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Showing posts from June, 2006

Classic card of the week

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John Canderlaria, 1991 Topps

John Candelaria was so stoned during this picture, that he showed up to the park on this particular day ready to pitch, except it was Christmas Eve, a traditional “off day” for Major League Baseball. And he wasn’t even on the Blue Jays. Luckily, a cameraman happened to be there to catch the moment. After the picture was shot, Candelaria asked the cameraman if he had any Skittles, and when the cameraman said no, Candelaria responded by saying, “I’m just gonna crash here.” Two weeks later, a Blue Jays executive spotted “the Candy Man” taking bong hits in the visitor’s bullpen. It was then the executive told Candelaria that he had been traded “back to his house,” at which point an excited Candelaria finally left the Skydome. Before his baseball career blossomed, Candelaria was a child actor, starring most famously as “the friend who got that girl pregnant” in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.” He would later go on to star in “That 70’s Show,” and MTV’s “Yo’ Momma…

Classic Card of the Week

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1989 Jim Deshaies, Donruss – Diamond Kings series

Here is a watercolor photo of Jim Deshaies. Why, you ask? Why the hell not!? Thanks Donruss! Obviously, the “Diamond Kings” series was very liberal in who it decided to name a “diamond king,” as one would be hard-pressed to imagine that the image of one Jim Deshaies would ever be hand painted onto a tiny piece of cardboard memorabilia for everyone’s pure enjoyment. After all, if Jim Deshaies was a king in 1989, then what did that make perennial all-star Ozzie Smith? The emperor of a small country, perhaps? Also, please take notice of the “good Jim Deshaies” on his right shoulder, who tells him things during games like, “throw strikes, damn it!” and “grab the rosin bag – you’re hands are wet!” However, noticeably absent on this watercolor reenactment is the “bad Jim Deshaies,” who always tells him to throw over to first base to check the runner. That guy was so annoying. And he always had Jim’s ear, as the back of the card elaborates: “J…

Classic Card of the Week

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**Friday Bonus Edition!**
Ron Kittle, 1988 Fleer

Ron Kittle never bothered to use what his contemporaries described as a “bat.” In a “Rolling Stone” interview in 1986, Kittle was quoted as saying, “Bats are overrated. If you can visualize where you want the ball to go, you don’t necessarily need a tangible wooden object to get it there.” And Kittle could visualize a lot, because he wore extraordinarily huge glasses that allowed him to see into other dimensions. Ron Kittle had seven batless hits for the Yankees in 1987, which was second only to Mike Pagliarulo (11). Kittle did not believe in baseball gloves either, which is how he became the DH. When asked why he still chose to wear batting gloves, Kittle replied, “They give infielders the illusion that I mean business. Plus, they match my pants.” After his retirement in 1990, Ron Kittle went on to win the Indiana Air Guitar Championship a record three consecutive years. His rendition of “Layla” during the 1992 semifinals literally cause…

Classic card of the week

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Rudy May, Fleer 1983

Rudy May taught Moses how to throw a curveball. There is no bigger surprise when first viewing this card than the word “pitcher” underneath Rudy May’s name. Based on appearance, one would expect to see the word “manager,” or “first base coach,” or, “Fantasy Camp for Seniors” instead. But Rudy May proved that you can’t judge a book by its cover, as evidenced by how many fans came to the ballpark to see him pitch on this particular day. May famously referred to Jackie Robinson as a “whippersnapper,” and also once started a bench-clearing brawl against the Tigers when a comebacker to the mound cracked his blue-blockers. In the offseason, Rudy May sang backup for Sam Cooke, and eventually released a solo holiday record in 1974 entitled “Rudy May Is Gonna Stuff Your Stocking.” It sold 13 copies. The back of this card states that May was born on “7-18-44,” which made him 39 years of age at the time of this picture. This, of course, means one of two things: a) Rudy May sm…

Joe Torre on love, life, and how to pick a winner

Well, I landed the big one. After playing imaginary phone tag for the past few months, I was finally able to reach Yankee’s manager Joe Torre, and convince him to sit down for the most exclusive of exclusive interviews. How did I do it? Let’s just say that my in-laws, like Torre, are from Brooklyn, and once that connection was made, any kind of refusal on Joe’s part would have been the equivalent of him wearing Red Sox underwear. People from Brooklyn stick together, whether they like it or not. Plus, I told him this was to benefit charity, which was a lie on my part. But whatever works. Anyway, here it is.

Me: Hi, Mr. Torre! It’s a pleasure to sit down with the most renowned Yankee manager since Stump Merrill. Can I call you ‘Papa Joe?’ That’s what my wife likes to call you whenever she sees you on TV.

Torre: Ummm, sure, I guess so. Why not.

Me: Great! Papa Joe, let me get this out of the way now, so there’s no confusion. This isn’t going to be like one of those “Center Stage” interviews…

Classic card of the week

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1996 Upper Deck, Robert Eenhoorn

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this special report – sucky George Brett look-a-like from Netherlands signs with the Yankees! Story at 11:00. Seriously though, every time I look at this card, I imagine foghorns blasting, and somebody screaming, “Special report, GLOBAL IMPACT! I repeat – GLOBAL IMPACT AHEAD!” What a ridiculous concept this is. For starters, unless Robert Eenhoorn signed some kind of treaty I’m unaware of, he had very little global impact. In fact, he had very little local impact, hitting, as the card points out, “.222 in a couple of Major League stints in ’94 and ’95.” But this card is special because it is the first of its kind in many respects. For starters, it is the first card I am aware of in which a player is posing in front a super-imposed flag of the Netherlands, with a huge baseball light fixture thrown in for good measure. Secondly, it is the first card where the mini-bio on the back is actually conti…