Showing posts with label Batting helmet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Batting helmet. Show all posts


Greg Luzinski, 1985 Topps

Name: Greg Luzinski
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Designated brute hitter
Value of card: We're thinking at least a few hundred bucks
Key 1984 stat: 65 bears wrestled
Welcome back, Mr. Luzinski: It's a fact known to only a few people (because we only have a few readers): Greg Luzinski, the bearded wonder who clubbed home runs for the Chicago White Sox in the mid-1980s, was the first Baseball Card Bust subject. We called him the Kodiak Brute, saying he "spent his formative years wrestling brown bears and chewing on tree trunks." Looking back five years, we couldn't have been more correct. When Luzinski saw a hive teeming with bees, he'd stick his face in it to slurp down the honey. When he'd take a dip in a river of raging rapids, he catch his salmon lunch in his teeth. When he'd have to go, you guessed it, he'd go in the woods. We salute you, Greg "The Kodiak Brute" Luzinski. You're the perfect ambassador for such a prestigious blog.


Jim Lyttle, 1979 TCMA Japanese Pro Baseball

Name: Jim Lyttle
Team: Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Carp crap
Key 1978 stat: Kept telling his buddies he had signed with the Reds and had the helmet to prove it
Fun facts about Jim Lyttle and actual carp:

  • Carp are an oily freshwater fish native to Europe and Asia. Lyttle was an oily ballplayer who moved to Asia to get fresh with the ladies.
  • Some carp species have a large hump along their backs. With a sweet mustache like his, you know Lyttle did a lot of humping back in his day.
  • Types of carp include goldfish and koi. Lyttle's glasses resemble an aquarium.
  • Many families eat carp in some parts of the world. Lyttle's play was so poor, he had a hard time feeding his family.
  • Several species of carp are considered invasive species, and millions of dollars are spent trying to control them. Lyttle's body odor was considered invasive, and dozens of teammates tried to make him shower more often.



Craig Smajstrla, 1990 CMC

Name: Craig Smajstrla
Team: Tucson Toros
Position: Infield
Value of card: 2 ounces of pigeon poop
Key 1989 stat: 11 bunt attempts missed
Houston Astros' scouting report on minor-leaguer Craig Smajstrla: "Some of our players need a math tutor, so this kid might work out. ... This guy's a clutch hitter for the Toros? That's a bunch of bull. ... Four-tool player: calculator, protractor, compass and pocket protector. ... Forget this guy, let's call up that batting helmet. ... Chin is big league, but we'll need to work on the rest of that face. ... Smaj, Smajst, Smajstr — hell, we don't need a player whose name sounds like toothpaste being sucked through a vacuum cleaner."

Card submitted by Fat Shawn Kemp


Dave Concepcion, 1984 Donruss Diamond Kings (Dream-Haunting Diamond Kings Week No. 1)

Name: Dave Concepcion
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: 11 flakes of cigarette ash
Key 1983 stat: Zero minutes hanging in a museum
Welcome to Dream-Haunting Diamond Kings Week: Once again, we'd like to apologize. We've brought you Atrocious Diamond Kings, God-Awful Diamond Kings, Dreadful Diamond Kings, Horrendous Diamond Kings, Disturbing Diamond Kings and Diamond Kings we just had to apologize for. But now, our greatest latest set of Donruss' premier only painted subset: Diamond Kings that are so frightening, they'll haunt your dreams. Enjoy!
Don't fall asleep: You may be getting tired, but we'd stay away from bed. You never know when "Crazy Eyes" Concepcion might be lurking in the shadows, ready to render you unconscious with the chloroform-soaked rag tucked into his batting helmet. Concepcion might have been slick in the field, but he was slicker when covered in the blood of his victims, especially after he wore the "Texas Chainsaw"-style flesh mask pictured above. Consider yourself forewarned: Don't sleep on this Diamond King.


Mike Piazza, 1998 Score Spring Training

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Value of card: 11 pieces of burnt pepperoni
Key 1997 stat: 51 Italian food dinners with Tommy Lasorda
Here's how Mike Piazza spent spring training:
  • Sculpting his mustache with tweezers.
  • Shopping at the Oakley store for only-awesome-in-the-1990s shades.
  • Running laps ... around the Vero Beach, Fla., nightclub scene
  • Catching more flak than baseballs.
  • Spring potty training.



Rich Gedman, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Rich Gedman
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Catcher
Value of card: Gum, scraped off your shoe
Key 1990 stat: Squinted even more than he squatted
Houston, we have a pop quiz: Who is Rich Gedman impersonating in the above photo?

