Keith Sims, 1994 Topps Stadium Club Members Only (Football Friday No. 27)

Name: Keith Sims
Team: Miami Dolphins
Position: Offensive line
Value of card: 14 cheeseburgers
Key 1993 stat: 55-pound head

How big is Keith Sims' head?

(A) It was used as a float in the 1994 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
(B) The photo above was taken on normal zoom from 25 feet away.
(C) He took a nap on Easter Island and tourists started taking pictures with him.
(D) His neck had to be reinforced with 42 pounds of steel.
(E) All of the above.



Willie McGee, 1993 Score Select

Name: Willie McGee
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Surprisingly little
Key 1992 stat: Countless times startled by where he was stepping
Top 10 things we'd like to think are between Willie McGee's head and his helmet:

10) 27 copies of People's Sexiest Man of the Year, 1985
9) Will Clark's Matt Dillon mustache
8) Bonsai tree
7) The most amazing afro the world has ever seen
6) Barry Bonds' leftover "B12 shots"
5) A collection of Russian nesting dolls
4) Darren Lewis' fade
3) More forehead wrinkles
2) A feverish marmot
1) A smaller, better-fitting helmet


Paul Assenmacher, 1992 Upper Deck

Name: Paul Assenmacher
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One Vidal Sassoon shopping spree
Key 1991 stat: 57 pounds of hair grown
It's a long summer: Here we see Paul Assenmacher nearing completion of one of the greatest pointless baseball pranks of all time. For six months, the pitcher grew and piled his 'do into one of the finest hair helmets seen since the Colonial days. And when Assenmacher was called in to close a game that Sept. 17, his efforts had finally paid off. Instead of wearing his ballcap, the southpaw had painted his coif blue with a red "C" on the front. But the fake hat was so perfectly rendered that nobody even noticed it wasn't regulation, thereby ruining the joke. A heartbroken Assenmacher shaved his head the next day. Rick Sutcliffe laughed.



Dennis Eckersley, 1993 Score Dream Team

Name: Dennis Eckersley, aka Yanni
Team: Oakland A's
Positions: Closer, musician
Value of card: Two drums of sepia toner
Key 1992 stat: One moonlighting gig
Music of the heart: Having become one of baseball's pre-eminent relief pitchers, Dennis Eckersley began searching for a new challenge in 1992, seeking to satisfy a creative itch. He tried his hand at painting, sculpting, writing and acting, but wasn't adept at any of them. But when he sat down at a piano that December, he realized what had been missing. Eckersley quickly mastered the instrument and formed a band that played his favorite style of music: new age. He began wearing bad sweaters over button-up shirts and completed the look with khakis and a leather jacket. Performing under the stage name Yanni, Eckersley's band took off in popularity, though his smugness, flowing hair and massive lip brush also earned their share of revilement. But his baseball skills suffered as a result, and Eckersley realized he could never have both worlds. He stopped touring and eventually faked Yanni's death in a bear-related accident in 1995.



Heathcliff Slocumb, 1997 Topps

Name: Heathcliff Slocumb
Team: Boston Red Sox
Positions: Pitcher, The Epitome of Manliness
Value of card: As much as that chain
Key 1996 stat: Zero undershirts
A card that makes you more of a man: Need a boost of testosterone? Take a look at this card. Heathcliff Slocumb and the Topps production team provide what ExtenZe, the Hair Club for Men and beating up a much smaller person can't: masculinity enhancement. Slocumb is a man's man. He doesn't wear an undershirt; he lets the world witness a pectoral covered in a tuft of chest hair. He wears a chain that would drag most men to the ground. Maybe most importantly, his bulge travels nearly to his knee. But Slocumb's manliness doesn't stop there. He rocks a beer gut that would make John Kruk jealous. He has a mustache whose only responsibility is to make the mean look on his face even meaner. And, as a fitting exclamation to the point that Slocumb is The Epitome of Manliness, he doesn't pitch the ball to batters, he punches it at them.

Card submitted by reilljt0



Pascual Perez, 1989 Topps

Name: Pascual Perez
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: 6 ounces of Jheri curl juice
Key 1988 stat: Four letters in cursive, one letter printed
What a beauty: Pascual Perez is a beautiful man. Look at those soggy locks dripping sensual ooze onto his shoulders. The dripping strands cover his ears and have slipped past the front of his hat onto his forehead in the sexiest of ways. The hat itself accentuates Perez's perfect facial bone structure. His cheek bones lift his skin high, allowing the flaps to fall gracefully over his face. Perez's nose is the size of a pro-wrestler's fist, not at all making the pitcher look like a poodle. The glistening gold teeth add pizazz to the Perez package, perhaps drawing as much attention as his 5-inch Adam's apple. All told, few men encapsulate beauty this well.


Frank Thomas, 1992 Superstar Zone

Name: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First base
Value of card: One dowsing rod
Key 1991 stat: 109 runs bat — wait, what exactly is he holding?
It's a dry heat: Before the popularity of reality television, network executives at ESPN created a show in which White Sox slugger Frank Thomas was left stranded in "The Superstar Zone" — which was really just White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Thomas was helicoptered in with nothing but his uniform, a baseball, a bat and a glove. His challenge: Find safety within 48 hours. The show, of course, never aired, because Thomas proceeded to wander around the luminescent sand, undoing his pants and grasping his "dowsing rod" in a supposed attempt to find water. As a result, the production team learned that "The Big Hurt" was really more of an "Average-Size Hurt."


