Category Archives: Ugly Baseall Card Blog

pencils down

Players: Larry Walker, Darren Daulton
Card: 1993 Fleer #715
Errors: Why aren’t investigative reporters looking into the proliferation beer ads on baseball cards? Also, what is the connection between these two players? Marl…Marl…Marl-what?
Comments:
SECTION FOUR: VOCABULARY COMPREHENSION
You will have sixteen (16) minutes to complete the following questions. Each question will have only one correct answer. Be sure to color in the oval completely, without going outside the borders. Proctors cannot answer questions about this section of the exam.
You may begin.

1. Larry Walker’s head is to Darren Daulton’s head; as a golf ball is to:
a) A tennis ball
b) The Earth
c) A cement block
d) Domingo Ramos

2. Expos are to pterodactyls; as Seattle Pilots are to:
a) Bump Wills
b) The Kingdome
c) Washington (state)
d) The Colt .45’s

3. Gold chains are to totally awesome; as Super Star Specials are to:
a) monolithic
b) dudical
c) inaccurate
d) Domingo Ramos

4. Darren Daulton’s mullet is to business in the front, party in the back; as Darren Daulton’s Robocop jaw is to:
a) I’ll be back.
b) Holy cow!
c) The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!
d) All of the above.

5. Fleer is to gray borders; as MLB logos are to:
a) Script writing
b) Dotting i’s with stars
c) Pinstripes do not make you look thinner
d) Misdirected Canadian patriotism

6. Larry Walker is to Darren Daulton; as Bert is to:
a) Ernie
b) Blyleven
c) rubber duckie
d) Domingo Ramos

Scoring: CS1-2

see attached affidavit

Player: Fernando Valenzuela

Card: 1989 Upper Deck #656
Errors: Elvis lives! Is that a windshield on your face, or are you just happy to have corrected vision?
Comments:
Count one: From on or about April 1989 to October 1989, the defendant FERNANDO VALENZUELA, did conspire to participate in a scheme to spread Fernandomania through means of Interstate Traffic, in violation of U.S. Codes 1345, 1886
Count two: From on or about April 1989 to October 1989, the defendant FERNANDO VALENZUELA did conspire or collude to highlight his package by wearing tighter than necessary pants, in violation of U.S. Code 36
Count three: From on or about April 1989 to October 1989, the defendant FERNANDO VALENZUELA attempted to received benefits of more than $13.88 in exchange for performing neighborhood acts including – but not limited to – performing as a Michael Jackson impersonator, rockin‘ the sweatband hardcore and Air Guitar tribute band, in violation of many, many U.S. Codes
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION
I, Carl Willey, being a trained detective for the Federal Bureau of Baseball Card Investigations swear the following is a true and accurate depiction of events, as captured in a federal overhear.
On April 23, 1989, in a recorded conversation, VALENZUELA spoke with Dodgers Second Baseman 3 about the team’s pitching rotation, which VALENZUELA was concerned about losing his spot on. VALENZUELA was concerned that he might be sent to the minor leagues or “some totally [redacted]-up [redacted] like that.” Dodger Second Baseman 3 asked VALENZUELA how far he was willing to go secure his spot in the rotation. VALENZUELA assured Dodger Second Baseman 3 he would “not hesitate to [redacted] drop a [redacted]ing [redacted] bomb on his [redacted] [redacted] [redacted].”
In the background, Valenzuela Wife 3 can be heard, “[redacted] that (Dodger Manager 1). He’s dead. [Redacted]ing dead.”
Later in the conversation, VALENZUELA threatens to release a “can of Fernandomania” in Dodger stadium during the Air Guitar finals which he plans to compete in later that night. VALENZUELA said he knows that Dodger Manager 1 wants Minor Leaguer 8 for the spot in the rotation and he is upset because the team “is not willing to give me anything but appreciation. I believe this to be a supreme injustice after all that I have done for this organization through the years. It is simply unfair. Oh yes, and also [redacted] [redacted] [redacted].”
Scoring: 1-2

reach out and touch someone

Players: (left to right) Tony Fernandez, Cal Ripken Jr., Alan Trammell
Card: 1988 Score #651
Errors: Good thing you mentioned that’s Ripken Jr. – I thought it was his dad. What, no love for Kurt Stillwell? Alan Trammell’s hand appears to be both behind and in front of Ripken – defying the laws of physics. Where’s Tony Fernandez’s left hand headed?
Comments:
CV for Joe Pignatno
Objective
To integrate consumers’ passion for America’s past time with “underground” advertising that will increase exposure for high-quality brands with profit margins greater than 23 percent or a annual revenue projection in the top 14 percent of U.S. companies
Work experience
Integrated product technician, Score Baseball Card Co., 1987-1989
– As part of the design team, I helped to coordinate and select the set’s trademark random color scheme which led collectors to increase time spent with each card by 45 percent in the first 3 months. Design also encouraged cross collecting that manifested in a 1.2 percent increase in pack sales.
– Assisted with the developed Score’s “Super” collection which included multiple stars on one card (a 300 percent increase), with players posed in random manner that was non-threatening to consumers.
– Worked on Score’s bubble gum transition team that moved the company from sugar-based inserts to small, collectible cards that included trivia and subliminal messages, leading to a 73.4 percent increase in sales to ADA-backed vendors.
Implemented a lucrative contract with several Fortune 500 advertisers to sell space behind the heads of Major League baseball players. Ads reached target audiences with long-term growth potential and led to an 2.3 percent increase in brand visibility within the first 18 months.
– Served as lead negotiator with Winston Salem Tobacco Co., Budweiser and Hilltop Machine Gun Co., to integrate product messaging onto cards, increasing brand awareness by 16 percent in target demographic, young males 4-12.
– Other duties as assigned.

Unemployed 1986-1987
– Working on novel about Spanish American War’s impact on the immigration of the American Tern. (unpublished)

High-value target interrogator, CIA, 1983-1985
– Worked to elicit information from individuals identified by the American government as enemy combatants.
– Assigned to Private Sector Partnering Team that infused pamphlets dropped on foreign soil with brand-based suggestions.
– Other duties as assigned.

Eastern Illinois University, lab assistant, 1982-1983
– Worked in English Composition tutoring labs, with a focus on 16th French poetry and the works of Emily Dickinson.

References available upon request.
Scoring: F6

give thanks

Player: Mark Carreon
Card: 1991 Fleer #142
Errors: Players is In Action! Don’t forget, card owners, to watch SportsChannel! Do you know why he’s running to fast? He’s being chased by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones!
Comments:
Stuff I Am Thankful For
an essay by That Guy in the Circle
I am thankful for baseball, the grand old game. It inspires me and comforts me. It keeps my summers full of happiness and joy. It gives me something to look forward to in the long, cold winters.
I am thankful for the Arizona sun, which keeps my ripped, bodacious body tanned and smoking – something the ladies are very thankful for. Thank you, ladies.
I am thankful for white shorts, which not only show off my buns and my Satchel Paige, but keep me cool and relaxed. Thank you, white shorts.
I am thankful for late inning blowouts in spring training and lazy ushers, who allow me to slip up to the front row, into the $22 seats. Suhweet. Thank you, ushers.
I am thankful that I was there. I was there to witness Mark Carreon scoring a meaningless spring training run when some not-ready-for-the-big-leagues outfielder momentarily bobbled the ball. Thank you, outfielder.
But, most of all, I am thankful that Fleer hired photographers with deep focus lenses who could perfectly capture This Place, This Event, This Moment. How would my many, many future children believe it happened without you, Fleer photographer? Thank you, future kids.
So, yes, I am thankful for a lot of stuff.
Scoring: 3U

