Classic card of the week

Steve Lake, 1991 Score

So many words come to mind when I think of Steve Lake. Intense. Gamer. Mullet. Steve. Sweaty. Chest protector. Rainbows. Omg, I just called a fastball down broadway that was hit 600 feet, but I’m going to pretend it was a pop up. Eye black.

It becomes difficult to gather all of these thoughts and words and emotions re: Steve Lake together to form one, all-encompassing statement. But difficult is not always impossible. Back of the card, take us home:

Steve is the best defensive backup catcher in the league.

Splam. Pop! Take it the biz-nank. Of all the catchers in the entire league (just National, not Major…I think) not good enough to start, Steve Lake is the best. At defense. And if you think this is an arbitrary statement just carelessly tossed out there to add some pizzazz to the otherwise pizzazzless resume of Steve Lake, here are some stats to back that up:


How did we get to “unhappily” already? We have barely scratched the surface of Steve Lake’s backup defensive prowess. I am, indeed, sad.

he wasn’t available to the Phillies for just about all of the second half of ’90 because of a sprained little finger on his right hand.

This certainly casts a dark shadow over my perception of a tough, mustache-owning, welder-by-trade Steve Lake. But, as everyone knows, you can’t backup catch without a fully operable pinky finger.

When he was healthy in ’90,

Which was: rarely.

Steve threw out five of the first seven runners attempting to steal on him.

This is Exhibit A in the case of Steve Lake, Best Defensive Backup Catcher in League vs Whatever You Think. No one dared to run on Steve Lake ever again, except that eighth guy, who, obviously, reached safely. However, in his defense, that was the exact throw that caused Steve Lake’s pinky finger to fall off.

When No. 1 catcher Darren Daulton missed two straight games against the Astros, Steve stepped right in

As was his job.

and went 5-for-9.

That is some serious defense.

He also gunned down the only runner foolish enough to try and steal second.

In the modest sample size of two games, Steve Lake was the best baseball player of all time, with a .555 batting average and one (1) foolish baserunner murdered (fbm). Unhappily, there were other games.

In ’89, Steve made only three errors, did not allow a passed ball and tossed out 50 percent of would-be base stealers (24 of 48) in 55 games.

Actually…that’s really good. I mean, yeah. Geez. I have nothing to add, except to argue that if this was the second sentence of this tidbit instead of the last -– and if everything else was left out -- the back of this card would read much better. Nevertheless, court adjourned.

Did you know?
After gunning down a would-be base stealer during a spring training game in 1988, Steve Lake yelled out, “How’s that for pizzazz?!” and then thrust his groin in the direction of a stunned crowd.