Name: Oscar Gamble
Team: New York Yankees
Value of card: $10 in the hole if you Gamble
Key 1980 stat: 26 teeth in a sensational smile
It's the Bust's biggest superstar: Oscar Gamble was a good baseball player. He finished his career with 200 home runs and (mark of the devil) 666 RBIs. But he's best-known for being the subject of what is arguably the hairiest baseball card of all time. In the 1981 Fleer card above, Gamble has, it seems, matured a bit and trimmed down his famous 'fro to a manageable size. It might not look as good at the club, but the Yankees cap fits better. He's still rockin' an all-star mustache and enviable sideburns, and it appears he's happy with the more professional look. We here at the Bust respect Oscar's decision to clean it up, but when it comes to unique visitors on this laughable blog, anything other than the most-viewed 1977 Topps Traded afro spectacular is a gamble.
Names: Chester Marcol, Bobby Howfield
Teams: Green Bay Packers, New York Jets
Position: Kickers, both of 'em
Value of card: Four broken kicking tees
Key 1972 stats: Kicked a lot of field goals, or something
It's time for a special (teams) Matchup:
Round 1: Tiny little itsy-bitsy head (Winner: Marcol)
Round 2: Jersey airbrushed green even though he didn't switch teams (Winner: Marcol)
Round 3: Illuminated by the sweet, bright light of heaven itself (Winner: Howfield)
Round 4: Cultivated sideburns to make up for male-pattern baldness (Winner: Howfield)
Round 5: White-guy 'fro (Winner: Marcol)
Round 6: Could be mistaken for some sort of English gentleman (Winner: Howfield)
Round 7: Could be mistaken for a 12-year-old (Winner: Marcol)
Round 8: Mastered the art of posing in front of a tree (Winner: Tie)
Final score: Marcol 4, Howfield 3 (Ties: 1)
Synopsis: It went down to the wire, but thanks to his boyish charm and needlessly retouched uniform, Chester Marcol split the uprights in this Matchup, sending Bobby Howfield and the Jets to another defeat. (Don't worry, they're used to it.)
Name: Steve Balboni
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Designated hitter
Value of card: Pretty sure it's worth at least $100
Key 1989 stat: Zero bunts
Here's what Steve Balboni stands for:
Stripes not quite slimming
Total package: power, charisma, mustache
Everyman who inspired couch potatoes everywhere
Veal scallopini shortage in New York during his days with the Yankees
Ego was never a problem; Eggos, that's another story
Boiler proved this guy had guts
Another career option: angry police detective, shirt slightly untucked
Lip sweater would make Tom Selleck jealous
Best stat: one career stolen base
One hundred eighty-one career home runs is nothing to shake a hoagie at
Nearly elected to the Name Hall of Fame
Inspired countless jokes from kids in the 1980s and early '90s who called each other "Balboners"
Name: Gaylord Perry
Team: Kansas City Royals
Value of card: "When I was your age, a pack of baseball cards cost a nickel."
Key 1983 stat: 18 bunions
It's time for a pop quiz from the senior home:
What's Gaylord Perry pointing at?
(A) One of 721 big-league players younger than him.
(B) A photographer who could have worked a bit harder for a better shot.
(C) A producer of "Major League" looking to research the role of Eddie Harris.
(D) Some chump reading a mediocre sports card blog.
(E) All of the above.
Names: Robin Yount and Pete Vuckovich
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Positions: Shortstop and pitcher
Value of card: 1 can of warm Schlitz
Key 1981 stat: 2 times voted Milwaukee's Sexiest Bachelor (combined)
It's time for an old Milwaukee edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Mustache, boss-ness (Winner: Vuckovich)
Round 2: Mustache, smoothness (Winner: Yount)
Round 3: Mullet, length (Winner: Vuckovich)
Round 4: Mullet, curliness (Winner: Yount)
Round 5: Neck, girth (Winner: Vuckovich)
Round 6: Neck, muscle definition (Winner: Yount)
Round 7: Photo, sharpness (Winner: Vuckovich)
Score: Vuckovich 4, Yount 3
Synopsis: With a couple of brewskis on the line, Vuckovich outlasts the the Hall of Famer with an assist from a (surprise!) competent professional Topps photographer.