a word from our sponsors

Player: Robin Yount
Card: 1992 Fleer #708
Errors: The player appears in this painting to have the neck of the giraffe, the hair of the lion and the flat brim of the elderly grandfather. Beware, Mr. Yount there are a lot of balls coming your way.
Comments: Ladies and gentlemen, readers of all ages, we here at Uglee Card Industries (subsidiary of Uglee Card Inc., wholly distributed by Uglee LTD.) would like to take you behind the scenes of our operation, so you can know better some of the people who put our fine quality Uglee products, including Uglee mustache combs, Uglee painting kits and Uglee brand hot pants.
Pretty much every Thursday, Uglee readers are treated to some of the best in ugly baseball card analysis, insight and overreaching metaphors. But the finished product that appears magically through the American Internet is actually the end result of an intense, seven-day process of evaluating inventory, plotting scripts and screening for accuracy.
To help you understand the process, some of the Uglee upper management agreed to a behind-the-scenes look at this week’s selection of the Robin Yount 1992 Fleer card.
We started at the Uglee World Headquarters, located on a street probably much like your street, in a building probably very much like your building or at least like one you’ve seen on TV. Just minutes after last week’s difficult work on the Len Randle Project was completed, a company-wide meeting was called to scan the Uglee inventory.
From this stock, the 14 project managers each made his or her pitch for next week’s feature, outlining the pros and cons.
Line editor Herb Moford was behind a 1980 Topps Gene Richards card – accenting Richards’ unusual hair and batting stance. He was ultimately voted down.
“There’s a lot of give and take here,” Moford said. “Although I haven’t gotten a card through since the February John Smiley Edition, my editors encourage me to keep trying. I won’t let them down.”
By Saturday, the team had narrowed the choices to two promising cards: the Fleer Yount and a 1991 Donruss Carlos Quintana.
Teams were then sent out to research the player’s backgrounds, contact former lovers and root through legal records, trying to dig up anything that can be used in the final piece. Design specialist Bob Moorhead was on the Quintana team, which focused primarily on the player’s unusual positioning and a chain that dangled out of his jersey.
“This is stressful work, but very rewarding,” Moorhead said. “We can get into some pretty nasty fights. But it makes the final product stronger and not just a bunch of jokes about cup size.”
Monday morning, managing editor Joe Ginsberg called both teams into the Uglee board room/cafetorium to hear arguments from both teams. Many times, the pitches made at these meetings become the focus for the final product. Other times, they are simply the launching point for more involved oeuvres or homages. Once, there was a pastiche.
This week, Ginsberg ultimately went with the Yount Team.
“They brought a lot more to the table,” Ginsberg said from his desk, as he snacked on some Big League Chew provided for free in Uglee vending machines. “The Yount card gave us a lot more to work with. You can go (with the) hippie thing. You can make him part of the first outer space baseball league. We’ve got room to roam.”
The next 48 hours were the most intense for the Uglee Editorial Dept. A round-the-clock team of 18 writers worked tirelessly on drafts of cards. Willard Hunter is the veteran of the group. Hunter, a former Marine and writer for the Caroline in the City, is known affectionately by the other writers as “Cow Butt.” But despite the nickname, Hunter is not known to pull punches when it comes to quality. At a recent meeting, he attacked another writer’s first draft.
“You call this work!” Hunter screamed. “I could write better Yount material on my death bed! Think, you moron!”
This week’s inclusion of a Hall of Fame player left several writers intimidated by the scope and breadth of their project. Still, the best writers seemed to thrive under the adversity. At one point, the power went out in the building and two writers retreated to their cars, using cigarette lighters to power their lap tops.
By Wednesday, a draft was ready to be turned over to the Uglee Standards, Ethics and Quality Department. The copy editors gathered in a room that seems small, but is actually quite large. Here, former New York Times columnists and ex-novelists went over, line by line, each word of the Yount Project. At the same time, in a rather large but tiny room, Uglee ethicists debated the merits of certain aspects of the copy. While it may seem trivial, this can be one of the most crucial parts of the process. In the past, the ethicists were responsible for the controversial, though ultimately successful, no-big-ear-jokes push, which some experts believe may have saved Uglee industries somewhere in the vicinity of $10 billion in just three months.
This week, a heated debate broke out on the Yount Project, centered around the centerfielder’s unusual hair. In the end, Chief Ethicist Sammy Taylor argued powerfully that Kant’s theories on dependent beauty (which presupposes what beauty should be) validated the basic theory behind the criticism of the card, but not the critique of Yount’s hair.
“If we allow ourselves to stick solely to examinations of locks, I feel that we will post nothing but 1970s Atlanta Braves epics and Jeff Reardon tomes,” Taylor argued. “We’re all better than that, I believe.”
Finally, at 11:59 a.m. Thursday, the Yount Project is ready to go to print. A monkey trained by former major leaguer Danny Tartabull pushes the button, and the post is published to the waiting world.
We hope you enjoyed your glimpse behind the curtain at Uglee Card Industries (subsidiary of Uglee Card Inc., wholly distributed by Uglee LTD.). The future seems bright for the company, which hopes to open copyright infringement and proof reading departments in the next six months.
In the meantime, enjoy this week’s Uglee card analysis. As they say at the world headquarters: “It may be Uglee, but it’s still a home run to us!”
Scoring: PO 8-3

one point twenty one gigawatts

Player: Len Randle
Card: 1978 Topps # 544
Errors: It appears the first baseman went out of his way to tag with the non-glove hand. Randle may have been a more effective defensive player if he had two hands.
Comments:
And so it came down to this. The past. The future. The world.
Full count. Bases jammed. Tie game.
If Randle drives in this run, then the Mets win. Then Randle will not be released by the team. Then he will be there to stop the Commies from placing The Bomb in Lee Mazzilli’s locker. Then Shea Stadium will not collapse. Then democracy will be saved.
And all that Randle had been through – the DeLorian repairs, kissing his mom, shooting Doc, punching Bump “Biff” Wells – will not be in vain.
Randle pushes his left cleat into the deep dirt of San Diego Stadium, like a farmer pulling up a soybean.
Above him, the stadium’s P.A. cranks out Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
Randle you can do this,” he says to himself. “It is your density.”
Butch Metzger, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound Indiana boy who isn’t afraid of anybody, snarls and huffs on the mound. He rears back.
“It’s the heat,” Randle mutters. “Fastball. Fastball. Fastball. Fas…”
The pitch is inside. Randle pulls his hands in defensively.
The baseball hits off the knob of his bat.
Clunk.
A dribbler down the third base line.
Randle freezes. Would a gust of wind push the ball foul? No one has time to find out. Randle looks in the stands. Half of the fans already vanished.
Randle tears down the line. Each step eats a yard of real estate.
He notices his right hand.
It’s fading.
Why had Randall listened to Christopher Lloyd? That guy was driving a taxi last week. Now he was supposed to be a scientist? He was a buffoon! They should have never believed they could mess with this stuff. Changing the past only changed the future. Unlike the basepaths, time is not a straight line.
Randle screams and dives toward salvation, even though it is legal to run through first base in Major League Baseball (as long as you turn toward foul territory after passing the bag) and sliding reduces a player’s momentum, essentially slowing him down at the critical instant.
A cloud of dust.
The umpire throws up his arms.
Safe!
Mets win.
Randle celebrates. His hand – it’s back! The Mets will not release him and the bomb will never be placed. The world is back on track. Everything will be fine.
As his teammates rush the field, Randle tosses his batting helmet into the air. The Mets bench piles on to today’s hero, unaware just how much he saved.
Meanwhile, the helmet careens toward the stands, catching a Hawaiian baseball fan on the side of his head. It’s a violent collision.
Young Barry Obama would never hear again.
Scoring: 5-3