Chris Zorich, 1991 Pacific (Football Friday No. 26)

Name: Chris Zorich
Team: Notre Dame
Position: Nose tackle
Value of card: One treasure trail
Key 1991 stat: Zero adult-size jerseys worn
Football Friday quiz time:

Why is Chris Zorich's jersey so tiny?

A) Drunken laundry mishap
B) A poor school, Notre Dame could only afford child-size football jerseys
C) Bottom half was ground off by the steel wool on his belly
D) It's foreshadowing the Irish's shrinking college football prowess
E) Charlie Weis traveled back in time and ate part of it



Earl Cunningham, 1990 Topps

Name: Earl Cunningham
Teams: Chicago Cubs, Lancaster (S.C.) Bruins
Positions: Outfield, one knee
Value of card: One outfield sponsorship from Lancaster TrueValue Hardware
Key 1989 stat: Reached pinnacle of his baseball career
Top 10 reasons Earl Cunningham never reached the Show:

10) One leg stopped at the knee, making running difficult
9) He never could get out from under the shadow of his brother, Richie
8) He was too intimidated by Rick Sutcliffe's beard
7) He was caught using steroids to enhance his bulge
6) He never could find his other batting glove
5) Manager Dom Zimmer kept getting him confused with basketball star Earl "the Pearl" Monroe
4) His insatiable love for pimento loaf caused him to balloon up to 342 pounds by the age of 20
3) He knew his future baseball card photos would never be as good as this one
2) He was tired of playing for teams named after varieties of bears
1) The Cubs were so awash in talent and wins that they never needed him


Carlton Fisk, Robin Ventura, 1991 Upper Deck

Names: Carlton Fisk, Robin Ventura
Team: Chicago White Sox
Positions: Catcher, third base
Value of card: $21 million in debt
Key 1990 stat: One "ground breaking" trip to the past
Cutting costs: Despite a recession in the early 1990s, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf pushed ahead with building a new Comiskey Park for his team. The move put Reinsdorf in a serious amount of debt, leaving him with but one choice: cut back on spending during the 1990 season. Some moves were never publicized, such as letting Boy Scouts rent out Old Comiskey's rat-infested locker rooms for camping trips and refusing to pay Ozzie Guillen because he couldn't speak English. Others, however, were painfully obvious. Here, we see two White Sox players dressed in authentic 1920s uniforms — because Reinsdorf refused to pay for new ones. Robin Ventura, right, is wearing one of Moe Berg's old unis; Carlton Fisk, age 93, is wearing his actual uniform from the 1929 season. Reinsdorf, however, managed to spin the move as "throwback uniforms," a trend that still continues 20 years later.


Lance Johnson, 1992 Donruss Triple Play

Name: Lance Johnson
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Center field
Value of card: I don't wanna!
Key 1991 stat: NOOOOOO!!!!
Immaturity is not flattering: Oh, the embarrassment after Lance Johnson was called out stealing second May 27, 1991, against the Rangers. Johnson, convinced he was safe, rolled over on his back and starting thrashing about, kicking his legs and pounding his fists while emitting a high-pitched scream that caused dogs near the stadium to start barking. He then sat up, spiked his helmet and yelled, "I hate you! I hate you!" at umpire Jim Quick for the next three minutes. When he saw manager Jeff Torborg come out of the dugout to retrieve him, Johnson laid down, stiff as a board, and started holding his breath. Torborg, sheepish and resigned, dragged Johnson off the field, gave him a spanking and sent him to the locker room to think about what he had done.



Rich Ireland, 1993 Topps

Name: Rich Ireland
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: On sale at Mervyns for $1.89
Key 1992 stat: Five-button fly
Time for another pop quiz:

What was Rich Ireland doing before this photo was taken?

(A) Posing for his senior portrait
(B) Playing baseball in "Tron" world
(C) Infusing funds into the federal government based in Dublin
(D) Wrangling cattle
(E) Looking for a chin
(F) All of the above



Dennis Lamp, 1991 Score

Name: Dennis Lamp
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Six torn lampshades
Key 1990 stat: One amputated hand
The man of one hand: Dennis Lamp posted a career 96-96 record with a 3.93 ERA. These are pretty good numbers, but they're even more impressive when it's taken into account that the handlebar mustache aficionado pitched most of his career with one hand.
True story: On Aug. 13, 1979, Cardinals legend Lou Brock hit a line drive back up in the middle. The ball ricocheted off Lamp's pitching hand, and Brock made it safely to first for his 3,000th hit.
The tragic aftermath: Lamp stayed in to pitch the rest of the inning, but after the game a drunken team doctor concluded that he would have to amputate Lamp's hand in order to save the pitcher's career. Lamp grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and agreed to the surgery, paving the way and lending a hand to a young player who would use Lamp's story as inspiration and one day make it to the big leagues.
The truth revealed: Upon further examination of this card, it appears the drunken team doctor removed Lamp's hand at the wrist and attached it to his groin, thus explaining the freakish bulge seen above.



