Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts


Gregg Jefferies, 1992 Topps Kids

Name: Gregg Jefferies
Team: New York Mets
Position: Infield
Value of card: $20 off a plane ticket to Kansas City
Key 1991 stat: One soul-crushing transaction
Bad news: Sometimes, all it takes is four words to ruin your day. "We're auditing your taxes." "I'm seeing someone else." "Your blog is stupid." "Now with the Royals!" For Gregg Jefferies, those four words came on a cartoony baseball card marketed toward 5-year-olds. No one with the Mets had found the heart to tell him he had been traded to Kansas City during the 1991-92 offseason. It wasn't until a fan sent him this card to autograph, along with a note that simply said "Sorry, man," that Jefferies learned the truth. "Why is there an exclamation point?" Jefferies screamed. "Who would ever be excited about that?" Jefferies played one despondent season with Kansas City before faking his own death, changing his name to Jeff Greggeries and signing with the St. Louis Cardinals.


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.


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.



Candy Maldonado, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Candy Maldonado
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Value of card: 200
Key 1990 stat: One injury caused
Ready for some football: For good baseball teams, early September means playoff chases, jockeying for home-field advantage and giving your stars a little extra rest. But for bad teams, such as the hapless Cleveland Indians, September means looking forward to the start of football season. After a dispirited batting practice session, Candy Maldonado, Sandy Alomar and a handful of Tribe teammates would fire up a game of tag football or 500. Of course, footballs were hard to come by at Cleveland Stadium, so the hardballers were forced to improvise, using batting helmets instead of pigskins. Manager John McNamara was never thrilled with the pick-up games, but in an effort to maintain morale, he let them slide. In 1990, tragedy was waiting. Maldonado, who often served as all-time quarterback, was tossing a game of 500 and decided to throw a potential game-winner. "Five-hundred!" he shouted, and launched the helmet as far as he could, over the heads of his group of receivers. Speedster Alex Cole, who had yet to catch a pass that day, took off, trying to track down the missile in the outfield, where McNamara was taking the bullpen car for a joyride. Cole never saw him coming. A pair of compound fractures later, helmetball was banned.