concede nothing

Player: Roy Oswalt
Card: 2003 Donruss Studio #133

Errors: I hate to tell you this Roy, but there’s a train driving through your head. Is that a baseball offering? Is the baseball too hot too handle? Furthermore, player appears to be a giant.
Comments:
Thank you. Thank you.
(Pause)
I want to thank all of you for coming out here tonight and waiting in what appears to be some sort of train depot in the sky. Folks, I’m sad to tell you we have reached the end of our journey tonight. My teammates have spoken and they have spoken clearly – they would rather keep this Rawlings baseball on the team than me. I have been sent packing.
But let me assure you all tonight, that it was not me who failed. It was you, mainly. And the liberal media, a bit. But mostly you kept me down. Staying home to watch SportsCenter rather than knocking on a few more doors; creating your own campaign literature that said “Vote Roy, if you aren’t busy with more important things.” You just weren’t good enough.
Please, please. Booing’s not necessary. Unless you’re saying “Rooooooy.” Are you saying “Roooooy?” No? Oh, OK.
A few minutes ago, I called Rawlings baseball and offered my congratulations. Shortly after dialing, I was told by my aides that Rawlings had blocked my calls and text messages. But had I been able to speak to this inanimate object, I surely would have told it of my great admiration for all it’s work and fine stitching.
Rawlings baseball ran an honorable campaign. Although Rawlings was unable to hold conversations, never brought beer to any of the team parties, never purchased Rolexes for the infielders and never gave up the good parking spot, it’s clear my teammates have chosen to keep this baseball. What’s not clear is why. At least I have opposable thumbs, as you can see.
There are so many people to thank – the train engineers, the coal shovelers, the necklace makers. But I want to be sure to thank this woman standing next to me. I just met her, but she seems like a fantastic lady and she’s a soccer fan, so that’s great.
I also want to make mention of all the young people who got involved. Johnny the bat boy, I thought your vote should have counted. Don’t give up that spirit. You are the future, even if you’re not worth a hoot right now.
Well, folks, I will continue the fight to have fewer Rawlings baseballs on the team. In our time ahead, I hope Rawlings and I can work together to decrease the number of foul balls in the stands. In the meantime, I have filed an injunction to challenge the vote totals.
Who’s with me?
Scoring: 8-5-2

the best defense

Player: Barry Larkin
Card: 1992 Post #23 (of 30)
Errors: Player is hiding unsightly neck mole with glove. Player does not have enough equipment on his left hand – where’s the wristwatch, decoder bracelet and heart monitor? The Reds were really living up to their name that year.
Comments:
Hi, I’m Barry Larkin.
With just a few precious days until voters make one of the most important decisions in our township’s history, I’d like to take this time to clear up a few rumors that my opponent – the nefarious and evil Todd Worrell – has been spreading about me, my family and my campaign for Vinegar Bend Township Highway Commissioner.
First off, during both the McArthur Elementary School Candidate Forum and the Boy Scout Troop 435 popcorn sale, my opponent has claimed that I am a communist. This is simply not true. I play for the Reds. I am not a Red. But apparently some voters still have some questions, especially since the local “media” has decided to publish the June through December minutes of the Vinegar Bend Communist Supporter Club, where I am listed as treasurer, vice president and second chair violinist. I can understand your confusion.
Well, let me be perfectly clear: I am not, nor have I been for at least six years, a Commie. And, as you can see, with the help of my sons Trotsky Larkin, Mao Larkin and Marks Larkin, I have airbrushed all references to the “Reds” off my uniform to alleviate any further mix-ups. Furthermore, I think voters should consider that the publisher our local newspaper has a long history of this kind of smear journalism. I’ll stand on my facts any day.
Second, my opponent – the wily anarchist Todd Worrell – has accused me of being an elitist, part of a “collector series.” This could not be further from the truth, more or less. It’s true that I was a 12-time All-Star. But, really, am I that much better than a Jeff Blauser, an Alan Trammell, a Julio Franco? No, I’m a regular guy, just like the males in your family. And as the Vinegar Bend Township Highway Supervisor, I will reflect the values your family treasures: hard work, moderation and sobriety.
Finally, my opponent – the cowardly and really pretty jerky Todd Worrell – has made the claim that I am obsessed with myself. He would have you believe that just because I wear “wrist bands” with my own picture on them, I am all about what this position can do for me, rather than what the township highway supervisor can do for the constituents. False, false, false. I wear that wrist band to remind me of where I came from and to remind me of my father – who worked in a wrist band shop for 56 years until, tragically and ironically, he developed arthritis in both wrists and died. And I’ll work just as hard, if I’m blessed by the Almighty next week by winning this election.
I thank you for your time to clear up these falsehoods and innuendos. And remember, when you head to the polls on Nov. 4, be sure to turn all the way to the end of the ballot, after the school board, after the coroner, after the pet limitation ordinance and after all those judges. That’s where you’ll find an evil sex pervert and me, Barry Larkin – a Vinegar Bend Township Highway Supervisor that you can count on to be American, all the way.
My name is Barry Larkin and I really approved this message.
Scoring: 4-2

world serious

Players: Wade Boggs, Pete Rose
Cards: 1984 Topps Ralston Purina #4, 1999 Omega #227
Errors: Anton Chigurh, meet Peter Rose. Does Wade Boggs ever take his batting gloves off? Congratulations to the designers involved in all these uniform choices – you are an inspiration.
Comments:

TRANSCRIPT
UGLEE CARD CROSSFIRE EPISODE HI 54.645.99
ORIGINAL AIR DATE OCT 23 09

Welcome to a very special edition of Uglee Card Crossfire, World Series edition. I’m your host Tucker Carville and on tonight’s program, I’m very happy to welcome some famous alumni from the teams squaring off in this year’s World Series. From the Philadelphia Phillies, Peter Rose, and from the Tampa Bay Rays, Wade Boggs. Good to have both of you.

Rose: Hello, Tuck.
Boggs: Hey there, Tuck.

Well, I’ll get right to it. Where do you both stand on the illegal immigration issue? It seems both the Phillies and the Rays support using immigrants from all over the world – Japan, the Middle East, Vatican City – to do their dirty work. They come here, but they refuse to learn our language, adopt our culture or eat our hot dogs. Should these players be deported or tarred?

Rose: Excuse me?

Answer the question, gentleman! This nambypampy rhetoric is exactly – no, precisely – what has dulled the American voters into submission. Your response is just more pablum from men wearing strange, zip-up suits with large striped collars and tall-hat Tom Selleck wannabes! This is socialism at it’s worst. It’s very worst.

Boggs: Well, I thought we were here to make our predictions for the Series.

Yes, please go ahead, talk about baseball while terrorists and anti-American zealots are infiltrating our Boy Scout troops, teaching in our schools, driving our trains, painting our crosswalks, designing the country’s Sodoku puzzles and populating our small huts. This is madness gentleman! Madness! I’d like a straight answer from the silver, ghostly embodiment of Wade Boggs which will haunt my dreams.

Boggs: Well, let’s see. Uh…I’m pro-American, Tuck, if that’s what you mean…er…I think the Rays bullpen could be the diff…

Bullpen? Bullpen! Oh, it’s bull, all right. I don’t care about some old washed up gambler. I want want to hear about Wade the Chicken Eater. I want a plan that will fix our crumbling infrastructure. I want answers to why a third basemen would wear long sleeves in Tampa while people in this country have no sleeves at all. And it’s not just me – it’s the American people: the baseball moms, the poker in-laws, the ping-pong grandmothers and the bowling cousins. What say you, sir?