Name: Joe Altobelli and the San Francisco Giants
Team: See above
Position: Manager and the team
Value of card: One-quarter of a cent for each player on the card
Key 1978 stat: 22 fights with the Dodgers
Let's take a look at Joe Altobelli and the 1979 Giants by the numbers:
36: Players and coaches in uniform
36: Players and coaches chewing tobacco in this photo
11: Players and coaches who could play at a big-league level
3: Clubhouse guys wearing satin jackets that could sell for $200 each on eBay to San Francisco hipsters
6: Players sitting on boxes filled with homeless people sleeping
1: Player ruining the photo by looking off camera (We're looking at you, front row far right)
1: Player taking lounging to an uncomfortable level (We're looking at you, middle row second from right)
1: Unhappy manager
Names: Brad Pounders, Jerald Clark
Team: San Diego Padres
Positions: First base, outfield
Value of card: 3 ounces of sun-burnt moss
Key 1988 stat: 1 double (half a double each)
It's time for a San Diego edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Aggressive tendencies (Winner: Clark)
Round 2: Aggressive last name (Winner: Pounders)
Round 3: Eerie resemblance to Phil Simms (Winner: Pounders)
Round 4: Eerie resemblance to a guy about to whack you in the head with a bat (Winner: Clark)
Round 5: Face as soft as a baby's bottom (Winner: Pounders)
Round 6: Face contorted into a monstrous snarl (Winner: Clark)
Round 7: Winner because we're scared (Winner: Clark)
Score: Clark 4, Pounders 3, Ties 0
Synopsis: These two Padres were locked in a tight race, until the judges here at the Bust ran away out of fear of being knocked upside the head by Clark's bat.
Name: Mike Schmidt
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Third base
Value of card: 70 cents on Amazon (Hurry, only three left in stock!)
Key 2010 stat: Zero (expletives) given about being on a baseball card after retirement
Top 10 things you might not know about this Mike Schmidt card:
10) He had his hair permed for three hours before the shot.
9) That eagle isn't a card accoutrement; Schmidt kept a miniature eagle as a pet.
8) This is hanging in the Louvre.
7) The Phillies dugout featured crisscrossed plywood slats.
6) This is a shot from the original casting session for "Magnum P.I."
5) Until a few days before production, this series was called "Bad-win Champions"
4) That was the Phillies away uniform in 1979.
3) He's holding a contract saying Upper Deck has the right to make him look ridiculous.
2) Upper Deck added "Baseball" to the top-left corner of the card in place of "Orgy."
1) The lower half of his body is in a Jacuzzi.
Name: Jerry Rice
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: An old eraser that actually just leaves black marks on the paper
Key 1992 stat: Two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for wearing a giant metal suit
Here's what this Jerry Rice card stands for:
Just remember, first off, that all of these Fanimation cards were terrible
Eyes should be shut tight like Jerry's whenever this piece of garbage comes into view
Robotic suits and codpieces: A match made in heaven
Red and Gold have never been so embarrassed (aside from drafting Alex Smith)
Yelling "I told you I didn't want to be part of this stupid subset!"
Rather odd how atrophied Jerry is from the knees down
Impossible to catch a football while firing wrist guns during a hailstorm of metal shards
Clouds? Smoke? Poisonous gas? Whatever it is, why is the sky the exact same color?
Entire Upper Deck staff should have been fired for signing off on this trash
Name: Dick Tidrow
Team: Chicago Cubs
Value of card: 8 pounds of bear cub dung
Key 1980 stat: Nine innings spent standing in the wrong dugout next to some old guy
It's time for a Windy City pop quiz:
What did teammates call Tidrow's mustache?
(A) The Brown Banana
(B) Hercules' Handlebars
(C) The Thing the Cub Did in the Woods
(D) The Hairy Horseshoe
(E) All of the above
Name: Wayne Twitchell
Team: Montreal Expos
Positions: Pitcher, child of the night
Value of card: One drop of blood on your new shirt
Key 1978 stat: Two sharp fangs
It's a Canadian Caption, which possibly ran in the Montreal Gazette circa 1979: "Expos pitcher and known vampire Wayne Twitchell attempts to shield his eyes from the sun shortly before turning to dust after mistakenly taking the field during daylight hours at spring training Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. Twitchell, who had been undead since the early 15th century, ventured outside Tuesday morning after mishearing a conversation about bloody marys, only to be destroyed by the harsh light of day."
