Classic card of the week

Geno Petralli, 1991 Donruss

Geno Petralli, how is it that you are not Rafael Palmiero? I do not understand. In my mind, I am imagining that the Texas Rangers lineups of the 1990s featured only mustachioed left-handed hitters whose names stereotypically gave away their ethnicity. Players that included Deion Freeman, Ming Sing Chu, and Patrick O’Flaherty.

But what were Geno Petralli’s career highlights? Horrible question. But I will answer it anyway. Back of the card, do your thing:

Ranked 4th on Rangers in batting in ‘89

That highlight is lukewarm, at best. That is such a random and arbitrary statistic. Did you know that my Uncle Tom ranked sixth in two-out walks for the San Diego Padres in 1977? That is not true, but if it were, would you care? Exactly. Also, Geno Petralli’s fourth-best-on-team (FBOT) .304 batting average in 1989 was a result of a scant 184 at bats, which, at the time, did not even make him eligible for speech therapy, much less the team batting title.

I need other career highlights for Geno Petralli or I will self-combust. Where can I turn?

Oh, wait…I know!

Let me begin by saying that Geno Petralli’s Wikipedia page should contain approximately 93% less content than it presently does. Geno Petralli was a former major league baseball player who was not Rafael Palmiero. The end. Apparently, Geno Petralli “knows a guy” who knows about this here Internet. Which is why it’s so strange that the “Career Highlights” section is mostly filled with lowlights. First sentence:

Petralli gave up 95 passed balls in his career.

That is a “highlight” only if Geno Petralli caught 3,096 baseball games in his career…without a catcher’s mitt. Which is not the case. The gist of this Wiki page is that Petralli caught knuckleballer Charlie Hough, which explains his high passed ball totals. And by high passed ball totals, I mean that Geno Petralli owns every passed ball record in MLB history. This = highlights. In short, this was a similar situation to Doug Mirabelli (can only Italian guys catch the knuckler?) catching Tim Wakefield. The only difference being that Mirabelli could actually catch a knuckle ball, while Petralli would often choose to let it roll past him while a 73-year old Charlie Hough rushed to cover home plate, breaking his hip in the process.

Did you know?
When Geno Petralli went before Congress to testify to his steroid use, Commissioner Bud Selig sat in the crowd with a brother Geno hadn't seen in years. Geno then publicly backed off of his original sworn statement while emphatically wagging his finger.


CMB said…
You are a riot!