Classic card of the week

Turk Wendell, 1993 Upper Deck

Turk Wendell –- seen here exerting the kind of extracurricular energy that was lost on ol’ Heavy Legs Pavano -– was an interesting chap:

Famous for his odd behavior on the mound, Wendell also has talent.

Wait -– he’s weird AND has talent??!! Just when you think you’ve seen everything! Let us discover more about this odd, yet talented human being. Wikipedia, can you provide confirmation on this case of non-conformity?

Wendell is probably best known for his baseball-related eccentricities.

I knew it! Please elaborate:

This included brushing his teeth in between innings,

Ha, ha! Cuckoo, cuckoo! Seriously though –- that is pretty strange. Then again, I didn’t start brushing my own teeth regularly until I was like, 16. So at the time this card came out, I pretty much thought that any time spent brushing teeth other than the five minutes before you left the house to go to the dentist was weird.

eating black licorice,

And that is odd because…most people prefer red? I am unsure why eating black licorice is strange. Did he eat black licorice at times when eating black licorice would otherwise be viewed as inappropriate? I mean, if he was bringing a value pack of black Twizzlers to formal dinner parties, then yeah -– weird. Wikipedia however, respectfully declines to expand. Ironically, this fact further decreases the weirdness of Wendell’s in-between-innings teeth-brushing escapades.

and never touch any line on a baseball field when coming onto or off the field.

Gotta love Wikipedia’s continued crusade against grammar. Also, I would venture to say that the majority of baseball players are superstitious about stepping on the lines. I think what separated Wendell from most was that he emphatically did not cross any lines, as evidenced by the above photo.

There is more valuable info regarding Wendell’s views on steroids, his unheralded good works off the field, and –- my personal favorite –- his use of Rick Ankiel’s wildness as justification of why it’s okay to throw at opposing Cardinals players. But it was his desire to play his last season of Major League Baseball for free that really struck a chord with his many fans:

“I want my last season to be a testament to the game,” said Wendell.

“And I want that testament to be me, jumping all over the field, eating black licorice, brushing my teeth all the time, and doing silly things out of respect for the game, for free. Just like the old timers did it.” But leave it to Turk Wendell to put things into their proper perspective:

“I only wanted a few things in life – a wife, children, to play baseball and to hunt deer.”

Ah, the American dream in four parts. It should be mentioned that these wants are listed in order of least to greatest on the life scale.

Did you know?
When asked if would consider consolidating his desires into children that play baseball and a wife that hunts deer, Wendell angrily drove his pick-up truck away.


Bill said…
Thank you for working good ol' Heavy Legs into this post. As time passes and he fades from memory, I feel we need to keep reminding ourselves that that whole thing really happened and wasn't just a bad (but funny) dream.

And now, a little blogspot word verification to finalize this comment. Today it's "prooneut"! I think I have a new safety word...