Andy Van Slyke, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Andy Van Slyke
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Positions: Outfield, wino
Value of card: $2 coupon for a bottle of Night Train
Key 1992 stat: One liver transplant
Have another one, you lush: For shame, Andy Van Slyke. Sure, everyone has smelled the hooch on your breath in the locker room, but this time you've gone too far. What, that bottle of Thunderbird couldn't wait until after the game? You're a mess, tripping over the AstroTurf, having your third base coach carry you off the field, and likely soiling yourself in the process. What kind of example are you setting for the children, taking the field with a flask of cherry-flavored vodka under your cap, already drunk on fortified wine and tallboys of Natty Ice? You disgust me, sir.


Vaughn Dunbar, 1991 Pro Line (Football Friday No. 25)

Name: Vaughn Dunbar
Team: New Orleans Saints
Position: Running back
Value of card: One bejeweled anchor necklace
Key 1990 stat: 124 stripes on pants
Fashion, for football's sake: Some players play football for the opportunity to win a championship. Some play for riches. Others stick with the sport for statistics and personal achievements. Then there's Vaughn Dunbar, who played football for its fashion. A day didn't go by in the early 1990s when Dunbar didn't wear Zubaz pants. He saw them as more than a trend; they were an identity. But Zubaz pants weren't enough. Oh no. His fashion-forward mentality led him to trademark the first half-Zubaz hat, a fitting compliment for his louder-than-a-train-horn pants. But Dunbar's stylish ensemble didn't end there. After months of contemplation and searching, he found a diamond anchor necklace at a pawn shop on a New Orleans pier. Sixteen hundred dollars later, it hung from his neck, suggestively pointing to his goods, which were wrapped in the finest of textiles. (Yes, Zubaz.) With his outfit nearly complete, Dunbar set out to find a shirt. Then, in a moment of enlightenment, he realized no shirt could match the grandeur of his pants, hat and necklace. So he never wore one again.



Nolan Ryan, 1992 Pinnacle Sidelines

Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Ace
Value of card: Two angus burgers
Key 1991 stat: One disappearance
Ryan Express goes Pony Express: In the twilight of his career, Nolan Ryan often forewent off-season workouts, in the interest of both resting his aging body and pursuing other hobbies. But the Ryan Express took things to another level during the winter of 1991-92. When he didn't turn up for spring training in February, Rangers officials formed a search party and combed the greater western United States in search of the ace. Tips began to come in reporting a man who resembled the pitcher going by the name "Roland Nyan" and heading up a cattle drive from Montana to Texas. Reportedly, the cowboy would roll through small towns, chasing off crooked sheriffs by using 98-mph fastballs instead of guns. He was jailed once, but quickly escaped when the residents of Dodge City rioted and busted him out. He turned up in Laredo, Texas, in March, stinking of heifers, sweat-stained leather and rye, but ready to pitch. However, his final major league season was cut short by the worst case of saddle sores that doctors had ever seen.

Goose Gozzo, 1990 Topps

Name: Goose Gozzo (yes, that's his name)
Team: Toronto
GoosesBlue Jays
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One finger in your rump
Key 1989 stat: Two birds, one card
Time for another pop quiz:

How in god's name did Goose Gozzo get that name?

(A) In the delivery room, the doctor told his mother, "All right lady, you got five letters. Make me laugh."
(B) In Canada, "Goose Gozzo" is the equivalent of "John Smith."
(C) He's a huge "Top Gun" fan, hence the mustache.
(D) He has a habit of jamming his finger in "unexpected" places.
(E) All of the above.



Chris Gwynn, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Chris Gwynn
Team: Kansas City Royals
Positions: Outfield, bat in junk
Value of card: Unsure about the card, but Gwynn is getting his money's worth
Key 1992 stat: 6 ounces of "pine tar" on bat
Chris Gwynn's stream of consciousness, 1:14 to 1:16 p.m. May 14, 1992: "Man, where can I put this bat? On my shoulder? No, that's uncomfortable. In my hands? No, that looks awkward. Should I lay it on the field? No, that's disrespectful. Where to put it. Where to put it. What about right here, nestled in my groin. Ooh, yeah. That feels great. And I bet I look pretty masculine. Ooh, yeah. I'll have to tell the wife about this one. I wonder if Dad ever hung out in the on-deck circle like this. I said "hung out." Ha, ha. Ooh, baby. This is nice. What if I shift my weight to the left a bit? Oooooooh, that's the ticket. Why is the pitcher looking at me funny? Who cares. I'm taking this bat out to dinner tonight."