(A) Dieter from "Sprockets"
(B) Someone who just had one of those bats jammed where the sun don't shine
(C) A mannequin
(D) A professional baseball player
(E) None of the above      that's how he always looked


Manny Sanguillen, 1981 Topps

Name: Manny Sanguillen
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Catcher
Value of card: A plastic necklace with the number 35 on it
Key 1980 stat: Wore a helmet at all times
Catch this pop quiz: What's Manny "Sangy" Sanguillen doing in the above photo?

(A) Laughing at how much yellow Lee Lacy was wearing, before realizing he'd have to wear the same thing
(B) Yelling at the Topps photographer not to highlight his gaptooth
(C) Yawning after spending another night sleeping in the clubhouse
(D) Singing "Do That to Me One More Time" by The Captain and Tennille
(E) Preparing to catch a ball with his teeth


Bruce Bochy, 1987 Topps

Name: Bruce Bochy
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Catcher
Value of card: Even trade for a 1988 Bruce Bochy Topps card (or, just discard it in the garbage)
Key 1987 stat: Size 8 head
It's time for a future-manager pop quiz:

Just how big is Bruce Bochy's head?

(A) It's so big, Baskin-Robbins used that helmet in a promotional giveaway and filled it with all 32 flavors.
(B) It's so big, he avoiding getting haircuts because he'd get charged double.
(C) It's so big, he has three brains crammed in there.
(D) It's so big, this card weighs 11 pounds.
(E) All of the above.


George Scott, 1977 Topps

Name: George Scott
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: First base
Value of card: One tooth filling (composite, not gold)
Key 1976 stat: One instance of signing his name with his left hand and with his eyes closed
The Legend of George Scott: George Scott was a heckofa baseball player at the plate and in the field. He hit for power and won Gold Gloves. But this burly man didn't hone his skills on a neighborhood diamond. He built up the muscles that supplied his power by wrestling grizzly bears, moose and, once, a 1,300-pound manatee with a mean streak. Scott sharpened his reflexes by chasing down foxes, snatching falcons from the air and catching flying fish in his teeth. He didn't take for granted the animals he hunted and killed. He honored their spirits but consuming every part of them, save for one tooth each. After the kill, he'd clean the tooth and attach it to a necklace he never took off, even during games. Over the years, Scott's skills on the diamond tapered off. A few scouts believed this could have been due, in part, to the 70-pound elephant tusk hanging from his neck.


Graig Nettles, 1983 Topps Super Veteran

Names: Young Graig Nettles, Old Graig Nettles
Teams: Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, respectively
Positions: Third base (both)
Value of card: Inflation's rise between 1967 and 1983 (multiplied by zero)
Key 1982 stat: 234 hours wishing it were 1967
It's time for a young-vs.-old edition of The Matchup:

Round 1: Ridiculous spelling of "Greg" (Winner: Tie)
Round 2: Fantastic Sam's little boy's special haircut (Winner: Young Nettles)
Round 3: Veteran hair wings (Winner: Old Nettles)
Round 4: Slightly agape mouth (Winner: Tie)
Round 5: Penchant for playing marbles between innings (Winner: Young Nettles)
Round 6: Ability to pose for (cough, cough) game-action shots (Winner: Old Nettles)
Round 7: Poised in position to smack his counterpart in the back of the head with a baseball bat (Winner: Old Nettles)

Score: Old Nettles 3, Young Nettles 2, Ties 2

Synopsis: The young and old versions of Graig Nettles did battle, and things were tense, but in the end, the veteran soothed the rookie into complacency before setting him up like an Incrediball on a tee.


Dmitri Young, 2002 Fleer Ultra (Our Buddy Dmitri Young Week No. 7)

Name: Dmitri Young (still)
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Value of card: Temporary blindness
Key 2001 stat: Dirt in mouth for the next three days
Mr. Young gets The Caption treatment: "Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dmitri 'Da Meat Hook' Young watches his helmet tumble away while simultaneously sliding into third base through a pile of kitty litter and doing the dance known as the worm. After the game, Young said he was planning to patent the maneuver, which he called 'The Slirm,' and hire a stable of semi-literate attorneys to threaten creators of the television show 'Futurama' with a copyright-infringement lawsuit."


Alvaro Espinoza, 1990 Bowman

Name: Alvaro Espinoza
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Value of card: Three used toothpicks
Key 1989 stat: Zero manly swings taken
What does Alvaro Espinoza stand for?

