined look

Rectangle Mike Armstrong: Looks a bit perturbed about getting his photo taken
Circle Mike Armstrong: Is growing increasingly more angry and IS NOW FURIOUS ABOUT YOUR STUPID CAMERA YOU FRIGGIN' PUNK!


Steve Kline, 1998 Fleer Ultra

Name: Steve Kline
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Reliever
Value of card: Two Canadian coins with ducks on them
Key 1997 stat: 44 body slams
10 professional wrestling names for Expos reliever Steve Kline:
10) The Montreal Mangler
9) The Canadian Crippler
8) The Handsome Hungarian
7) The Bully of Sixth-Graders
6) Kline B. Ware
5) One half of the tag-team champions The Dirty Expos
4) Steve the Not-So Giant
3) Steve Kline (one of those persona-less 1980s nobodys who lost every match and basically acted as punching bags for the stars)
2) Gobbledy Gooker
1) Junkyard Steve


Rollie Fingers, 1982 Topps In Action

Name: Rollie Fingers
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Closer
Value of card: Curve your fingers, touch your thumb and make a circle — that much
Key 1981 stat: 10 fingers on two hands (we think)
Wow! What an action-packed shot; here are some others from Topps' 1982 In Action subset:
  • George Brett sitting on the bench, just sitting there
  • Mike Schmidt standing near third base, kind of near the base
  • Fernando Valenzuela tying his shoe, with the shoe out of the photo's frame
  • Andre Dawson asleep in a dark room, so dark you can't see anything
  • Kirk Gibson chewing sunflower seeds, though you can't really tell he's chewing them
  • Nolan Ryan just standing there, out of focus and butt to the camera, in a shot that looked a lot like the one above
Card submitted by Tyler Kepner


Granny Hamner, 1959 Topps

Name: Granville Wilbur "Granny" Hamner
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Second base
Value of card: $1 off at the movies
Key 1958 stat: Back in his day, you could buy a candy bar for a nickel
Learn from your elders with this pop quiz: How did Granville Hamner get his nickname?

A) From a bunch of unimaginative teammates who would later go on to write an unimaginative baseball card blog
B) His two-hand, underhand throwing style, seen above
C) His inappropriate fawning over every baby he saw
D) His saggy man-boobs
E) Dude wore a diaper


Jerry Don Gleaton, 1991 Topps

Name: Jerry Don Gleaton
Team: Detroit Tigers
Positions: Pitcher, trucker
Value of card: One Gleaton
Key 1990 stat: 365 T-shirts sweated through
The long-haul legend: It was one night back in the spring of '91 when Detroit native and long-haul trucker Jerry Don Gleaton got word over the CB that the Topps photography crew had been spotted winding its way through Florida, stopping at the various training camps to take shots. Rumor was that the Tigers were up next. Gleaton, who was hauling a load of pig iron through Tuscaloosa, Ala., turned his rig around and was eastbound and down, headed for Lakeland, Fla. Gleaton pulled into Joker Marchant Stadium at dawn, put on the knockoff Tigers uniform his lovin' wife had sewn together for him for Christmas, and wandered straight onto the field. The Topps photogs were a little uncertain, considering Gleaton's doughy frame, but after taking one look at Cecil Fielder, they gave the trucker the benefit of the doubt.


Ed Hearn, 1989 Topps

Name: Ed Hearn
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Catcher
Value of card: You guessed it: It ain't worth squat
Key 1988 stat: 12 high school classes attended
Let's see what Ed Hearn stands for:

Everyman who made every man feel more manly
Dumb look on his face shows photographer's skill

Helmet and chest protector usually worn in the sack
Eagerly spread legs for maximum bulge exposure
Acting wasn't his forte; hence this awful pose
Rarely sat; usually squatted
Never met a jockstrap he didn't like


Moses Denson, 1975 Topps (Football Friday No. 152)

Name: Moses Denson
Team: Washington Redskins
Position: Running back
Value of card: 21 dead locusts
Key 1974 stat: 40 years wandering the desert
Pray to Him for a card this good: Hold on. Just hold on a second, Topps. You think you're pretty funny, don't ya? So funny. Just so, so funny. Here we have Moses Denson, a fine 1970s running back. But his statistics and performance on the field don't matter. Just look at that name. Now toss out the last name. Yes, we're looking solely at "Moses." Moses, he of the 10 Commandments. He of Mount Sinai. He of the Red Sea. Hmm, the Red Sea. The gigantic body of water that the biblical Moses parted. And here we have modern-day Moses, who, by the grace of God, has parted his beard and hair in the same manner that biblical Moses parted a sea. Well played, Topps. Well played, Moses. Suck on that, Heston.