Rose: Phillies in five?
Boggs: Rays in six?

Thank you both for being here. This has been Tucker Carville saying, if you’re not American, you might as well punch yourself in the face.

Scoring: CS 1-3-6

in the event of my demise

Player: Lee Tunnell
Card: 1984 Fleer #268
Errors: I hope that glove is keeping your fingertips warm because it’s certainly not going to help you catch any baseballs. Player got yellow fever; he got it bad. Player is considering renting that gap in his mustache.
Comments:
To whomever finds this missive,
I write this from a prison both metaphorical and physical. More than 497 days ago myself and 24 other men were taken, under duress, by a surprise attack during our national anthem.
We were grabbed, blindfolded and taken far from our homes. Since then, our days have been long. We have sustained ourselves on a diet of tobacco, chewing gum and powdered Gatorade.
Our captors – who wear large hats, earrings and eye patches – forced us to engage in ridiculous and humiliating rituals involving other tribes. First, we are required to wear the costume of the American bumblebee. (The picture included was smuggled out in a rear cavity by a fellow prisoner, a man named Marvell.)
Once we are dressed, we pick up sticks and swat hopelessly at white balls thrown perilously close to our head. This has gone on for months, day and night.
And things are getting worse. Three weeks ago, a prisoner only known to us as “Tekulve” was eaten. Just yesterday, another prisoner, who called himself Rhoden, tried to escape. The guards caught and gave him “The Zimmer.” We were too scared to ask what that was – afraid our spirits would break for good.
By the time you read this, I may already be dead, or worse: traded. If I have gone to be with the Great Umpire in the Sky, please know that I leave my collection of black sleeves to my mustachioed patriot, Dale Berra.
If this reaches you, send troops. We are being held in a sports arena at the center of what we can only surmise is a large Midwestern city. Look for the land where three rivers meet and the average temperature is 17 Fahrenheit degrees at night, 28 when the sun is out. If you discover our location, ask for a guard named “Candelaria” who seems to express some sympathy for our cause.
God speed,
Lee Tunnell #CR 567
Scoring: 3-6-1

body of evidence

Player: Mike Rossiter
Card: 1992 Topps #474
Errors: Player sent in senior picture for Major League baseball card. Player’s attention was diverted from camera by some suh-weet honies walking by.
Comments:

Baseball card autopsy 1992-474. Starting time of card autopsy is 19:34. Card autopsy performed at Alameda County Medical Examiner’s Office. Card autopsy conducted by Alameda County assistant deputy coroner Ken Mackenzie, badge #456TR89.
The card is that of a 1992 Mike Rossiter, an unbent regular edition card weighing 2 ounces and measuring 3.5 inches in height.
The card is dull, with a nondescript “Draft Pick” label that fails to indicate which round he was selected or by what team.
Card is cool to the touch, almost too cool. Card features player wearing a totally rad multi-colored shirt made fashionable by Miami Vice villains and the homeless.
The statistics on the back are symmetrical and show no masses or injuries. The trachea is in the midline. The hips are symmetrical and are free of scars. The lower extremities show no evidence of trauma.
The back has a significant abnormality. Two branches of a tree, possibly oak or elm, have sprouted from the back, about seven inches below the shoulder line.
In this medical examiner’s opinion, card’s cause of death is attributed to a horrid fashion sense complicated by dense foliage growing from player’s back.
Scoring: FO2

you make the call

Players: Sid Fernandez, Jerry Don Gleaton
Card: 1990 Fleer #203, 1991 Topps #597
Errors: Jerry Don Gleaton is melting into his pants. Pardon me, would you mind stopping what you’re doing, smiling and standing awkwardly while I take a snapshot? GQ says showing your undershirt is a fashion faux-pas.
Comments:
When you came up to the bigs, you didn’t have to make these kinds of choices. But, now, alas, the time is here.
You’re no longer a dominating pitcher – if you ever were. You never won 20 games or struck out 250 batters. The writers called you “crafty”. But everybody knows that means you threw junk and you threw it left-handed. So, you survived. Pitched more years than Sandy Koufax, without one-tenth his stuff.
Your rookie year, you were somewhere between 210 and 230 pounds. And even though that’s about 500 donuts ago, that’s the weight that stays in the team media guide, forever.
But it couldn’t stop you from arriving at this point in your career, a crossroads.
Obviously, the choice may not be entirely your own. You may need to consult a physician, haberdasher or butcher.
Or, more likely, you can just go with your gut.
Either way, you must confront the reality: belt or no belt?
Select a nice blue belt and you’re never going to have to worry about the pants falling down. They’ll be snug against your sizable posterior, no worries. They’re also fashionable without being haughty.
Then again, you could end up in a one-hole’s-too-tight, one-hole’s-too-loose situation. Belts also put you at risk for an unfortunate buckle incident. Of course, any metal on your uniform could make you vulnerable to the ‘ole Pittsburgh magnet trick.
But eschew the belt at your own risk. Sure, the elastic band is classic comfort. Good for bundling newspapers and sucking in a few extra pounds. It can also give you the breathability you need to field a Brett Butler drag bunt.
Of course, everyone knows that elastic has a mind of it’s own. In the fifth inning, for no apparent reason, the band can slowly creep past your waist, head straight for your armpits, like an orange-and-black python swallowing you whole. And it’s pretty difficult to scuff up a baseball on elastic.
But we all must choose. So, what will you do?
Scoring: 8-2

thanks a million

Player: Jeff Montgomery
Card: 1991 Topps #371
Errors: Player is lodged, jammed, trapped and caught squarely in the 1980s. Player is wearing Kansas City Royals apparel without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. Player – hands at the ready – is standing guard, protecting empty stadium from first base foul line.
Comments:
Dear Mike and Joan,
Sorry this has taken to so long! Between the honeymoon and the new house, we fell too far behind on sending out thank yous to all the people who blessed us with wonderful and generous gifts!
Jeff and I absolutely adore the visor and Walkman! Jeff has not taken them off since our wedding day! Can you believe that?!
Just other day, Jeff was commenting on how much he values the visor. Of course, since Jeff plays in the major leagues, the team supplies him with most of the equipment that he needs, including hats, light blue shirts with numbers on the shoulder, sliding pants and a MLB-endorsed belt. However, one thing the team trainer did not hand out is a visor! It’s great for Jeff to have a hat with no roof – it helps keep his head cool in tight spots, like facing Kelly Gruber in the bottom of the ninth! Jeff loves how the visor includes stylish blue E-Z breath vents on the left and right sides. Jeff says they mop up the sweat, just like he mops up games! And of course, it has the Royals logo – precious! Jeff claims he is going to petition the league so he can wear it during games! Who knows if he’s kidding?!
Even when he’s on the road, Jeff likes to have a little bit of home and the bright yellow Walkman sure helps! Many times I will record inspirational messages for Jeff to listen to as he goes to sleep, or when he’s warming up in the bullpen. It’s amazing! Once, when the Royals were facing the Red Sox, the manager tried to call Jeff in to the game, but he didn’t hear it because he still had the Walkman on! Can you believe that?! He really loves that Walkman!
Sadly, our dog Brett ate both the visor and the Walkman when someone – probably the maid – left them in the backyard. Enclosed, is a picture of Jeff cherishing both items before they were eaten.
Again, there is nothing we would have wanted more than to have all the people we love and cherish with us on the day Jeff and I started our life together. Sadly, our church had limited seating.
Still, we can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful generosity. Hope to see you again.
Love,
Jeff and Tina
Scoring: 9-5-2