Card submitted by Douglas Corti
Name: Drew Hall
Team: Texas Rangers
Value of card: 16 used dental rubber bands
Key 1989 stat: 12 hours spent getting clay impressions made of his teeth
Let's see what Drew Hall stands for:
Dentist deferred to the orthodontist for a few years
Rubber bands taste rubbery when swallowed
Eating proved difficult so he drank blended doughnuts through a straw
Wounds in the gums make chewing tobacco much harder
Hellacious pain after a tightening
Ancestors would have had teeth like a bowl full of broken glass
Little did he know his orthodontia would be preserved for posterity on a baseball card
Laugh now; these braces gave him a winning smile he's still flashing today
Name: Gorman Thomas
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: One hateful scowl
Key 1978 stat: Voted most luxurious hair in the greater Milwaukee area
Clearing up some rumors about Gorman Thomas:
- Gorman Thomas was not constantly angry. He just lacked the facial muscles needed to smile.
- Gorman Thomas was not afraid to show some skin. He was afraid to wear any color except blue, however.
- Gorman Thomas did not, in fact, know what a "Gorman" was either.
- Gorman Thomas did not, in his later years, intentionally begin to resemble a St. Bernard dog. But he did wear a barrel of booze around his neck at times.
- Gorman Thomas' hair was not more impressive than his baseball talent. His ability to eat pickled eggs, however, was legendary.
Name: Mickey Hatcher
Team: Minnesota Twins
Value of card: One Mickey's 40-ounce
Key 1981 stat: 24 hours with a supreme being's glory shining on him
It's time for a religious pop quiz:
Why is Mickey Hatcher basking in God's good light from the heavens?
(A) Because God loves a professional athlete who needs Just for Men.
(B) Because God loves a grown man who looks like a sixth-grade rascal.
(C) Because God loves all of us, you atheist pig.
(D) Because God loves a baseball player who moonlights as a prop comic.
(E) All of the above.
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Value of card: Six broken razors
Key 1980 stat: 18 ounces of scum left on dugout wall
Here's what Bobby Bonds stands for:
Barbers were his worst enemies
Other than not being able to wear a ball cap, he looked good in a uniform
Buzz cut? Not quite
Ballplayer first, style maven second
You never know when Fleer is going to take a photo of you
Bed head taken to a whole new level
Optimal combination of 'fro and ragged beard
Never could find a razor in 1981
Dad to Barry Bonds, who was more clean ... shaven
Soul Glo, sucka, Soul Glo
Name: Don Beebe
Team: Buffalo Bills
Position: Wide receiver
Value of card: Prospecting for gold (up your nose)
Key 1989 stat: Didn't fall on head (yet)
It's a Football Friday rant: Oh, bravo, Pro Set. It was so important to get young Don Beebe in your 1989 edition that you had to reach out for a third-party photo, was it? Only, rather than track down a quality picture of the young receiver, you acquired what appears to be a lost image from the Zapruder tape and slapped it on this piece of cardboard. Thankfully, you credited it as a "scouting photo," lest we be concerned that your oh-so-rigorous standards were slipping. Congratulations, gentlemen, your focus on quality is as sharp as ever.
Name: George Vukovich
Team: Cleveland Indians
Value of card: The wind through your hair
Key 1983 stat: One perfect photo
George Vukovich's advertisement for Glamour Shots, circa 1984: "Why Glamour Shots? Because you deserve to look your best
Name: Randy Johnson
Team: Seattle Mariners
Value of card: Six feet and 10 inches of dog turds
Key 1994 stat: One sad
Randy Johnson's train of thought from 3:10 to 3:12 p.m., March 24, 1995: "Sigh. It's just not fair. Why do the guys always have to hold a limbo contest before practice starts? I can't bend that far
Name: Mike Aldrete
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield in the logo; infield on the card
Value of card: It's low; way lowwwwwwww
Key 1989 stat: 2,861 people staring at him when he walked around Old Montreal like this
It's time for a Canadian pop quiz:
Just how low did Mike Aldrete go?