Mike Hampton, 1992 Bowman

Name: Mike Hampton
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: 16 frayed threads
Key 1991 stat: 22 sessions of modeling lessons
10 places you might have seen Mike Hampton in 1992:
10) In an alley, buying a knockoff Casio digital watch
9) At a golf tournament, playing poorly with the wrong kind of balls
8) In a salon, getting his hair professionally parted
7) At the 16th annual Thick Neck Convention
6) On a baseball field, unable to play because he forgot his uniform
5) In the Hamptons
4) Just about any frat house at just about any university
3) At your sister's, juggling his balls
2) Rifling through Seattle-area Gap garbage bins
1) Sears catalog


Mike Piazza, 1994 Ultra Pro

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Value of card: 11 burnt pepperonis
Key 1993 stat: 14 trips to JCPenney for handsome shirts
A year after winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1993, Mike Piazza tells a rookie how to achieve success: "Listen, kid. You have to trust me. I've been there; done that. I've been to the top of the mountain; I've done the things you dream about. You want to win? You have to do as I say. You want to play well? Do what I do. You want to be a star, surrounded by camera flashes and B-list actresses and getting free cuts at The Hollywood Mullet Factory? Sorry, there's only enough room for one Piazza in L.A. But you still can be great. Here's what to do: (1) grow out your hair and drown it in gel; (2) pick out the sweetest shirts you can find at JCPenney; (3) listen to Lasorda; (4) watch '90210' for sideburns tips; and, finally, (5) stick to a strict regimen of 5-pound weightlifting twice a week."


Alex Rodriguez, 2013 Topps SP

Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Third base (but only first base with that fan)
Value of card: Having something in common with Cameron Diaz
Key 2012 stat: Actually played in a few games
Train of thought of the fan standing in the center of the above photo, 2:10 to 2:11 p.m., June 12, 2012: "Holy wow, I still can't believe these seats. I can actually see the chili stains on Sabathia's uniform! All right, let's go boys      oh man, this foul is headed right for us! OK, steady, steady. No way A-Rod makes it over here on that hip. And reach! OH, OH GOD, WHAT IS IN MY EAR? Is that Rodriguez's tongue? And he's trying to hold my hand! What the (expletive deleted)! I don't care if he caught the damn ball, the dude just tried to taste my eardrum. Oh, so disgusting! And now I've got his weird purple lipstick all over my neck. This is even worse than the time I saw David Wells barf up what looked like a gallon of borscht behind the pitcher's mound."

Card submitted by Jeremy Porter, Collector Revolution


Bryan Clark, 1983 Topps

Name: Bryan Clark
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Three rotting fish carcasses from Pike's Place Market
Key 1982 stat: Zero hats worn before, during and after games
What the ... : Hmm, this is odd. It appears (1) we have a baseball card featuring a fan, not a player; (2) the fan in the big photo is surprised to be getting his picture taken; (3) someone PhotoShopped a circular photo of the fan's brother or cousin onto the card, complete with a fake-looking green background; (4) someone put an obvious afro wig on the fan and adjusted it wrong, pulling it much too far over his forehead; and (5) the fan's brother or cousin in the circle can tell all these shenanigans are going on and appears to be skeptical of the situation. Well, tiny circle brother or cousin of fan Bryan Clark, you're wrong. This is a real card with no manipulation. You, sir, shouldn't be so skeptical.

Card submitted by Sean Griffin


Ricky Ledee, 1997 Bowman

Name: Ricky Ledee
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Value of card: The tape wrapped around Ledee's wrist after it has been cut off
Key 1996 stat: 26 pinstripes (on his underwear)
A few of the 1997 photos of Ledee that Bowman didn't use:
  • The one where his eyes are completely closed and he's smiling like a moron with his limp fist on his cheek.
  • The one where his limp fist is actually inside his mouth when he's squinting and smiling like a moron.
  • The one where he has both of his limp fists on his cheeks when he's squinting and smiling like a moron.
  • The one where his teeth look even more crooked when he's squinting and smiling like a moron with his limp fist on his cheek.
  • The normal one.



Paul Gibson, 1989 Score

Name: Paul Gibson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Not enough to hold onto it
Key 1989 stat: This card was seen by thousands and thousands of laughing children
Not blurry enough: There are two people in this photo, Paul Gibson and infielder Luis Salazar. Let's see how they fare in The Matchup.

