Showing posts with label 1991 Donruss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1991 Donruss. Show all posts


Dave Stieb, 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings

Name: Dave Stieb
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Ace
Value of card: The skin that flakes off his neck from his illustrated rash
Key 1990 stat: Three botched no-hitters
The sad, true, and, finally, joyous story of Dave Stieb: Have you ever gotten incredibly close to something you desperately wanted only to fall short time and time again? Well, stop lamenting your missed opportunities. You've never been "stiebed" (and, for the record, you've never been immortalized in one of the 20th century's greatest art forms, The Diamond King, either). In the Year of Our Lord 1988, Stieb had not one but two no-hitters broken up late in a game. Make that two no-hitters broken up in the bottom of the ninth inning. Make that two no-hitters broken up in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. Make that two no-hitters broken up in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and two strikes. Make that two no-hitters broken up in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and two strikes in consecutive starts. Yes, that happened. To Stieb's credit, he didn't jump off a building or commit to a life of smack abuse. He kept pitching, and, alas, had another no-hitter — make that a perfect game — broken up with two outs in the ninth inning the next year, in 1989. Still, no smack. No building jumping. Not even a job offer to be a casino "cooler." He just kept pitching, and, on Sept. 2, 1990, he pitched his first no-hitter. Finally, Stieb hadn't gotten "stiebed."


Roberto Alomar, 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings (Dreadful Diamond Kings Week No. 6)

Name: Roberto Alomar
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Second base
Value of card: One paint stain
Key 1990 stat: One thick eyebrow, one thin eyebrow
I don't get it: You may be asking yourself, "OK, you half-wits, what makes this card so dreadful?" First off, words can be hurtful, ma'am. But second, you're right. This Diamond King ain't so bad. The muted background color is a nice respite from the blinding 1980s backgrounds the Kings had featured. There's no poorly drawn "in action" player in the bottom right. Robbie's making a normal face, even if his eyebrows are a little uneven. In fact, you could say that this illustration is the spitting image of Roberto Alomar.


Gregg Olson, 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings (Dreadful Diamond Kings Week No. 3)

Name: Gregg Olson
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Closer
Value of card: Three G's
Key 1990 stat: Not an alcoholic (yet)
One dreadful mischaracterization: It's pretty clear Mr. Perez didn't care too much for young Orioles closer Gregg Olson. First, he covers up the "Diamond Kings" label with a ball cap the size of Olson's head in this portrait. Second, he suggests that Olson is giving us the finger with his glove hand. But worst of all, he's painted Olson's nose and cheeks rosier than Santa's, hinting that when the pitcher's not pouring in heat, he's pouring glass after glass of straight Jameson. Olson appears to have more burst facial blood vessels than a 55-year-old Irish cop who just got punched in the nose. Honestly, we're surprised Perez didn't just change this guy's name to Gregg Molson. For shame, sir.


Dave Parker, 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings (Dreadful Diamond Kings Week No. 2)

Name: Dave "The Cobra" Parker
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Positions: Outfield, old
Value of card: Two dried snake skins
Key 1990 stat: 52 years of age
It gets more dreadful with age: Here's something you don't see every day: a Diamond Kings card featuring a player without a hat or a smile. It's puzzling that Donruss and the artist, Mr. Perez, would do something special for Dave Parker. He was about 6 feet 10 and 52 years old in 1991, sure. But he was in his prime in the 1970s, so singling him out in a 1991 set seems odd. But maybe it's not his on-the-field exploits that led Donruss executives to bestow such an honor on "The Cobra." Maybe it was that awesome nickname. Maybe it was his steely stare or weathered skin. Or it could be his enviable beard or rarely seen black dude mullet. Look at that filthy mess back there. On second thought, maybe this Diamond Kings designation was well-deserved. Maybe we should save our venom and shelve our contempt for "The Cobra." Or maybe this card just bites.


Brady Anderson, 1991 Donruss Series 2

Name: Brady Anderson
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Outfield
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"
2) "Overcompensation"
1) "Bat Bulge"


Kevin Belcher, 1991 Donruss

Name: Kevin Belcher (unfortunately)
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Value of card: A shot of Dr Pepper
Key 1990 stat: No more than 25 percent of forearm exposed at any time
Rangers scouting report on rookie Kevin Belcher: "Loves to roll up his short sleeves exactly one time. We're not sure why. ... Spent his entire signing bonus on wristbands. ... Give him a couple cans of Cherry Coke and he'll live up to his name for the next half-hour. ... Calls his glasses his 'eye covers.' Yeah, we don't know, either. ... Has started an R&B cover group called Belch Biv DeVoe. They're not very good."