Lee Smith, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Lee Smith
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Closer
Value of card: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Key 1990 stat: 216 batters yelled at
Here's yelling at you: Anger drives some men to commit heinous acts; it drives others to greatness. For Lee Smith, anger was a driving force behind a stellar career and the catalyst for conflicts with opponents. With a game on the line, anger would course through Smith's body, pushing him closer and closer to a breaking point. Then, when he would deliver a fastball to the plate, he would scream at the batter some of the most inappropriate things about mothers ever heard on a baseball field. To Greg Luzinski, Smith yelled, "Your mother is the best lumberjack in the family!" To Ruben Sierra, Smith screamed, "I summitted the Sierra madre!" To Dave Parker, Smith shouted, "Your mother blows more than bubbles!" To Frank Thomas, Smith called out, "Your mother would be in heaven with a bat that size!" After all these crude insults, the batters struck out, always prompting Smith to yell, "That's what I didn't do with your mother!"



Hal Lanier, 1989 Topps

Name: Hal Lanier
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Manager
Value of card: Six globs of hair gel
Key 1988 stat: 643 face wrinkles
10 nicknames for Hal Lanier, submitted by his players:
10) Leatherface
9) Hal of a Hairdo
8) Happypants
7) Neck Canal Hal
6) Ronald Reagan
5) He of the Wise Wave
4) The Bulldog
3) Lothario Lanier
2) Ol' Iron Ears
1) Halle



Glenallen Hill, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Glenallen Hill
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Whatever Mr. Hill wants to pay is OK with us
Key 1992 stat: 26 asses kicked
Time for another pop quiz:

Why is Glenallen Hill so angry?

(A) A fan in the first deck yelled, "Hey, Hill, you and Alex Cole should keep the massages in the bedroom!"
(B) Goddamn it, he's sick and tired of having two first names in one.
(C) He can't believe the armband manufacturer ripped him off and gave him "half-bands."
(D) He doesn't have a radical pair of Oakley Blades like Alex Cole's.
(E) His silver chain is so heavy it's weighing down the left side of his body, causing discomfort in his bulge.
(F) The photographer asked for his "fury" look.
(G) All of the above.



Bruce Smith, 1991 Pro Line (Football Friday No. 24)

Name: Bruce Smith
Team: Buffalo Bills
Position: Defensive line
Value of card: It's worth a look
Key 1990 stat: Two silky-smooth legs
Script from Pure Silk Satin Shaving Cream commercial, circa 1990: "Hello, ladies, Bruce Smith here. (Smith stands in short-shorts in front of a picturesque sunset.) I'm a professional football player, and my sport can be pretty rough. (Cut to shot of vicious tackle; Smith says, 'Ooh.') I may like my sport rough, but I don't like my legs that way. That's why I rely on Pure Silk Satin Shaving Cream. (Smith holds up bottle of shaving cream, and looks at it like one would look at a lover.) I have to keep these smooth, sweet-honey legs in tip-top shape for game day (cut to shot of Smith slowly rubbing shaving cream on his leg), but I have to make sure they look and feel their best for the beach, the ballroom and the bedroom, too. So, trust a man who knows how rough (pan to another vicious tackle behind Smith; Smith chuckles) life can be, and pick up a bottle of Pure Silk Satin Shaving Cream at your local drugstore. It's one play the lady in all of us should always make."



Randy Johnson, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Randy Johnson
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Ace
Value of card: Four splinters
Key 1992 stat: 14,830 times having mind wander off
Randy Johnson's thoughts from 3:17 p.m. to 3:18 p.m. on Oct. 17, 1992: "This is so stupid. Why would the ball get stuck in the bat? Whatever. Just try to keep your mouth closed this time, Randy. Heh, Randy. My name is Randy Johnson. Heh, heh. The Big Unit is Randy. Ha! That's funny. Remember that time Buhner gave both the Griffeys a hot foot at the same time? Junior cried like a little girl for, like, two hours! 'Oh, I have sensitive feet!' Ha! What a wuss. I bet I could break his bat like this. I wonder what else I could break with my fastball. Bricks, like those karate guys do? Maybe diamonds! Ooh, I wonder what would happen if I hit a bird..."


Jim Abbott, Taz, 1993 Upper Deck Looney Tunes

Names: Jim Abbott, Taz
Teams: California Angels, The World Umpires Association
Positions: Ace, umpire
Value of card: Two doodles of genitalia
Key 1992 stat: One nonsensical headline
It's time for The Matchup:

Round 1: Calm temperament (Winner: Abbott)
Round 2: Bulge (Winner: Abbott)
Round 3: Number of hands (Winner: Taz)
Round 4: Double chin (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: Facial hair (Winner: Taz)
Round 6: Looniness (Winner: Taz)
Round 7: Beer gut (Winner: Taz)

Score: Taz 4, Abbott 2 (Ties, 1)

Synopsis: After staking an early lead, Abbott falls in integral categories "facial hair" and "beer gut," meaning Taz wins, hands down.



Roger McDowell, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Roger McDowell
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One associate's degree
Key 1992 stat: One class audited at Lasorda University
Pop quiz at Lasorda U:

What is the mascot of Lasorda University's athletics teams?