Round 1: Bigger attention-grabber (Winner: Gibson)
Round 2: Bigger grabber of other things (Winner: Salazar)
Round 3: Well-adjusted (Winner: Gibson)
Round 4: About to be even better adjusted (Winner: Salazar)
Round 5: Scratching the surface of his talent (Winner: Gibson)
Round 6: Scratching the surface of his tallywhacker (Winner: Salazar)
Round 7: More sane (Winner: Gibson)
Round 8: Just plain nuts (Winner: Salazar)
Round 9: Poor timing that caused a card company to airbrush out part of his arm (Winner: Salazar)

Final score: Salazar 5, Gibson 4

Synopsis: Poor Paul Gibson. First, he gets mocked for being a giant nerd, now he can't even win a Matchup on his own card, thanks to some utility guy scratching himself at exactly the wrong moment. It doesn't take glasses as thick as Gibson's to see that he just can't win.


Chris Hanburger, 1973 Topps (Football Friday No. 151)

Name: Chris Hanburger (at left, we think)
Team: Washington Redskins
Position: Linebacker
Value of card: All the money in a wishing well (coins excluded)
Key 1973 stat: Led the league in booty
Chris Hanburger's pep talk to his teammates in the above photo: "Men, it seems like we've been playing catch-up all season long, getting ourselves in a pickle game after game. And because we haven't been playing our buns off, our record isn't one to relish. But that doesn't mean anyone's going to come out here and let us win! Look at the Patriots, over there, thinking they can grill us even if they're dressed like a marching band and carrying a flag around. I've got a real beef with them, and you should, too! It's about time we mustered up some courage and strength, so that at the end of the day we can earn a rare victory and consider this a job well done!"


John Valentin, 1995 Topps Embossed (Valentine's Day Special)

Name: John Valentin
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: One embossing tool, snapped in half
Key 1994 stat: Alone on Feb. 14 (and most other days)
In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a romantic pop quiz: What's John Valentin doing in the above photo?

A) Sanding his handle
B) Scrubbing his shaft
C) Buffing his bat
D) Caressing his cudgel
E) Wearing out his wood
F) Celebrating Valentine's Day the only way he knows how


Prince Fielder, 2013 Topps

Name: Prince Fielder
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First base
Value of card: Not as much as the giant canvas it's printed on
Key 2013 stat: Had a baseball card even bigger than his contract
A Bust of historic proportions: Earlier this week, Topps unveiled the biggest baseball card ever made      a print of Prince Fielder's 2013 Topps Series 1 card. It certainly is impressive, but what's the most surprising thing about this colossal collectible?

A) Despite the huge image area, Topps still couldn't fit all of Fielder's butt on the card
B) That it covers more ground than Fielder can at first base (wait, no, that's not surprising)
C) That Fielder doesn't actually already use a 45-foot-long bat
D) That it featured the 2011 All-Star Game MVP instead of, you know, the 2011 AL MVP or maybe the 2012 triple crown winner.
E) That Jim Leyland wasn't out on the field smoking.

Photo courtesy of Topps


Dan Smith, 1992 Bowman

Name: Dan Smith
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: A pointy stick
Key 1991 stat: One snoozer of a name
Top 10 things pierced by Dan Smith's epic flat top:
10) A zeppelin (Oh the humanity!)
9) Nolan Ryan
8) Assorted birds
7) Balloons at a child's birthday party
6) Children at a child's birthday party
5) His own hands
4) A baseball hit back at him
3) A 12-pack of Coors Light
2) The Astrodome
1) Mrs. Smith


Craig McMurtry, 1987 Blue Jays Fire Safety Set

Name: Craig McMurtry
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: 18 burnt mustache hairs
Key 1987 stat: Didn't do nothin'
Quotable quote from the back of the card: "Craig McMurtry says this about smoke: 'Every team should have a pitcher that throws it. Every home should have an alarm that detects it.'"
Stop, drop and gag: Here are some of the ways in which the above card does and does not promote fire safety.
  • It promotes fire safety by eschewing the use of loud, incendiary colors in favor of a simple black-and-white, homemade color scheme.
  • It does not promote fire safety in that it lies about Craig McMurtry being a Blue Jay. Dude never threw a pitch for the team. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
  • It promotes fire safety by using a photo of McMurtry taken off a TV screen rather than having him drive in and get his muffler all hot.
  • It does not promote fire safety by flaunting all that arm hair. Those limbs are just a tinderbox, ready to blow!
  • It promotes fire safety by having McMurtry wear those glasses rather than use them to fry insects or       considering the size of the lenses       small cities.
  • It does not promote fire safety by inducing a coma just by looking at it. Come on, man, we could have had a candle burning!
Card submitted by Douglas Corti