a low five

Player: Ryan Klesko
Card: 2003 Topps Opening Day #23
Errors: Player appears to be hitting batting practice into fans. Player believes his hat is camouflage – rest of uniform does not blend in.
Comment:
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “worst” as the “most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful.” I believe this is the perfect way to describe the 2003 Topps Opening Day Ryan Klesko card. I believe this is the worst card ever put on cardboard because it is from a useless a subset, it makes no sense at all and Ryan Klesko sucks.
One of the reasons the 2003 Topps Opening Day Ryan Klesko is the worst card ever produced is because it is from a useless subset. In 2003, Topps put out a regular set, a gallery set, a pristine set, a game-used memoribilia set, a heritage set, a mini set, a blue back set, a chrome set and a traded set. There was probably even more. So, the opening day set is just one more dumb picture of a player. It’s like Topps is spitting in the eyes of collectors, which is bad if you want them to buy stuff.
The second reason the 2003 Topps Opening Day Ryan Klesko is the worst card ever is because it makes no sense at all. The player is shown in a military hat, but who knows why. He’s hitting off a batting tee, so it looks unique but instead it’s only erstwhile and stupid and no one wants a card like that. Also, it also does not seem to have anything to do with opening day.
Finally, the 2003 Topps Opening Day Ryan Klesko is the worst card ever because Ryan Klesko sucks. He’s only hit over .300 two times and he grounded into 7 double plays, both very poor statistics. He also struck out 86 times which is one of the worst things you can do because it hurts your team and doesn’t add any runs. He also only got one triple, which is not many even for something hard like a triple.
There are many, many bad cards ever invented in the world. But only one can be the worst card of all time in the entire universe. Because it is from a useless subset, it makes no sense at all and Ryan Klesko sucks, the 2003 Topps Opening Day Ryan Klesko is the worst card that was ever made.
Scoring: INT

disappearing in a von hayes

Player: Mickey Hatcher
Card: 1986 Topps Twins leaders #786
Errors: Although this is a “Twins leaders” card, player lead the team in no discernable statistical categories. Player wore baseball jammies during game. Player is emerging from a cloud.
Comment:
The outlook was quite foggy for the Minnesota nine that day;
The score stood 14-3, with but 1/3 of an inning left to play.
But when Hrbek hit a grand slam and Gaetti did the same;
The single fan remaining decided not to leave the game.

Then Tuefel let drive a single, to the bemusement of all;
And Burnansky, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball.
Unfortunately the thick smog never lifted, so the fan didn’t see what had occurred:
Tom was safe at second, and Tim – hugging third.

Then from almost five throats and more there rose a dusty cough;
It ambled over Astroturf, it jangled in the roof.
It knocked upon the Xcel Center, where McCain had nearly fallen flat;
For Mickey, mighty Mickey, was allegedly advancing to the bat.

There was a cloud near Mickey’s body as he stepped into his place;
There was haze near Mickey’s helmet and a double exposure on Mickey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheer, he lightly doffed his hat;
The lone fan in the crowd wondered: ‘Is that Pigpen at the bat?’

And now the made-in-Japan sphere came careening through the air,
And Mickey suddenly vanished as if he were never there.
From the benches, there went up a muffled roar;
Mickey’s teammates had long ago fallen asleep and now began to snore.

“Find him! Find the player!” shouted someone in the stand;
And it’s likely they’d-a done so had not someone spotted Mickey’s hand.
They saw a foot near second base and heard a player strain;
They assumed Mickey must have hit it and wondered if he’d ever be seen again.

The field has disappeared from view, despite playing in a dome;
The fan begins to wonder whether to turn off the air conditioning when the team’s at home.
And now Mickey’s heard rounding third, and now the fan is yelling, ‘Go!’
And now the smog swirls and spikes begin to show.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the fans can see the game;
Somewhere smog has lifted, and clouds have done the same;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere there is sun;
But there is no joy in Minnesota – no one knows if Mickey scored the run.

Scoring: F8

on the road

Player: Arthur Rhodes
Card: 1993 Fleer #174
Errors: Um, he’s not a catcher. Sweet hightops. What’s he hiding under that left arm?
Comments:
There is a man. Arthur Rhodes. He’s no Tuffy. Just a man.
Not The Man.
A Man.
He is one small crouch for man; one giant leap, leap, leap for mankind.
Crouch, slouch, grouch.
Kill, spill, thrill. Had my fill.
Don’t Talk Back to the Pepsi GENeration.
Arthur Rhodes. How many Arthur Rhodes must a man travel down?
we want our Heroes to fit in boxes – even small boxes
Boxes Confine; Boxes Define
Do you have a spine?
Made $31 million. Or did $31 million make, him?
Swapped for Jason Kendall.
Swapped. Flopped. Dropped.
Popped.
Trading men. Traitor men.
Men cannot be traded for ideas, only other men.
Unless we are at war.
Arthur Rhodes. Not The Man. Just a man.
Scoring: CS 1-3

this player is for surreal

Card: 1992 Topps #473
Errors: One of these players is not like the others; one of these players just doesn’t belong. Who is Craig Paquette pointing at? Does Frank Bolick only play night games?
Comments: We are pleased to announce Paul Russo has been named the associate director of regional scouting for the Minnesota Twins. Paul, who served as interim executive assistant to the subregional director of Midwest scouting, replaces Clem Labine, who was recently promoted to senior executive director of player development and catering.
Paul joined the Minnesota Twins in 1992. He was a cartoon sketch before being painted by the esteemed Wassily Kandinsky for several years.
In addition to Paul’s experience as a water color and a charcoal drawing, Paul was instrumental in encouraging the Twins to sign more illustrated players. Under Paul’s leadership, the Twins scouting department has won numerous awards; including, most recently, the St. Paul County Fair Best in Show.
The Twins had many qualified candidates who applied for the position. However, Paul is an ‘outside-the-cubism’ thinker. He left a major impression on our leadership team, because he refuses to be abstract or transparent.
(Rumors that Paul was a real player simply using enhanced body paints have been thoroughly investigated and refuted.)
Until a permanent replacement can be found, Paul’s previous position will be filled by night watchman Frank Bolick, who is currently working to transform himself from a solid to a more ephemeral artistic form, possibly a song or a spoken poetry jam.
We believe Paul puts us in the best position to move ahead in the post modern world.
Join us in congratulating Paul. (Please do not shake his hand – he smudges easily.)
Scoring: 5-2-6-2