(A) The Splintered Toothpicks
(B) The Sopping Headbands
(C) The Single Gloves
(D) The Greasy Mullets
(E) The Pot-Bellied Scuzzballs
(F) All of the above



Dennis Eckersley, 1981 Topps

Name: Dennis Eckersley
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: One hair net
Key 1980 stat: Eight-month shampoo advertising campaign
Dennis Eckersley here for Prell: "After throwing heat for nine innings with a ballcap on, my hair is a fright by the time I reach the locker room. But no matter how much sweat, dirt and pine tar ends up in my locks, I know that Prell will hit a home run every time. Prell gives my hair the luster and full-bodiedness I need, whether I'm heading out for an evening on the town or just putting it up in curlers for the night. Prell also keeps my mustache looking full, soft and radiant, even after weeks on the road. Just ask my ex-wife. [Eckersley grows agitated] Sure, she left me for a teammate two years ago, but I bet that heartless wench still misses running her hands through my shining mane and lip warmer. Tramp! [Ten-second pause as Eckersley fumes] Just trust me, OK? Even against Dennis Eckersley, Prell never strikes out."


Rickey Henderson, 1991 Fleer Pro-Visions

Name: Rickey Henderson
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Outfield
Value of card: One PF Flyer (yes, only one)
Key 1990 stat: 1,593 times referred to himself in third person
Life imitates art: Sure, at first look this doesn't appear to be a very Bust-worthy card. Yes, the sky is green and yellow, and, yes, the moon is being eclipsed by Rickey's flattop, but nothing too ridiculous. Even the symbolic wings on Rickey's shoes are tastefully drawn. And that's where the story begins. Rickey, upon seeing this card during spring training in 1991, was struck by inspiration. A master craftsman, Rickey fashioned his own shoe-wings out of Dennis Eckersley's mustache wax in an effort to make himself faster. "Time for Rickey to fly," he was heard muttering to himself in a dark corner of the locker room. The wings, of course, did not make Rickey faster and actually caused large grease stains on the cuffs of his pants, earning him a new nickname: The Streak.


Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, 1989 Donruss

Name: Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Ace
Value of card: 3 ounces of sludge
Key 1988 stat: Too many restroom "spills" to count
10 nicknames Dennis Boyd should have considered:
10) Dennis "Lubricant Tube" Boyd
9) "Crude" Dennis Boyd
8) Dennis "Gas Under the Covers" Boyd
7) Dennis "Bob's Big" Boyd
6) Oil Can "Dennis" Boyd
5) "The Say Oil Can Kid"
4) Dennis "Oil Can't" Boyd
3) "Slick" Dennis Boyd
2) Dennis "Gas Bag" Boyd
1) Dennis "Black Gold" Boyd



Emmitt Smith, 1993 Pro Line (Football Friday No. 23)

Name: Emmitt Smith
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Position: Running back
Value of card: Not for sale
Key 1993 stat: $1.4 million spent on Emmitt Smith merchandise — by Emmitt Smith
Open for business: As a budding superstar in 1993, Emmitt Smith had a entrepreneurial notion to open a store selling only Emmitt merchandise. Smith bought everything he could that had his face or name on it. Football cards, action figures, newspaper articles — it was all for sale at Catch-22 in downtown Dallas. There was just one problem: Emmitt couldn't bear to part with any of his keepsakes. Every time a prospective customer chose an item, Emmitt would hesitate, blink rapidly and mutter, "Not for sale." When customers would point out that the item had a price tag, Emmitt would fly into a rage, point to a small sign reading "No cleats, no jersey, no service" and escort them from the shop. Losing money rapidly, Emmitt took drastic measures. He purchased crates of Bruce Smith memorabilia, scratched out the first name and replaced it with his own. Catch-22 shut down after three months.



Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, 1993 Upper Deck

Names: Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Positions: Outfielders, boyhood friends
Value of card: True friendship is priceless
Key 1992 stat: 72 tickle fights
It's ... The Matchup:

Round 1: Bling (Winner: Davis)
Round 2: Blue (Winner: Davis)
Round 3: Threes (Winner: Davis)
Round 4: Fours (Winner: Strawberry)
Round 5: Friendship (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Crimes (Winner: Strawberry)
Round 7: Smirkiness (Winner: Davis)
Round 8: Mock turtlenecks (Winner: Strawberry)
Round 9: Splotchy, beardlike facial hair (Winner: Tie)

Score: Davis 4, Strawberry 3 (Ties, 2)

Synopsis: Davis edges Strawberry, thanks to his unnecessarily huge armbands and smugness. However, this Matchup caused the two to end their friendship and become sworn enemies.


Carlos Baerga, 1994 Fleer Pro-Vision

Name: Carlos Baerga
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Second base
Value of card: Many questions
Key 1993 stat: 14 suns destroyed
Literal translation: So, since there's no way to determine exactly what the hell is supposed to be going on in this illustration, here's the literal take on it. Carlos Baerga lived in outer space, where ice chips floated across the sky and poisonous vapors wafted behind him wherever he went. Baerga used a hammer with tail feathers as a bat. Instead of the batter's box, he took most of his swings from atop a giant bushel of grapes. He liked to blow up stars resembling tennis balls that exploded into giant fireworks. And, most importantly, his uniform pants were so tight, you could see the flask of whiskey in his back pocket.