Kirby Puckett, 1991 Score Dream Team

Name: Kirby Puckett
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Designated hitter
Value of card: Same price as that necklace: 50 cents
Key 1990 stat: 36 instances of Twin Cities streaking
Script from Acme Vending Machine Jewelry Inc. commercial, circa 1991: "Think fast, baseball fans. This is Kirby Puckett, and I want to take a minute of your time to talk about Acme Vending Machine Jewelry, the most fashionable flair you can get for 50 cents. You see, I'm a big leaguer, and big leaguers like to look good — real good. So of course I want a necklace with my number on it. Sure, I had to spend $27.50 in quarters to finally get the No. 34 necklace out of the vending machine — Anybody need a charm bracelet with hearts and baseballs on it? — but, clearly, it was worth it. I'm now the most stylish guy in the locker room. Don't believe me? Let me take off my shirt. Still don't believe me? There go my pants. Think that's inappropriate? Let me show you why they call me 'Kirby.' But you don't need to be nude to get the most bling for your half-buck. Just head to the grocery store or pizzeria with a couple of quarters and twist the knob. Now you're golden.* This is a completely naked Kirby Puckett reminding you that at Acme Vending Machine Jewelry, we don't want to cost you a lot of green, we want our jewelry to leave some on you."

* Note: Acme Vending Machine Jewelry is not made of real gold and therefore won't make you "golden" in the strict sense of the word. Thank you.


Jesus Sanchez, 2001 Topps

Name: Jesus Sanchez
Team: Florida Marlins
Positions: Pitcher, savior
Value of card: 12 pounds of inedible fish guts
Key 2000 stat: After three days, he rose (from the minors)
It's time for an early 2000s pop quiz:

Why is Jesus Sanchez hiding his face?

(A) With those stats, he doesn't want to be identified.
(B) With that name, he's tired of being compared with a Christ figure.
(C) With that earring, he doesn't want thieves to find him.
(D) With that bulge, he wanted to make sure you weren't distracted.
(E) All of the above.


Miguel Garcia, 1989 Donruss

Name: Miguel Garcia
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Two used rubber bands for braces
Key 1988 stat: Three retainers broken
Conversation between Miguel Garcia and a Donruss photographer, circa March 1989:
Miguel Garcia: "Hello, I am Miguel Garcia."
Donruss photographer: "Howdy. Good to meet you. Let's take two minutes to get some good shots."
MG: "OK. You will make me look good?"
DP: "Yes, sir. OK. One, two, three. Smile."
MG: (stares at photographer with the same look as seen above)
DP: "No, smile."
MG: (stares at photographer with the same look as seen above)
DP: "No. Open you mouth and show your teeth."
MG: (stares at photographer with the same look as seen above)
DP: "No. Lift the sides of your mouth."
MG: (stares at photographer with the same look as seen above)
DP: "No, no, no. Miguel, you have to do more than just open your mouth slightly."
MG: (stares at photographer with the same look as seen above)
DP: (snaps photo) "Anyone ever tell you your mouth could fit perfectly between your eyebrows?"

Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp


Chris Farasopoulos, 1973 Topps (Football Friday No. 150)

Name: Chris Farasopoulos
Team: New York Jets
Position: Safety
Value of card: Jet exhaust, inhaled
Key 1973 stat: Ripped the collar off a turtleneck, wore it as a neckband
That's "Mr. Farasopoulos" to you: Here are six ways that Jets coach Weeb Ewbank mispronounced this guy's last name.
  • Afro-soup-loss
  • Farrah Fawcett
  • Fara-stopwatch
  • Four-iron-suplex
  • Hippopotamus
  • Fara ... Fara ... Forget it, go sit on the bench



Gary Pettis, 1989 Upper Deck

Name: Gary Pettis
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Value of card: 6 cents (or sixth sense?)
Key 1988 stat: 12 patents on time machine
Our minds, blown: Hold on. Wait just a minute. So, Gary Pettis is holding an Upper Deck card and — for the love of all that is holy — it's the back of this very card? How in the name of below-average 1980s major league speedsters is that possible? He's breaking the laws of physics. He's bending the space-time continuum. He's mastering a card trick the world has never seen. This is Gary Pettis looking at a photo of Gary Pettis while also looking into the future of Gary Pettis. Or is he looking back to the future? Or are we imagining that we're seeing a minuscule reflection of the back of the card on the front of the card because we took a few too many sips of the "herbal" tea? Not sure, but if that other card he's holding is his 1990 Upper Deck, we're going to need a new pair of shorts.