(A) So low, any lower and his bulge would have scraped the ground.
(B) So low, his knees locked and he was stuck in this position for the rest of his life.
(C) So low, it distracted fans from seeing he was constantly making an inappropriate gesture with his fist moving back and forth toward his cheek.
(D) So low, it was lower than the value of this card.
(E) All of the above.
Names: Brandon Puffer, Jung Bong
Teams: Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves
Value of card: Even trade for a 5-sack of bammer
Key 2002 stat: 22,871 stoner fans, combined
It's time for a reefer-fueled edition of The Matchup:
Round 1: Name is a marijuana reference (Winner: Tie)
Round 2: Name is slang for a marijuana user (Winner: Puffer)
Round 3: Name is slang for marijuana paraphernalia (Winner: Bong)
Round 4: Inclusion on a card that had to have been an inside joke at Topps (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: Career that takes a backseat to an awesome name (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Cooler-sounding full name (Winner: Bong)
Score: Bong 2, Puffer 1, Ties 3
Synopsis: In a dope Matchup that nearly went to pot, Bong smoked Puffer in the end in ironic fashion.
Name: Shawn Kemp
Team: Seattle SuperSonics
Position: Power forward
Value of card: Coal
Key 1994-95 stat: 100 pounds gained
"It's a Christmas Miracle," starring Shawn Kemp: The Seattle SuperSonics sponsored a TV special during the 1995 holiday season, and superstar Shawn Kemp was the natural choice to play the lead role: Santa Claus. There were many reasons for this choice. Kemp, of course, had put on a couple of extra pounds by the mid-1990s. The notorious dunker was often seen flying through the air. He liked dressing in outlandish outfits and was even working on a beard. But the deciding factor? This was a player who loved his ho-ho-hos.
Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp.
Name: Elliot Perry
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Value of card: About a buck (huh, huh; you with us?)
Key 1995-96 stat: 26 sweatsocks
It's time for a hard-court pop quiz:
What exactly does "kickin' it 'Socks' style with 'E.P.'" mean?
(A) You get in a bathtub and cover yourself in dirty laundry for no apparent reason.
(B) You stuff socks in your jock with "E.P.," stand about 3 feet apart and stare at each other.
(C) You get so drunk in Milwaukee you wake up like this.
(D) You don't do anything; you just smell like feet.
(E) All of the above.
Name: Dikembe Mutombo
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Value of card: (wags finger in your face)
Key 1995-96 stat: (wags finger in your face)
Here are some things that elicited Dikembe Mutombo finger wags:
- Opponents putting up weak shots and getting blocked (not in his house).
- Wearing a classic, tasteful basketball jersey (not in his house).
- Opting not to perform as a facsimile of himself in a car insurance commercial (not in his house).
- Referees calling goal-tending after he brought a stepladder onto the court and put his head in the hoop (not in his house).
- Posing like an idiot for a cheap basketball card (definitely in his house).
Name: Wes Unseld
Team: Washington Bullets
Value of card: As many cents as Coach Unseld had winning seasons (translation: zero)
Key 1990 stat: 816 death glares
Here's what Wes Unseld stands for:
Wizards or Bullets ...
Either way, Washington fans haven't had much to celebrate until this year
Suspenders for pants, suspension lift for hair
Unseld could have started ahead of most of his players in the early '90s
Nobody on the bench could see around that sizable backside
Skinny tie? No, just a wide man
Eyeglasses appear to be molded to his head
Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays
Down deep, though, he just wants a hug
Name: David Robinson
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Value of card: 71 seaman jokes
Key 1992-93 stat: Zero restful sleep
It's time for a military-style Caption, that likely didn't run in the Stars and Stripes circa 1992: "David Robinson sleeps in a pose that almost certainly won't lead to a back injury later in his career on a bunk next to a hybrid telephone-coffee maker after sneaking aboard the USS Toledo as part of a wild night with his former classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy reunion Saturday in Annapolis, Md."