Dave Winfield, 1991 Studio

Name: Dave Winfield
Team: California Angels
Position: Right field
Value of card: One case of Rawlings baseballs
Key 1990 stat: 400 balls cupped
My, what big hands you have: Wow, and we thought Julio Franco's 1991 Studio card was sexual. It turns out the Studio photographer that year was actually a disturbed 14-year-old boy in his parents' basement who had professional athletes do highly suggestive things with baseball equipment. We've now seen Winfield cupping multiple leathery balls, Franco whispering sweet nothings to his bat, Tom Glavine making bedroom eyes at the camera and Eddie Murray tickling himself. More research is needed, but we can only assume cards exist from this set featuring Roger Clemens holding handcuffs in his glove, a shirtless, oiled Cecil Fielder, and Keith Hernandez making sweet love to himself.



Kent Hrbek, 1989 Topps, 1989 Topps All-Star

Name: Kent Hrbek
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: First base
Value of card: Two chemotherapy sessions
Key 1988 stat: One new game created
We have a winner: During this 1988 Minnesota-Detroit game, Topps was good enough to capture the beginning of a new game created by slugger Kent Hrbek and his Twin teammates. Called "Guess What You're Tasting," the contest involved blindfolding the player whose turn it was, cramming a wad of whatever into his mouth, removing the blindfold and then forcing the player to keep the substance in his mouth until he guessed correctly or vomited. The only restrictions: nothing that could cut or kill. Here we see Hrbek, at top, trying to determine what has just been stuffed into his considerable maw. He seems puzzled and possibly a little gassy. At bottom, on his fourth guess, a pleased Hrbek has finally come up with the correct answer: Gene Larkin's jock strap.


John Franco, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

Name: John Franco
Team: New York Mets
Position: Closer
Value of card: Six months of finger elephantiasis treatment
Key 1992 stat: 11 inches of mustache
Time for another pop quiz:

What is that on John Franco's face?

(A) A mirror image of his massive eyebrows
(B) The Tropic of Capricorn
(C) The embodiment of his infatuation with Tom Selleck
(D) The hide of his beloved ferret, Mr. Squiggles
(E) The Franco-Plush'en War
(F) All of the above



Eddie Whitson, 1989 Topps

Name: Eddie Whitson
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Dirt (it's brown, at least)
Key 1988 stat: Five garbage truck routes on Wednesdays
10 things fans yelled at Eddie Whitson while he warmed up Sept. 23, 1989:
10) "Hey, Eddie, you delivered that package to the neighbor's?"
9) "It's nice you wore a nondescript brown jacket to hide your coveralls."
8) "Anybody ever tell you that you dress like Pete Vuckovich?"
7) "No, no, no. Having your hair on your forehead under your hat is a great look."
6) "It's impressive how your mustache extends to the inside of your mouth."
5) "Hey, the Padres' owner wanted me to tell you thanks for dressing up for the occasion."
4) "I can't believe your sideburns are made of elementary school chalkboard erasers."
3) "You still stink like this morning's garbage route."
2) "If your ears were any lower, they'd be on your neck."
1) "Wow. It is intimidating to be in the presence of such a sculpted, superior athlete."



Jerome Brown, 1990 Score (Football Friday No. 22)

Name: Jerome Brown
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Position: Defensive tackle
Value of card: Three squares of toilet paper
Key 1989 stat: 10 awful smells wrapped into one
Quite a price for a play: Jerome Brown played hard. He'd do anything to make a play. This zeal was witnessed during a 1989 Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Redskins game when the defensive tackle crammed his face into quarterback Doug Williams' rear end to secure a third-down tackle. Lucky for Brown, this defining moment will live on forever thanks to the crack Score photography team. Too often early 1990s football cards showed interior linemen on sidelines with steam rising from their heads, or down on a knee, trying to lift themselves from a dogpile. But here, in all its glory, scores of American children were given the chance to see a 300-pound man with his nose, mouth, lips and chin jammed into the sweat-sopped backside of a 35-year-old Super Bowl champion. As Brown remarked after the game, "It smelled of sweat, crap, rotten fish, a rest stop mop, an amputee stump, crap, desperation, defeat, crap and a Sahara nomad's jock strap, and it tasted worse, but I made the play, and we won." So did the children of this great nation.



Phillie Phanatic, 1992 Donruss Triple Play

Name: Suspect
Team: America's most wanted
Position: No. 7
Value of card: One piece of evidence
Key 1991 stat: One all-points bulletin
Missing: Shayna Kleffman, age 4, was last seen attending a Philadelphia Phillies game on Aug. 22, 1991. She has blond hair, blue eyes and was wearing a pink T-shirt and white skirt at the time of her disappearance. Witnesses say they saw Shayna approaching a man on top of the Phillies' dugout shortly before she was reported missing. The suspect is described as a furry, green manbeast with a large horn in place of a nose or mouth. He was last seen wearing a size 7XL replica Phillies jersey, a red ballcap turned sideways and orange baseball stirrups the size of duffel bags. The suspect has big, beady eyes and may be mentally deranged, police say. He is described as large, violent and extremely stinky. If you have any information on this case, call our tip line at 888-BBC-BUST.


Chili Davis, 1993 Fleer

Name: Chili Davis
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Designated hitter
Value of card: One bowl of chili
Key 1992 stat: 72 cases of heartburn
Pop quiz time:

Why is Chili Davis squatting like that?