sign on the dotted line

Player: Junior Noboa

Card: 1991 Topps #182
Errors: Player put tape on hairy arms – that is going to hurt coming off. Player appears to be wearing McDonald’s brand batting gloves. That can’t be a real Major League uniform. Player not making eye contact with autograph recipient.
Comments:
“Mister! Mister! Can you sign my scorecard?”
“Sure kid, no problem.”
My first autograph request! Five years in the show and finally a break!
OK, stay calm. Focus, Junior. You can do this. Fear is not an option in the bigs. You are a champion. A lion.
C’mon! Your wrists are taped, you got on the suuhweet uni and you’re a pro athlete. You can do anything that you set your mind to, Junior. Mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.
OK, here we go…Wait.
What should I sign? Junior Noboa? J. Noboa? J.N. 4eva? That’s stupid. How about my real name: Milciades Arturo Diaz Noboa. Yeah, and then maybe put Junior in the middle, with some quotation marks. This kid will love it! You da man, Junior. You’re a tiger, a puma.
Wait. Maybe I should do a little more. Anybody can just sign their name. Heck, this dumb, ugly could kid probably could have signed my name. He’d probably even spell it right. I got to do something a little special. OK, how about: Milciades Arturo Diaz “Junior” Noboa, 2B, Expos.
Ugh. Why would I write that? He knows what position I play! He’s got the damn scorecard in his hand! Pathetic. C’mon Junior, pull it together. Write something inspirational.
Stay in school. Don’t do drugs. Never take a wooden nickel. Nice – that’s it. Kids today probably don’t even know about wooden nickels anymore. OK. “Milciades Arturo Diaz “Junior” Noboa, 2B, Expos. Don’t take any wooden nickels.” Yeah, real smooth.
Wait. That makes no sense. How can I tell this kid about nickels when I make thousands of dollars and he probably had to scrape together a week’s pay – maybe even kill a man – just to get his tickets. It’s like I’m rubbing my wealth in the kid’s face. He’ll probably be so mad, he’ll kill again. Then I’ll be an accessory to murder. Great. Going to prison.
Damn, why did I tell this kid I would sign his scorecard? Let’s see, maybe…
“Hey, mister? Mister? Never mind, mister. I mean…um, thanks for trying and all, but I gotta go. But not because you’re taking so long. Uh, no, that’s not it. It’s just that Tim Wallach looks really lonely over there and, well, nobody likes a lonely Wallach. So, you see, that’s why I have to leave. See ya.”
Scoring: WP, WP, WP, WP

dear john

Player: Darren Holmes
Card: 1993 Fleer #412
Errors: Player was told it was a team picture, only to discover he was alone in the stadium for an intimate afternoon with the photographer. Player’s Rockies uniform looks remarkably similar to Milwaukee jersey. Player staying very classy with his sporty V-neck, accompanied by matching long sleeve combo.
Comments:
Dear Darren,
It is very difficult for me to write this. You’ve been a fairly adequate part of my life for almost six years now. We’ve had some good to above-average times. Vero Beach. San Antonio. Beloit.
But something seems to have changed with you lately.
I catch you staring off into space.
You shave irregularly – and I mean that both in terms of frequency and coverage of your face. Your posture could be considered weak, at best.
But it’s more than that. I didn’t realize how I truly felt until I saw your 1993 Fleer card – the guy sitting next to me on the bus was using it as a bookmark for his copy of “Six People You Meet in Hell”.
Geez, Darren – you’re supposed to be a major league ball player. Someone kids idolize. A hero to grown men. The guy women dream of being with.
1993 Fleer says otherwise.
First of all, did you notice that you’re on the Rockies now? Guess what: you got picked in the expansion draft. So what’s with the Brewers gear? Grow up, Darren.
I might have forgiven you that. I might have been able to overlook a uniform slip after all our history. But you’re holding a bat! A bat? The Brewers are in the American League, for at least four more years! You’ve never batted once in your entire career! You may as well have picked up a sword or a fireman’s hose or a large mouth bass. Ridiculous.
That picture is sort of a symbol of where we went wrong. I want to face reality. You live your half-shaven, dazed, wrong-team life in Fantasyland.
I suppose you know where this is going: I really believe it would be better if we took some time off, split up, saw other people or, preferably, all of the above.
I hope you know how hard this is for me. I’m tearing up inside just trying to write this letter. But we know this is what’s best for both of us. Or at least me.
So as we move our separate ways, be assured, it was definitely you, not me.
Love,
Baseball
Scoring: LO4

a nice place to visit

Player: Ruben Sierra
Card: 1992 Topps Stadium Club #387
Errors: Player is neither at a stadium, nor wearing a baseball uniform, nor in the act of playing a sport. Player borrowed his hat from a Love Boat passenger. Nice bling.
Comments:
Dear Ruben Sierra,
My mother has reached the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. She requires constant care and doesn’t recognize any of her family members. We love her so much and desperately don’t want to send her to a nursing home. Unfortunately, her care has become exhausting to me and my wife. We’re fighting with each other more than we ever have. Mom sacrificed a lot for me, so I feel like I owe it to her, but how can my wife and I love Mom – and still find time to love each other?
Frustrated in Flagstaff
Dear Flagstaff,
Thank you for writing Ruben Sierra. The love of our mothers is a very precious thing. Have you considered bringing the family to Puerto Rico? With both Spanish and English as the official languages, Puerto Rico is considered the crossroads where Spanish and Anglo cultures meet. Puerto Rico uses American currency, so it’s a place the whole family can feel closer. Give it a try.
Sincerely, Ruben Sierra

Dear Ruben Sierra,
I’m a self-diagnosed car nut, who owns six vehicles. But for driving around, I prefer my 2004 Dodge Ram. It’s got 103,00 miles but I treat that car as good as my kids: regular tune-ups, oil changes and she stays in the garage all winter. Last week, I was on my way to work and she started backfiring on a bridge with a slight incline. Now, she backfires every time I go uphill. I checked the fuel injectors, the gaskets, but can’t find the problem. Any ideas?
Baffled in Buffalo
Dear Baffled,
Thank you for writing to Ruben Sierra. With close to four million residents, reliable transportation is always a high priority where I grew up: Puerto Rico. Did you know the average temperature is 83 degrees in the winter? This 35-mile long island is known as the “Island of Enchantment” for its diverse climates. So come and stay for a weekend, a week or a month! Also, check your spark plugs and ignition coils.
Sincerely, Ruben Sierra

Dear Ruben Sierra,
I’m 18, so this is the first year I’ll be able to vote in the presidential election. I know I should care, but I’m just not that interested. Neither candidate seems to be speaking my language. But my dad says it’s my duty to vote. Isn’t it my right to express myself by NOT voting?
Perplexed in Pasadena
Dear Perplexed,
Thank you for writing to Ruben Sierra. Taking part in the governmental process can be a confusing time in a young person’s life. We’ve learned that the hard way in Puerto Rico, where we have been part of the United States since 1898 – but still don’t have a vote in Congress. Fortunately, since Puerto Rican residents are U.S. citizens, travelers do not have to worry about customs duties on any goods brought out of Puerto Rico to the mainland. Additionally, almost all Puerto Rican businesses accept major credit cards, and ATMs are easily accessible. Why don’t you exercise your freedom and come visit us in Puerto Rico?
Sincerely, Ruben Sierra
Scoring: 9-2

previously on

Player: Oscar Azocar
Card: 1991 Topps #659
Errors: Player was not issued an official Yankee uniform, rather a souvenir t-shirt. Player might have spent a little less time with the circus tricks, a little more time in the batting cage. Player has stage fright – waits to perform until stadium is evacuated.
Comments: Last week on “Yankee Island”…
After a terrible month of June, 35 castaways found themselves stranded in Yankee Stadium, without electricity, running water, bathrooms, a radio, food, hair brushes, a simple patch for their shipwrecked boat, a movie star, Mary Ann, heat, or air-conditioning.
As each Stranded Yank uses his or her strengths to try to rescue the team, their weakness threaten to strand them for good.
Things look grim for Deion Sanders, Matt Nokes and Kevin Maas, who all disappear in the mysterious Steinbrenner Haze that hangs over the dugout. Have they vanished forever?
Normally best friends, ‘The Daves‘ – Eiland and LaPoint – find themselves in a bitter disagreement over whose mother makes the best brownies. Will these former allies be able to put aside their differences to help the squad?
Meanwhile, catcher Bob Geren faces a personal crisis: Does becoming a man mean leaving his old friends behind? Or is there room in his life for both new friends and old pals?
At the same time, Don Mattingly and Steve Balboni’s mustaches become inadvertently intertwined, threatening the safety and camaraderie on the Island.
With time running out on the Stranded Yanks, left fielder Oscar Azocar fashions a rudimentary signaling device to call for help. The bubbling beakers and flashing electrical currents he normally uses in his very scientific, high-tech lab are not available, so Azocar must return to his roots. Using only two bats and an ordinary Rawlings baseball, Azocar sends out a distress signal. Dot, dot, dot. Dash, dash, dash. Dot, dot, dot.
Will anyone hear his call? Can anyone separate the mustaches? Are there any brownies left?
Find out on this week’s exciting episode of….”Yankeeeeeeee Island!”
Scoring: 1-5-3

