Thursday, January 11, 2007

Classic card of the week




*Special Friday edition
Ken Oberkfell, 1986 Topps

Hey everybody, no need to worry…this guy is manning the hot corner. Everything is gonna be aaaaaalllright. Seriously though, do you honestly think that a scorching one-hopper towards the hole is going to get past Ken Oberkfell? He has reflexes like a freakin’ cheetah. A spotted cheetah. “But is Ken Oberkfell spry?” you ask. I’m sorry, maybe you didn’t see the above picture of Ken Oberkfell, where he is only taking a short break from snagging pesky mosquitoes out of his immediate vicinity with the quickness of a frog’s tongue. I mean, does it look like Ken Oberkfell is messing around? Okay, well…maybe in this particular picture, it does. But make no mistake – Ken Oberkfell was all business when his spikes crossed those white lines. In fact, one may easily mistake Ken Oberkfell for your everyday, robust electrician, who bats cleanup in his Sunday beer league and who hunts venison on clear weeknights. But Ken Oberkfell’s misleading physique only masked what was a lethal combination of Major League speed and power. Check out 1985, for example. In a measly 134 games, Ken Oberkfell walloped three home runs AND stole one base, making him just the 19,334th member of MLB’s illustrious 3/1 club. That’s Willie Mays company right there, for all the haters. But maybe you’re wondering how well Ken Oberkfell flashed the leather. Well, do the words, “Pretty freakin awesomely” mean anything to you? Does a .963 fielding percentage at third base in 1985 tell you all you need to know? No? Well, let me break it down for you: If 1,000 scorching one-hoppers heading towards the hole tried to get past Ken Oberkfell, he would dive and stab 963 of those, and throw the runner out, not even from his knees – from his beard. Ken Oberkfell could throw you out from his beard. Oh, and what happened to those other 37 grounders? Bad hops.

Did you know?
While on a fishing trip in his native Illinois, Ken Oberkfell once caught a 20 lb striped bass with his baseball glove.

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