A) He's reliving the rape shower he took that morning
B) He's beatboxing like a sucka MC
C) He's coughing up blood after being impaled in the chest by a broken bat
D) He's a designated hitter. What else is he supposed to do? Play defense?
E) Two words: Chili burps


Jose Canseco, 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings

Names: Jose Canseco, Tattoo, Herve Villechaize
Teams: Oakland A's, The Fantasy Islands
Positions: Outfield, Mr. Roarke's assistant
Value of card: Dee plane, boss, dee plane
Key 1986 stat: 1 man, 1 golden gun
A small man with a big idea: Herve Villechaize was a diminutive actor best known for his roles in "Fantasy Island" and "The Man with the Golden Gun." Despite his theatrical credentials, he always dreamed of playing baseball. But at 2 feet, 4 inches, this was a dream destined to die.
Doubt gets short shrift: Villechaize never took no for an answer. When they told him he'd never be a TV star, did he listen? No. When they told him he'd never drink his weight in pina coladas, did he listen? No. When they told him he'd never reach the cookie jar on the kitchen counter, did he listen to them? No. So why would he listen to them when they said he'd never play baseball?
Reaching new heights: Tattoo, as his friends called him, started working out. He lifted weights like a midget on an mysterious island (umm, what?) and, despite his voracious appetite, he cut out booze, cigarettes and women from his diet. But with every weight he lifted the realization that he would never grow big enough to play professional baseball sank in deeper. In despair, he changed his name to "Jose Canseco," started overdosing on steer-oids, as he called them, and went on to enjoy a successful career in baseball that only months before seemed like a fantasy.



Checklist, 1993 Upper Deck

Name: Checklist
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Checklist
Value of card: Let us check
Key 1992 stat: 476 cards in the set
A player by any other name ... : Checklist had a bright future ahead of him in 1993. He was a six-tool player; he could hit for power, hit for average, run, throw, field and keep card numbers in sequential order. Checklist's 1992 stats were impressive: 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427 and so on. Because of Checklist's performance keeping count, San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker gave him a shot on the big-league roster. Checklist took advantage of this opportunity, and flourished as the starting lineup card orderer. Sadly, Checklist's career was cut short when he suffered an ACL (Agonizing Continuity Loss) injury.



Barry Bonds, 1991 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Positions: Left field, face on bat
Value of card: I'm (sob) not (sob) sure (sob)
Key 1990 stat: 12 buckets of tears
Time for another pop quiz:

Why is Barry Bonds melancholy?

(A) His ratty flattop needs a trim.
(B) His bat is cheating on him with Chuck Knoblauch and Julio Franco.
(C) The photographer made him take out his ridiculous cross earring for this card.
(D) He's ashamed of having a picture of himself on his wristbands.
(E) He had the foresight, in 1991, to realize this absurd pose would one day wind up on an even more absurd baseball card blog.
(F) All of the above.



Michael Jordan, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Michael Jordan
Teams: Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls
Positions: Batting practice bum, guard
Value of card: Blackjack!
Key 1990 stat: Blackjack!
10 reasons Michael Jordan isn't a baseball player:
10) He wears a dress belt with baseball pants.
9) He double-dribbles on groundouts.
8) It's hard to stick out your tongue and take a Red Man.
7) Blackjack!
6) He sings every time he swings (see above).
5) Charlie Sheen requires too much time in underwear-modeling sessions.
4) There's nothing exciting about a "sacrifice dunk."
3) In batting practice, "nothing but net" isn't a good thing.
2) Scottie Pippen prefers badminton.
1) "Error" Jordan isn't a good nickname.



Rick Mirer, 1993 Pro Line (Football Friday No. 21)

Name: Rick Mirer
Team: Seattle Seahawks
Position: Quarterback
Value of card: One case of road rash
Key 1993 stat: 68,212 times laughed at
It's a chopper, baby: The photo team at Pro Line was excited when Rick Mirer asked if he could bring his motorcycle to his shoot in 1993 — at least, until Mirer showed up. The rookie QB rolled into the studio's parking lot on the Harley he had purchased with his signing bonus, wearing the free Seahawks leather jacket that came with the bike, a pair of mom jeans, prescription round-lensed sunglasses and his football helmet. Knowing that a photo of any man dressed like this should never see the light of day, the Pro Line photographer did the only thing he could: He conducted the shoot inside a dark, windowless warehouse on the outskirts of the Emerald City.


Bob Welch, 1991 Score

Name: Bob Welch
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Ace
Value of card: A handful of pennies
Key 1990 stat: 46 reconstructive surgeries
New face of baseball: In the months after the 1990 season, Bob Welch was injured in a horrific pitching machine accident. From the neck down, he was fine, but his head was reduced to a pulpy sludge, every bone broken, every link to his face erased. His fans and teammates thought the worst, as did most medical professionals. Then Lithuanian Dr. Bronislovas stepped to the plate with a radical surgery he said could save the Cy Young winner. Sixty-seven straight hours of life-saving surgery passed, then dozens of follow-up surgeries and months of rehabilitation. When Welch held a news conference on Opening Day 1991, fans around the world were amazed: His face now resembled a baseball, he could see through what looked like fingernails and he had retained his command of the split-finger fastball.