and it’s tasty, too

Player: John Wathan

Card: 1986 Topps #556
Errors: Another in the collection of fabulous light blue Major League baseball uniforms. Player may be practicing bunting with the donut still on.
Comments:
John Wathan’s special baseball donut recipe
Serves four; about 8 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:
One (1) cup all-purpose flour
One-half (1/2) cup sugar
One (1) level tablespoon double acting baking powder
One-half (1/2) cup of milk
One-quarter (1/4) teaspoon of ginger
One (1) wooden bat

Instructions:
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and milk in large mixing bowl. When ingredients are thoroughly mixed – and Lonnie Smith has grounded out – pour onto baking sheet.
While Onix Concepcion is stepping up to the plate, roll into 5-inch long strip. Fold strip into circle, until in shape of “donut” and Darryl Motley is on third.
Cook for 23 seconds on 450 degrees, or until Steve Balboni gets picked off first.
Remove crispy brown donut while Mark Gubicza warms up.
Shove donut onto bat and eat in the on-deck circle!
Scoring: CS 2-5

in the year 3000….

Player: Jerry Augustine
Card: 1982 Fleer #133
Errors: That’s either a mirror, or a small ghost player in the haze. There’s a finger sticking out of that guy’s glove! Cool spacesuit.
Comments: In the future, baseball will be a very different game.
The players will literally float between the bases and can be tagged out, forced out, or beamed up.
There will no more human umpires, only computers that call balls and strikes, safe or out. Also, the computer umpires will have the power to kill.
Women will play alongside men, but only in the National League West.
After Android Bud Selig legalizes all performance enhancing substances except for pancake batter, 14 players die from injecting pancake batter into their arms.
Ads will be digitally superimposed on the hats of all spectators in the first six rows.
Fans will still be allowed to keep foul balls that go into the stands, but anyone who catches a foul ball will be charged a $4.50 recipient’s fee by Major League Baseball.
Players will all wear light blue, one-piece space uniforms with tiny yellow belts.
Any celebrity who has a movie coming out with expected box office of more than $300 million (U.S.) will recieve one at-bat during interleague night games.
The home run derby will no longer be a long ball contest. It will literally be players running home, trying to escape the killer robot umpires.
Scoring: FO7

regular and extra strength

Player: Joey McLaughlin
Card: 1984 Topps #556
Errors: Player woke up late, wore his light blue pajamas to the game. Player may have stolen Tom Henke’s glasses. The promotion for tonight’s game: all blurry fans half price. Player has a finger sticking out of his glove!
Comments: Fellas, how often have you gotten drunk, shaved your head, then had to show up bald at the construction site for six weeks? Ladies, that bad perm you got at a discount salon – should it really take two months before you can straighten your bangs again?
For years, men and women have suffered with slow growing hair. Well, never again with Insta-Shag!
Hair help has arrived and it’s fast!
Insta-Shag guarantees to grow your hair 4,000% faster than normal. Using our patented microfibers and the latest in biomedical chemistry engineering we can have you hairy in less than an hour. It’s that fast!
How do we do it? Our scientists worked for almost a month to find the perfect blend of natural ingredients and powerful chemicals. It uses the most innovative follicle acceleration compounds allowed under international treaties. Just rub Insta-Shag onto any area that needs growth, then wait for the hair to pour out. (Warning: wear gloves or your palms will be too hairy to hide! It’s just that powerful!)
Don’t believe us? Maybe you’ll take the word of Major League pitcher Joey McLaughlin:
“On May 30, we had a big game against the Detroit. We were tied for first place and needed a win. (Manager) Bobby Cox called on me in the eighth inning, with the team up 2-0. I pitched great, striking out Herndon, Parrish and Wilson. When we scored two more runs in the top of the ninth, coach took me out. Everyone thought we had the game clinched!
But the Tigers scored four in the bottom of the ninth to tie up the game! Coach was stuck because we had no pitchers left. Dave Stieb was at his daughter’s communion. Doyle Alexander had pitched the night before. Jim Acker had been attacked by a bear two nights earlier, and the trainers weren’t ready to test his arm.
That’s when I remembered I had some Insta-Shag in my locker. I ran into the clubhouse, rubbed some on and within three minutes I had a fully grown beard! Cox put me in again, telling the umpire my name was Moe JaGaughlin. Thanks to Insta-Shag they never knew the difference! Whitaker popped out, then after walking Gibson, I got Herndon and Cabell to ground out. The ball that Cabell hit was so covered in hair, it barely cleared the pitcher’s mound!
We were in first place. I got the win, but Insta-Shag gets the save! Thanks Insta-Shag!”
Still don’t believe us? Try Insta-Shag for three months and if you’re not completely satisfied will send you another month’s supply – absolutely free! Where else will you find that?
Insta-Shag can also be used to grow hair on dogs, turtles, Corvettes or bicycle racks. It is available in most Oscos, CVS stores and Hallmarks.
You’ll soon be able to try Un-Shag, our hair growth inhibitor, which puts a burn so severe into the first three layers of skin you’ll never grow hair again! (Use only under doctor’s supervision. May cause death in rare instances.)
Scoring: 9-6-2

the hunchback of middle infielders

Player: Jeff Treadway

Card: 1991 Fleer #707
Errors: Kids, that’s no way to field a grounder – always get in front of the ball. Is he playing baseball in a meadow? Again, thank you Fleer for a set of blindingly yellow posed baseball cards.
Comments:
FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT
INCIDENT REPORT 08-AF1543
Incident: Aggravated fielding
Time: 23:11
Date: 7.3.1990
Location: Meadow bordering Chalmers St. and Howell Ave.
Suspect: Jeff Treadway, 1/22/1963, 521 Capitol Ave., Atlanta, GA, m/w, 170 lbs, 5ft11, hair brown, eyes closed, posture poor, wearing blue hat, blue shirt, high gray pants, no tattoos or identifying marks
Summary: At above time and location, I, Offc. John DeMerit #29, was called to the scene of an aggravated fielding incident. Victim Herb Moford (8/6/1928, 12301 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY, m/w, 6’1”, 175, hair brown, eyes hazel with specks of green) reported that he was having a picnic in a meadow near his home when he was approached by suspect Treadway, whom he did not know and was not enemies with.
Suspect Treadway was slumped over, yelling, “I am quasimodo. Throw me a grounder. I am quasimodo! Toss me a little pepper!”
Suspect’s comments caused victim Moford to become alarmed and disturbed, as he was with his fiancee and feared for her physical safety.
In a calm manner, Moford gave suspect Treadway verbal instructions to leave the area. Suspect Treadway continued to advance toward picnic area and continued to verbally yell. When he reached picnic, suspect Treadway stepped on victim’s fruit salad and silverware. Suspect Treadway then scooped up an orange and threw it at victim Moford, who was able to avoid contact with the projectile. Total loss was estimated at $8.50.
Victim Moford and fiancee fled the area northbound on Howell Ave and contacted authorities from Ken’s Dollar Store, 1037 Howell Ave.

