Thursday, July 16, 2009

Classic card of the week


Jack Clark, 1991 Score

Jack Clark –- seen here leaving his bat magically suspended in thin air so that the hitter behind him will not have to drag his bat all the way from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box -- was awesome. Jack Clark’s awesomeness is even more awesome when one considers the various obstacles that he bravely endured throughout the course of his major league career. The year of nineteen-hundred-and-ninety was especially cruel for one Jackson Clarkson:



Jack managed to survive a herniated disc in his lower back,

You have to remember -– this is 1990 we’re talking about here. The fatality rate of herniated disc cases was over 97%.

a fractured cheek bone

How a person can play baseball with a fractured cheek bone is beyond me. Though, I imagine that it’s similar to the experience of playing baseball after you’ve been hit in the cheek bone with a baseball. Uncomfortable, though not impossible, since you don't need your cheek to swing.

and a number change (to 00) to smash over 20 homers for the 10th time in his career in ’90.

One can only imagine the physical and emotional trauma that occurs as a result of the personal decision to change your uniform number to a different uniform number. When you are changing this number from a positive integer to a double-zero, well…most players just never recover.

A 1998 scientific study conducted by several hundred non-licensed and anonymous therapists explored the implications of humans changing their uniform numbers to double-zero and the largely disastrous results. The study revealed that while some players do this out of self-pity –- "Look at me, I am nothing! No, worse yet, I am double nothing!" – most players make the change out of arrogance, believing that their talent is so otherworldly that it will overcome the fact that they have two big zeros on the back of their shirt. It is uncertain which school of thought Jack Clark was registered at. The point is –- he survived it.

Also, I’m sorry but…“smash over twenty homers?” That seems like an extreme verb for 25 home runs. I mean, 25 ding-dongs is good and all, but I wouldn’t use "smash" there. You smash 40 home runs. You hit 25. Unless, of course, each of Jack Clark’s 25 dingers in 1990 were hit really, really, really, really hard:

A dead fastball hitter with one of the hardest swings in the game,

Well alrighty then. In a local San Francisco cable commercial for a furniture outlet filmed while he played for the Giants, Clark introduced himself as such: “Hello. I’m Jack Clark. I work hard. I play hard. I swing hard. I herniate my lower back hard. But most of all, I buy furniture hard.”

He can still turn a game around with one swish of his bat.

I am honestly uncertain whether this is a typo, or if the author is trying to convey the hardness with which Jack Clark swings by using the word swish. Because, ya’ know, technically, swish is the sound of a strikeout, and a Jack Clark strikeout would not turn a game around, but keep it exactly the same. I’m just saying.

Did you know?
The story of Jack Clark was the inspiration behind the Destiny's Child hit "Survivor."

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