Kevin Mitchell, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, 1993 Upper Deck Teammates

Names: Kevin Mitchell, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner
Teams: Seattle Mariners, Pacific Sock Exchange
Positions: Left, center and right field
Value of card: Five bats
Key 1992 stat: 490 socks exchanged
It's time for The Matchup, trio-style — 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie:

Round 1: Number of bats (Winner: Tie between Mitchell and Buhner)
Round 2: Stockiness (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 3: Lack of expression (Winner: Griffey)
Round 4: Boyish pranks (Winner: Buhner)
Round 5: Socks (Winner: Inconclusive, as they're constantly being exchanged)
Round 6: Sleeves (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 7: Best use of metal suitcase (Winner: Griffey)
Round 8: Mock turtlenecks: (Winner: Tie between Mitchell and Buhner)
Round 9: Bulge (Winner: Mitchell)
Round 10: Having same name as father (Winner: Griffey)

Final score: Mitchell 8, Griffey 6, Buhner 4


Jim Palmer, 1984 Topps Purina Dog Chow insert

Name: Jim Palmer
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Ace
Value of card: Four globs of shaving cream
Key 1983 stat: Two glistening cheeks
Script from Barbasol television commercial, circa 1984: "Hi there, sports fans, Jim Palmer here. You know I've had some close shaves on the mound through the years. (Cut to shot of Palmer on the mound; batted ball whizzes past his head; close-up of Palmer mouthing the word, "Wowsers.") But nothing compares to the close shave I get with Barbasol. (Holds up can of Barbasol shaving cream, smiles wide, tooth glistens.) Without Barbasol, every day can be a rough outing (close-up of Palmer running his hand up a stubbled cheek), and no one wants that. I've experienced success on the diamond, partly thanks to my razor-sharp control. But off the field, my success comes from my razor and a can of thick and rich Original Barbasol. So, trust me, fellas, be a team player (woman's arms reach over Palmer's shoulders; her hands start rubbing his cheek; he laughs with bravado) and pick up a can of Barbasol. It's a home run every time."



Todd Day, 1992 Star Pics

Name: Todd Day
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Pinch bunter
Value of card: One hour of child labor
Key 1991 stat: 85 times hit by pitches
Kids get hit by the darndest things: Inspired by the legend of Eddie Gaedel, a dwarf who pinch-hit in a major league game, Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley decided to pull his own publicity stunt in 1991, signing 10-year-old Todd Day to make one pinch-hitting appearance in an early-season game against the St. Louis Cardinals. But what was meant to be a light-hearted moment took a serious turn when a confused Tommy Lasorda ordered Day to sacrifice bunt Eddie Murray to second. Day, who had never bunted before, awkwardly grasped both ends of his miniature bat, straddled the plate and was subsequently drilled in the chest by Bob Tewksbury. Lasorda, never one to quickly give up on a prospect, proceeded to start Day the next 30 games, convincing O'Malley he was actually Darryl Strawberry. Day was forced to bunt every at-bat, and was plunked 85 consecutive times. He got a sac bunt down on his 86th try and was summarily released by the Dodgers. Slightly brain-damaged and terrified of open fields, there was only one career path left for Day to follow: professional basketball.


Archie Corbin, 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Name: Archie Corbin (No, we didn't PhotoShop that name.)
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Cost of admission
Key 1991 stat: Seven blaxploitation movies
Archie gets the "Shaft": "Archie! Who's the black pitcher dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? (Archie!) You're damn right. Who is the man that would throw a pitch at his brother man? (Archie!) Can ya dig it? Who's the cat that won't pop out when there's still only one man out? (Archie!) Right on. You see this cat Archie is a bad mother ... (Shut yo mouth.) But I'm talkin' 'bout Archie. (Then we can dig it!) He's a complicated at-bat and no one understands him but his catcher. (Archie Corbin!)"



Tony Phillips, 1986 Topps

Name: Tony Phillips
Team: Oakland A's
Position: Middle infield
Value of card: Not enough to raise an eyebrow
Key 1985 stat: 46 things in his hands
Phillips carries his weight: The Oakland A's teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s were some of the best of the era. They had such power hitters as Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, a dominant closer in Dennis Eckersley and a reliable catcher in Terry "Two Chins" Steinbach. Because of such stars, a utility infielder like Tony Phillips had a hard time getting noticed. But Phillips was a gamer. He knew he needed to carry his own weight in order for the A's to be successful. The problem was this: Phillips didn't understand that "carry your own weight" was just an idiom. He took its meaning literally, and began carrying around whatever he came across to show his commitment to the team. The photo above exemplifies this, with Phillips carrying a ball, a bat, an infielder's mitt, batting gloves, a much-too-long pen, a reasonable mustache, the expectations of his family in Georgia, the memories of his bedroom failings with dozens of women, an infant chinchilla and an askew hat. Carrying his weight began to weigh on Phillips, and he batted in .203 in 1988. A's manager Tony LaRussa theorized that Phillips could have had a better year if he had put down the ball, pen, batting gloves and infielder's mitt when he stepped up to the plate.