Mickey Hatcher, 1986 Fleer

Name: Mickey Hatcher
Team: Minnesota Twins
Positions: Outfield, lower than most
Value of card: One of the tiniest jockstraps ever made, used
Key 1985 stat: Zero pop flies missed
The Legend of mini-Mickey Hatcher: Mini-Mickey Hatcher was born to a caring family that was normal in almost every way, except for a gene carried across generations that halted growth at age 1. Mini-Mickey's mind and motor skills grew, but his body stayed at 1 foot, 8 inches year after year. Schoolmates often made fun of mini-Mickey, but he smiled through it, making friends easily with a personality that focused on fun. One Christmas, mini-Mickey's parents bought him a baseball glove; it was a gift he adored, a gift that changed his life. He kept that normal-size glove with him at all times, often curling up inside it when his eyes got heavy. As he grew older — not taller, mind you — he got better and better at baseball. He drew walks at an astounding rate and never missed a pop fly. He moved from Little League to high school ball to the minor leagues, all the while bringing along his cherished glove, his best friend. When mini-Mickey reached the big leagues, he brought the mitt with him. But on some nights, when he was asked to play catcher, he left the old glove at home. The Twins had given him a catcher's mitt that he liked, too, especially when he used it as a sofa.


Brian Harper, 1993 Upper Deck SP

Name: Brian Harper
Team: Minnesota Twins
Positions: Catcher, on hold
Value of card: 25 cents for the first minute, zero after
Key 1992 stat: $285 monthly mobile phone bill
10 things Brian Harper said while on the phone:
10) "Yeah, it's great. I get reception in like four places around town."
9) "Can I call you back? My arm is soooo tired."
8) "Honey, stop yelling. I'm sorry I used the last garbage bag for a short-sleeve jacket."
7) "Mustaches? Yes, I am interested."
6) "Hold on, Gary, I have Joe on the other line."
5) "It sounds like you're right next door — mowing the lawn underground with your mouth taped."
4) "Yup, I can call anyone, and then I use it as a bat at the plate."
3) "Is that you over there, in the distance? Do you see me, looking like a moron with a giant phone pressed against my head?"
2) "Yes, I play for the Twins. My twin? Zack Morris."
1) "I can't hear you. I just answered the iron."


Al Hrabosky, 1981 Donruss

Name: Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Your life flashing before your eyes
Key 1980 stat: Beard made of demon souls
Answer this question, if you dare: What is Al Hrabosky thinking about in this photo?

A) Murder
B) Slaying
C) Homicide
D) Killing
E) What are you still doing here? Run for your damn life, you fool!


Mike Schad, 1991 Pro Line Portraits (Shameful Sunday Portraits No. 22)

Name: Mike Schad
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Position: Offensive line
Value of card: 6 ounces of eagle droppings
Key 1990 stat: 14 returns home to Canada
It's Super Bowl Sunday       time for a statue-vs.-human edition of The Matchup:

Round 1: Intelligence (Winner: Nameless statue)
Round 2: Rock-hard muscles (Winner: Schad)
Round 3: Sense of humor (Winner: Nameless statue)
Round 4: Rock-hard mullet (Winner: Schad)
Round 5: Looks (Winner: Nameless statue)
Round 6: Rock-hard bulge (Winner: Schad)
Round 7: Charisma (Winner: Nameless statue)

Score: Nameless statue 4, Schad 3, Ties 0

Synopsis: Mike Schad — the only Canadian college football player to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft — might have been "rock hard," but a statue made of bronze proved too hard to beat.


Bill Long, 1988 Donruss

Name: Bill Long
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: A Long ball      for the other team
Key 1987 stat: 80 percent of shirt buttons buttoned
Here's what Bill Long stands for:

Boring name, boring stats ...
Including a career 27-27 record and an earned run allowed every other inning
Lots of flies got caught in that open gob of his
Looks like the photog didn't tell him to say "cheese"

Lopsided mustache a sign of his attention to detail
Once ate 66 barbecued beef ribs in a single sitting ...
Needed to skip his next start after that
Gazing into the distance or developmentally disabled? You decide.

Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp


John Unitas 1971 Topps (Football Friday No. 149)

Name: John Unitas
Team: Baltimore Colts
Position: Quarterback
Value of card: Two rusted horseshoes
Key 1970 stat: 10,145 stories told about his greatness 40 years later by old men
One of Unitas' roles was quarterback; here are some other roles he played:
  • Hall of Famer
  • Leader
  • Hero
  • Drill sergeant
  • Wood shop teacher
  • A guy everyone called Johnny
  • Drawer of tiny blue football players with skinny legs
  • Flat tops-only barber
  • Creepy guy staring at you