Classic card of the week

Zane Smith, 1989 Score

When Zane Smith was in the zone -- and this was, pretty much, all the time -- his face tended to reflect the extreme focus with which he pitched. A contemporary equivalent would be the face that Dave Matthews makes when he is jamming out to a particularly jam-worthy Dave Matthews song. (Ed. note: White people be crazy!) Besides, it’s not like Zane Smith made that face all the time:

Do the chickens have large talons?

Regardless, let’s find out more about Zane Smith, the athlete:

Zane, a southpaw, side-arming sinkerballer,

Interjection: This tidbit won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for “Best Use of Alliteration in the Category of Zane Smith.”

was one of the better lefthanders in the league in 1988 despite his losing record.

Granted, I understand that wins are not an accurate reflection of a pitcher’s performance. (Shout-out to FJM!) Still, after reading this, one may be inclined to say to himself, or even to herself, “Okay, I’ll buy that. So what was he like, 11-13 with a 3.85 ERA in ’88? Sounds feasible.” If you were to assume that, however, you would die of embarrassment. For Zane Smith was 5-10, with a 4.30 ERA and an astoundingly terrible 1.34 K/BB ratio in 1988, which apparently placed him in that elite category of “one of the better lefthanders in the league.” Other left-handers in the National League during that season included Felix Heredia, Frankie Muniz, and Ned Flanders.

In 1995, Zane Smith was run out of the major leagues by a herd of beat reporters and columnists who, in their constant quest for an angle, became fed up with his lack of zaniness.

Did you know?
Zane Smith's focused face is eerily similar to his "O face."


Bill said…
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Bill said…
Luckily for Zane, back in 1988 lefthanded pitchers were not evaluated the way they are today (silly stats such as ERA, K/BB, and "not sucking"). Instead, they were judged on "ability to display front teeth" and of course, by mulletude. So contemporary wisdom did indeed consider Zane Smith one of the best.
Jason said…
Frankie Muniez and an 89 Score card together in one post! It's like magic! The card forgot to mention Zane's other side-southpaw talent, playing bass for Tacoma's favorite Styx cover band "Mrs. Roboto"