Classic card of the week

Fred McGriff, 1990 SI for Kids

Hello everyone. I present to you another installment in our Cards From Sports Illustrated For Kids series. Featured today is Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman Fred McGriff, seen here holding not one, not two, but three baseball bats. He can barely get his hands around all those bats! The crowd in the background stands in delight and amazement at how many bats Fred McGriff can hold at one time. I wonder if there are enough bats for the other members of the Toronto Blue Jays. Ha, ha. Lol. Omg. I would like to see Fred McGriff swing all three bats at once and hit a beach ball into outer space! What?

Let us discover additional information:

In 1981, major league baseball teams drafted 232 players ahead of Fred.

Frowny face: :(

In 1989, he led the American league in home runs, with 36!

Somehow I knew that this long and drawn-out story would have a happy ending! Exclamation points all around! More!!! 36! Pizza party!

Equally important to all of the enjoyment we are having here is the lesson. And the lesson here is this: Kids, sometimes Major League Baseball can be inaccurate with its approximations of amateur baseball players. If you ever find yourself at a baseball draft where 232 dudes are being picked ahead of you, one thing you can do is internalize this as a slight to your ability to play baseball, and then use that as motivation to hit 36 home runs eight years later, which will make all of the baseball teams that refused to select you earlier –- including the team that actually did select you –- feel so bad that they shut down all baseball-related operations forever. You win.

Feel free -- if you are one of those kids that sucks at baseball -– to use baseball here as a metaphor for other things. Like reading or something.

Onto the trivia question:

Millions of children wear costumes on Fred’s birthday. Why?

I give up. Anyway, we haven’t consulted Wikipedia in a while. Let’s do so, while also keeping in mind, as we’ve mentioned before, that Fred McGriff’s nickname was/is “The Crime Dog:”

In 2000, the production company Rocco's Jobbers

Sounds legit.

produced a pilot for a television series based loosely on McGriff and the "Crime Dog" nickname. The concept of the series revolved around a professional baseball player who moonlighted as a crime-fighting vigilante named "The Crime Dog".

Also, the baseball player’s name was “Fred McGriffith” and he played for the “Toronto Blue Rays.” Remember: it was only based loosely.

The project was a major creative and financial disaster

I find this hard to believe. Keep in mind that the first time I read this I was under the impression that this was a cartoon series, and I thought that that was a terrible idea. To think about this is as an actual television show with real people made my head explode.

failing to get picked up by any networks. It is believed that McGriff himself has the only surviving copy of the pilot episode, which was given to him by his friend and former teammate, David Wells.

David Wells: Griffy, Griff…sup dude. Check it out. Got the copy of “Crime Dog” you let me borrow. Dude…holy crap. That is the worst thing I have ever seen in my entire life, and I have seen some pretty sick stuff. I invited like, 30 of my bros over last night and we downed Schlitz and watched this thing like, a billion times. Other than that though, I didn’t tell anyone about it. Oh, and there’s a little bit of barf on it, so watch out.

Fred McGriff: I hate you.

On casting sheets used to promote the project, the comedy-action series was described as "Major League meets Blade", referencing two successful movie franchises.

As of now, I am officially convinced that this entire entry was made up, a la the Janis Joplin Wikipedia entry on 30 Rock. Whoever put this together is brilliant. Major League meets Blade? I am doing a slow clap for that one right now. Kudos.

Did you know?
The team that drafted Fred McGriff 233rd overall was the New York Yankees. Unfortunately their shrewd drafting strategy was thwarted when owner George Steinbrenner dealt McGriff to Toronto, based on the notion that there was too much crime in New York City for McGriff to focus on baseball.