When officers arrived, suspect Treadway was slumped over, trying to scoop up ducks in his baseball glove.
At 23:45 hrs, I contacted state’s attorney’s office. ASA Cliff Cook approved charges of felony aggravated fielding and misdemeanor water fowl harassment within 1000 feet of a school.
Scoring: 7-4

there ought to be clowns

Player: Rob Sperring
Card: 1978 Topps #514
Errors: Standing comfortably in foul territory, player has the look of a natural slugger. Blue star threatens to take over entire uniform. Player’s large, bright orange belt may give fans the impression he is a crossing guard.
Comments:
October 13, 1978

To director of scouting/concession manager:
I don’t have to tell you that times are tough. The challenge for every Major League club is to fill a roster with individuals who can perform many roles without breaking the bank.
I believe I am in a unique position to help your squad. I am contacting you to offer my services as either a solid hitter with experience in both the infield and outfield, or as a clown to entertain children at your stadium.
As a player, I have logged four consecutive Major League seasons with more than 21 hits. During that time, I have played five different positions, with my specialties being shortstop and third base. The highlight for my career so far was Aug. 11, 1974 – my Major League debut – when I homered and doubled. After that day, I was sure I wanted to be a big league ballplayer. Or, if that was not possible, a clown.
My experience in the world of clowning took off this past year as I perfected my signature character: Ty Clown, the friendly baseball clown. As Ty Clown, I wear a goofy shirt, a large orange belt, comical pants and curly red hair. I have a regular routine of kid-friendly baseball jokes (Why did Lou Brock go to jail? For stealing bases!) and I am skilled at creating more than 15 balloon “animals” including: cat, dog, pony, octopus, giraffe, snake, worm, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, tiger, blue jay, (Cubbie) bear, angel, crown (for Royals) and – for an extra fee – the Houston Astrodome.
You may have read media accounts about the June incident in Cincinnati where I became confused and used my bat during Gene Woodling’s fifth birthday. I want to assure you that was a one-time event. At the time, I had just begun taking a new medication, which caused me some hallucinations. Since then, with the help of a doctor and the support of my family, we have not had any recurrences. Not only does my settlement with the Woodling family not stop me from performing, it is actually part of my motivation to stay out there and earn money to pay my enormous legal fees.
I can provide references for both by baseball skills and clown appearances upon request.
I thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself. I look forward to meeting with you to talk more about what I could bring to the team in the position of infielder/entertainer.
Sincerely,
Rob Sperring
Scoring: 9-2

the fire inside

Player: Wade Boggs and Mike Greenwell
Card: 1990 Fleer #632
Errors: Card advertises “Super Star Specials”, yet has Mike Greenwell on it. Look closely – where is Greenwell’s right hand going? Both players coordinated undershirts with batting gloves, which is very cool.
Comments: Mike Greenwell tried to review the events of that day, searching for the moment where it all went wrong.
It had started so innocently.
On a sweltering August night, the Sox had swept a double header from the front-running Orioles. Boston was finally over .500, and within a game of first. Anything seems possible on a night like that.
“Let’s go throw some knives,” Boggs said, as he put on his street clothes.
That was probably when the night changed. That seemed so clear to Greenwell, looking back. But then again, he was a new man now. He had seen so much horror.
Boggs took the collection of knives out of his locker.

“Let’s go over to Nick’s Place,” Boggs suggested.
Within an hour, Greenwell found himself in an alley behind a bar owned by first baseman Nick Esasky, tossing knives with Orioles catcher Mickey Tettleton and Boggs. The high of the double-header was still ringing in Greenwell’s ears. The knives flew like sparrows toward a struggling worm. The booze flowed even faster.
And so it didn’t seem strange when the dares started.
First, Boggs challenged Tettleton to taunt a bear at the Boston Public Zoo. Tettleton did it. He nearly lost a hand, but he did it.
Then Tettleton dared Boggs to stick-up a cabbie. Once Boggs had tossed the driver into the street, all three men piled in.
“Your turn,” Boggs said, turning toward Greenwell. “I dare you to burn down the Boston Tea Party ship.”
Through the long cab ride across town, the men talked about where to get matches, gasoline. Even then, it seemed like a joke – a laugh. Surely, something would intercept them before they could do any real damage. But Boggs was driving at fantastic speeds, and suddenly they were there, on the Congress Street Bridge.
Was it the crazy look in Boggs’ eyes? Was it Tettleton’s constant goading? Why hadn’t Greenwell turned back?
For years, Greenwell had admired Boggs’ hitting, his facial hair. Greenwell would look at his own paltry mustache with disgust. Why couldn’t he grow a beard?
Later, Greenwell would try to convince himself he had no choice. It was the Boston Tea Party ship or him. But even he didn’t believe that. As he lit the first match, Greenwell knew: he was the true monster.
The next morning, Greenwell looked for a place where no one would recognize him. In the ensuing chaos, he had fled the scene. He had avoided any of his teammates the rest of that night, rode alone to Fenway. When he got there, Greenwell scanned the stands. Every fan in sunglasses seemed like a Fed who knew his secret.
Greenwell trudged back to the dugout.
There was Boggs. As he finished off a leg of chicken, there was no indication Boggs was thinking about the ship. Greenwell could think of nothing else.
“Boggsy, Greenie, how about a picture for the press?” yelled a Boston Herald photographer.
Greenwell looked up. The two men shuffled toward each other.
“C’mon guys,” Johnny Newspaper continued. “A little closer together. Let’s make this for A1. I can see the headline now: Boston Igniters.”
Why did he say that?
Neither Greenwell nor Boggs made eye contact. They couldn’t. There would always be too much between them.
The photographer’s camera snapped.
Scoring: FO3

there once was a pitcher in new york

Player: Jon Matlack
Card: 1973 Topps #55
Errors: Player reached for the Golden Chalice of Topps All-Star Rookie-ness, but failed to grasp it. Player has batting-coach-shaped tumor growing out of left butt cheek-al region. Player may have laid two glove-shaped eggs on the field. Simon says touch right elbow to left knee – you too shadow player in the corner!
Comments:
OFFICIAL RESULTS – Bethpage Limerick Contest
Bronze medal ($5 gift card to Carvel
)
Joe Christopher, Kramer Lane Elementary

There once was pitcher from West Chester P-A,
He threw for the Mets every fifth day.
But in between starts,
He had really bad farts.
And used his blue glove to subtly fan them away.
Judge’s notes: Good form, questionable use of ‘farts’, good rhyming.
Silver Medal (Two weekday passes to Science Museum of Long Island)
Rick Herrscher, Charles Campagne Elementary
Jon Matlack only pitched from the grass,
And his teammates thought this was a gas,
Until the manger stepped in,
And said with a grin,
If you do that again, I’ll kick your rear.
Judge’s notes: Teacher’s editing of the poem cleans up improper language, but takes away some rhyming. Overall, nice effort.

Gold Medal (Family pass to Old Bethpage Restoration Village, plus $15 in Bethpage bucks)
Sammy Drake, John F. Kennedy Elementary
Jon Matlack was impossible to hit,
His mound tricks gave each batter a fit.
But one stunt truly shocked,
If his colon wasn’t blocked.
Matlack leaned over and pooped out a mitt.
Judge’s notes: We are concerned about the number of entries that discuss bodily functions. Still, this entrant shows a mastery of the a-a-b-b-a structure of the classic limerick. Bravo!
Scoring: 8-5