Thursday, August 20, 2009

Classic card of the week


Heathcliff Slocumb, 1996 Topps Star Power series

If you know anything about star power -– and I think that you do -– then you know that not only did Heathcliff Slocumb have it, but he also encompassed the ideals of star power better than any other baseball player in the history of the game. I mean, hey -– just look at all those stars!

If you were a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies in the mid-90’s, then you went to the ballpark to see Heathcliff Slocumb, plain and simple. Sorry rest of the 1995 Phillies! Basically, you threw on your Heathcliff Slocumb jersey and went to the park hoping that he would be granted the opportunity to come out of the bullpen and save the game, so that you may bear witness to his star power and also his 1.51 WHIP. What’s that you say? For nostalgia’s sake you’d like to see a monthly breakdown of Heathcliff Slocumb’s 1995 season? Why sure:



Interesting that they included “October” in that breakdown, and doubly interesting that Heathcliff Slocumb’s star power did not advance the 1995 Phillies to the postseason. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoy the additional stars and being reminded of how high Heathcliff Slocumb’s hat sat on his head.

Wikipedia would like to chime in with regards to a nickname:

Heath “Heathcliff” Slocumb

Shouldn’t that be the other way around? I actually consulted several other sources and discovered that yes, his birth name is indeed “Heath,” which means that Heathcliff Slocumb is the only known player in MLB history to have a longer nickname than his birth name for the sole purpose of associating him with Dr. Huxtable. Talk about star power!

Besides being one of the brightest stars of mid-90’s baseball, Heathcliff Slocumb is also famous for being on the wrong end of one of the most lopsided trades in recent history, as he was traded from the Red Sox to the Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe in 1997. Sure, Boston ended an 86-year drought with a 2004 title thanks in large part to the efforts of both Lowe and Varitek, but the star power they lost could never be fully recovered, and the franchise has struggled both professionally and financially ever since.

Heathcliff Slocumb would later pitch for the Orioles, Cardinals, and Padres. He finished his career pitching in his hometown of outer space.

Did you know?
Many have argued –- because of his propensity for annoying the local fish store owner and the fact that his best friend was named “Riff Raff” -– that Mr. Slocumb’s nickname is actually in reference to Heathcliff the Cat.

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