Neal Heaton, 1991 Donruss

Name: Neal "Heat-On" Heaton
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Pitcher
Value of card: Pennsylvania redemption value for two empty Budweiser cans
Key 1990 stat: 365 hangovers
Putting the "heat on" in Heaton: Neal Thompson - now Neal Heaton - was a young, quality pitcher with no vices before the 1990 season. That year, manager Jim Leyland introduced him to cigarettes and beer in an attempt to get the left-hander to blow off steam. This didn't turn out well. Thompson started drinking beer after beer after whisky after beer. In fact, what appears to be a mustache in the above card is in fact a round-the-mouth whisky stain. Thompson would show up drunk to games and would sneak Budweisers into the dugout. Teammates began calling him "Neal Heat-On," not because he threw fast but because he liked to "get a heat on." Thompson liked the moniker so much he changed his last name to "Heaton." Within a year, he was out of baseball, spending his days getting his heat on in Pittsburgh parking lots and his nights collecting the beer cans he had discarded.



Gregg Olson, 1991 Donruss MVP

Name: Gregg Olson
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Closer
Value of card: Discarded trophy, Most Scrunched Face, Major League Baseball, 1991
Key 1990 stat: Eight candles on his birthday cake
Time for a pop quiz that would make One-Eyed Willie would proud:

Which "Goonies" character does Gregg Olson most resemble?

(A) "Mikey," Sean Astin
(B) "Mouth," Corey Feldman
(C) "Chunk," Jeff Cohen
(D) "Sloth," John Matuszak
(E) A little of all of the above



Ron Karkovice, 1991 Donruss

Name: Ron Karkovice
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Catcher
Value of card: One blank fortune-cookie fortune
Key 1990 stat: Four house-training lessons
The new legend: After finding so much success with Greg "The Kodiak Brute" Luzinski, the Chicago White Sox sent scouts all over the world, looking for their next slugger. They needn't have bothered — he was already on the South Side. Abandoned at age 7, Ron Karkovice grew up feral along the shores of Lake Michigan, fishing with his bare hands, building a shelter out of mud and garbage, and befriending a family of raccoons. At age 24, the hulking Karkovice was spotted by a scout sailing the lake. The scout saw the next Luzinski, but lightning did not strike twice for the Pale Hose. Karkovice had never seen a baseball bat before, and swung over more curveballs than Pedro Cerrano. But his years of snagging carp out of Lake Michigan had made him quick-handed, with reflexes previously unseen in baseball. As a catcher, he knocked down pitches eight feet outside the zone, and only a few times did he try to eat them. The Sox stuck him behind the plate, batted him ninth and tried to ignore the stench of seaweed emanating from his golden locks.


Jeff Reardon, 1991 Donruss

Name: Jeff Reardon
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Closer
Value of card: 6-ounce gold chain with 17 intertwined chest hairs
Key 1990 stats: 3 inches of thickness, beard; 2 inches of thickness, eyebrows
The legend of "Rearendoso": Jeff Reardon was raised in an Inuit village in the barren wilderness of Kodiak, Alaska. His people were of the earth, and pushed aside Western concepts of wealth and success in favor of simpler pastimes: beard growing and tree chopping. Reardon's potential blossomed at an early age. At 6, his beard was bushy, leading a tribal elder to bestow upon him the name "Rearendso," or, in English, "The Bearded Wonder Child Whose Face Is a Fertile Field of Manliness and Machismo." Reardon's facial follicles weren't the only things quickly producing growth. His taste for moose meat and glacier ice made his arms muscular by age 13, and when the village's strongest men partook in their annual tree-chopping competition with a neighboring lumberjack village, Reardon's full potential became apparent. While the rival lumberjacks used axes and blunt baseball bat-shaped logs to fell trees, Reardon and his people hurled rocks at the base of massive Douglas firs. As the competition was coming to a close and most the the Inuit and lumberjacks were exhausted, Reardon kept hurling stones and clearing forest, thinking victory was assured. But one young lumberjack matched him hack for hurl. He was the one they called The Kodiak Brute. He was Greg Luzinksi. Reardon and Luzinski hacked and hurled for many moons. Just as the wolf howls and the river flows, Rearendoso and The Kodiak Brute continued their battle. It was a competition for the ages that drew on for so long no one remembers the winner. But every Inuit and lumberjack remembers one thing: The beards were beautiful.



Lenny Dykstra, Dale Murphy, 1991 Donruss

Names: Lenny Dykstra, aka Dr. Dirt; Dale Murphy, aka Mr. Clean
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Positions: Outfielders
Value of card: 10 percent off your next dry-cleaning bill
Key 1990 stat: One picture taken at a JC Penney photo studio
Look out, it's The Matchup:

Round 1: Alliteration in fake name (Winner: Dykstra)
Round 2: Presentability (Winner: Murphy)
Round 3: Bulge (Winner: Dykstra)
Round 4: Made-up doctorate degrees (Winner: Dykstra)
Round 5: Awkwardness (Winner: Tie)
Round 6: Mock turtlenecks (Winner: Dykstra)
Round 7: Veiny wrists (Winner: Murphy)

Score: Dykstra 4, Murphy 2 (Ties, 1)

Synopsis: Despite having a very, very noticeable edge in height and veins, Murphy (and the rest of us) can't overcome Dykstra's absurd, dirt-covered bulge.