Alarming amount of sky in this photo
Leftover pork rinds still in mustache
Verbatim statement from hitting instructor: "You look like a midwife holding a mop handle"
Athletic stance? Try the opposite
Rims around glasses holding together windshields
Outstanding decision to choose this photo for the card set

Eyebrow mustache looks pretty good ...
Slithering over his face like a caterpillar
Pockmarks on jersey resemble pockmarks on face
Itsy-bitsy bat is adorable
Never was one to pose gracefully
Only .206 hitter to wear batting gloves and wristbands
Zebra stripes on uniform are quite slimming
Altostratus clouds are the only redeeming quality of this card

Card submitted by Omar Zazueta


Derek Parks, 1990 Bowman (Boring Bowman Week No. 6)

Name: Derek Parks
Team: Minnesota Twins (sparingly, at times)
Position: Catcher
Value of card: See those bangs sticking out from under the helmet? Those, cut off, put in a plastic bag and burned
Key 1989 stat: 63-pound jaw
Scouting report on Derek Parks, in terms that also reflect this lackluster card: "I'm only pretty sure we've seen this kid before, but I'm positive the previous incarnations didn't impress. ... If we're talking Parks, it's time for some clear-cutting. ... This guy's game could put a meth addict to sleep. ... The approximate number of fans in the background reflects the approximate number of fans who think putting this guy on our team is a good idea. ... We saw flair from this kid on the field once. Excuse us, "flare." He lit a firecracker. ... We spent 27 innings studying his swing, his handling of pitchers and his overall skills. We slept through 26 of them. ... Calling this kid 'boring' is doing a disservice to blind librarians, white crayons, DMV waits and the 1990 Bowman set."

Card submitted by Omar Zazueta


Scott Leius, 1990 Bowman (Boring Bowman Week No. 4)

Name: Scott Leius
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Third base
Value of card: Less than your neighbor's garbage
Key 1989 stat: Not one, but two humongous batting helmet flaps
10 fascinating things about this completely "unboring"card:
10) "Are you serious?"
9) "What kind of a question is that?"
8) "Have you seen this card?"
7) "Have you seen this set?"
6) "Can you see at all?"
5) "I'd say ... nothing."
4) "Are we done here?"
3) Sigh.
2) (face palm)

Card submitted by Omar Zazueta


Pete O'Brien, 1992 Donruss

Name: Pete O'Brien
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: First base
Value of card: If the "O" in "O'Brien" were a zero, it would be worth that much
Key 1991 stat: One punctuation mark in name
So, just what does Pete O'Brien stand for?

Plastic helmet reminiscent of Little League
Ear flaps clearly would have been a good idea
Tucked in all wrong
Even eighth-grade math teachers can play baseball

Oh, lord, look at that feathered mullet
'Twas barely a uniform this man would wear
Batting practice jersey during a game? Sure, who cares about looking professional?
Reflection of mediocrity in his glasses' windshield
Imagine a batter looking more ridiculous; yes, it's tough
Especially keen on sweat collectors
Never met a mesh he didn't like


John Olerud, 1991 Studio, (Studio Saturday No. 52)

Name: John Olerud
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: First base
Value of card: Safety first
Key 1990 stat: 17-inch-long neck
Top 10 weirdest places John Olerud wore his batting helmet:
10) A photography studio
9) Sir Putts-a-Lot Miniature Golf Course
8) Christmas dinner
7) The Spotted Blue Jay Gentlemen's Club
6) His son's Little League games
5) The infield (duh)
4) The womb
3) Inside a bouncy castle
2) Inside an actual castle
1) You'll have to ask Mrs. Olerud


Rick Cerone, 1982 Topps

Name: Rick Cerone
Team: New York Yankees
Positions: Catcher, construction worker
Value of card: Two metal shavings in your eye
Key 1981 stat: Half a ton of drywall installed
Cruel and unusual punishment: The New York Yankees were disappointed after losing the 1981 World Series, wanting nothing more than to take the winter off and regroup. Owner George Steinbrenner had other plans. The Boss marched into the locker room after the deciding Game 6 and ordered all players to report the next morning, when they would begin to renovate Yankee Stadium — by themselves. For the next three months, sluggers swung sledge hammers instead of bats, pitchers placed flooring instead of fastballs and speedsters ran cable instead of basepaths. Above we see catcher Rick Cerone preparing to install a drainage pipe in the outfield. By spring training, the players were so bruised and worn they couldn't even practice, and slogged to a sub-.500 record in 1982. Cerone quit the team to begin an apprenticeship as a plumber.