Names: Reggie and Cheryl Miller
Team: Team Saddest Prom Night
Positions: Guard, forward
Value of card: As much awkwardness as you can fit in a photo
Key 1994 stat: Endless chants of "Cheryl's better!"
It's another family Matchup:
Round 1: Awesome haircut (Winner: Cheryl)
Round 2: Jacket big enough for the whole family (Winner: Reggie)
Round 3: Looks completely comfortable (Winner: Tie
Round 4: Got along better with Spike Lee (Winner: Cheryl)
Round 5: Worked with a guy nicknamed the Dunking Dutchman (Winner: Reggie)
Round 6: Less dorky (Winner: Cheryl, barely)
Round 7: More likely to survive being hit by that basketball-shaped meteor (Winner: Cheryl)
Final score: Cheryl 4, Reggie 2 (Ties: 1)
Synopsis: Reggie may have once scored 8 points in 9 seconds, but he wasn't quick enough to beat his sister today. Once again, Mr. Miller, Cheryl is better.
Name: Wesley Person
Team: Phoenix Suns
Value of card: One dollar, ripped into 11 pieces and thrown in the pool
Key 1996-97 stat: Zero shots made underwater
Zing go the strings: Another season of dunks, flops and depressed Knicks fans is nearing its conclusion. To celebrate, we're bringing you seven more ludicrous basketball cards to match the number of steps LeBron can take before the refs call him for traveling. We'd say "Enjoy!" but that's probably a reach.
The wisdom of Upper Deck: As noted on the above card, Wesley Person could make jumpers in any kind of environment, apparently including while wearing a basketball uniform underwater. Here are a few shots of Person in assorted environments that didn't make the cut for this card.
- Inside a meat locker, with a basketball made of meat
- In space, with Patrick Ewing defending him
- While being severely burned by a flamethrower
- While being chased by a pack of hungry Arctic wolves
- Inside a hockey rink, taking a Steve Nash slapshot to the groin
Name: Charlie Moore
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Value of card: More than nothing? Doubtful
Key 1980 stat: Squinted 75 percent of the time
Things Charlie could have used Moore of:
- Baseball acumen
- Good life choices
- Waking up on the lawn
- Passed balls
- Crippling self-doubt
- Beard lice
Name: Mario Soto
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Value of card: Soto? More like so low.
Key 1981 stat: Signed name as "Mario Sota" every third time just to mess with people
Clearing up some rumors about Mario Soto:
- Mario Soto was not angry in the above photo. He was just straining all of his head and face muscles under the weight of all that hair.
- Mario Soto did, in fact, refuse to call his undershirt in this picture a "turtleneck." He instead called it an "afrosweater."
- Mario Soto did not use bobby pins to keep his hat atop his head. He used Superglue.
- Mario Soto did not have a family of robins living in his hair. It was just a single robin who was afraid of commitment.
- Mario Soto did, in fact, use his afro to once catch a line drive. He also used it to catch taxis, trout, the attention of ladies and, one time, the clap.
Name: Fred Taylor
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Position: Running back
Value of card: About the same as the value of the Pro Bowl
Key 2008 stat: Got lei'd once
It's an All-Pro edition of The Caption: "Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor is greeted Sunday at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu by Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville, the only other being in Hawaii
Card submitted by Douglas Corti
Name: Rick Mahler
Team: Atlanta Braves
Value of card: One Rick Mahler-signed baseball (or, zilch)
Key 1982 stat: 621 balls signed (baseballs, sicko)
Selections of Rick Mahler baseball autographs from this signing session:
- "Timmy: You're a huge Braves fan. You might not know this, but I'm a Braves pitcher. Best, Rick Mahler"
- "Jenny: Please forgive our intolerably racist mascot logo. Best, Rick Mahler"
- "Wes: I'm keeping your ball in my butt pocket for a month or two. Best, Rick Mahler"
- "Bobby: I never liked you and your play at third base makes me ill. Best, Rick Mahler"
- "Debbie: I saw you at the game. You like this beer-bulge combination? I can tell. I'm in Room 232 at the Holiday Inn. Best, Rick Mahler"
- "Johnny: A ballboy actually signed this. Best, Rick Mahler"