Friday, April 27, 2007
Classic card of the week
Jim Pankovits, 1989 Upper Deck
*Special Friday edition
Jim Pankovits was caught off guard by this particular photo. And Jim Pankovits didn’t like it. Not one bit. The Astros were about to start taking batting practice during a beautiful May afternoon back in 1988. Pankovits, as was his custom, walked towards the center field fence to relieve himself. Yes, he could have used the clubhouse bathroom, but two weeks beforehand, a noticeably drunk Pankovits had peed himself during a game, to the delight of his teammates. The Astros, who were struggling mightily at the time, went on to win that game in extra innings. The superstitious Pankovits promised the team that he would urinate on the field before every game, in order to keep the streak alive. And it worked, because at the time this photo was taken, the Astros had won 10 straight games. Anyways, Pankovits had just finished his business, and when he turned around to zip himself up – baseball pants traditionally don’t have zippers, but Pankovits made a special request as a result of his promise – an Upper Deck cameraman was right there to capture the moment. Pankovits’ reaction went from shock, to disbelief, to straight-up anger, homey. An unzipped Jim Pankovits attacked the cameraman Kenny Rogers-style, but the x-rated nature of this particular scuffle prevented it from being featured on the bloopers part of “This Week in Baseball.” As for why Pankovits was carrying two bats at the time…On the first occasion that Pankovits purposely peed in the outfield, he came in afterwards to partake in BP, but none of his teammates would let him touch any of the bats, since Pankovits had obviously not washed his hands in the sinkless outfield. From that point forward, Pankovits always carried two bats with him, which he would use for batting practice, and then sign, and give out to unsuspecting fans. On one particular occasion, after receiving an authentic batting practice-used bat, a 9-year old boy named Daryl was overheard saying, “This bat smells like pee-pee. And who the hell is Jim Pankovits?”
Did you know?
As a result of the fight, Jim Pankovits became the first known person to have an unintentional vasectomy.
Note: Sorry for the blurry nature of this card, but this is the very first reader-requested classic card! So thanks, “Anonymous,” for your hard work in finding this beauty online, and for the suggestion…