Thursday, April 29, 2010

Classic card of the week

Cal Ripken, Jr -- Champagne, 1993 Milkbone Superstars

Here we have the Milkbone “Superstars” series of trading cards, in which popular Major League Baseball players posed happily with their dogs. It’s uncertain here who is the actual superstar. Cal Ripen, Jr. –- shortstop –- has the inset going for him, while Champagne -– dog -– has the “don’t eff with me or I’ll bite your friggin’ head off” look of a true superstar. Both have amazing sweaters. Let us declare them both superstars!

Because I already know the vital statistics of Cal Ripken, Jr, let’s discover more about Champagne, shall we? Indeed:

Champagne was presented to Cal’s wife as a gift along with a bottle of champagne, hence her name.

That is a fabulous story, one that I am sure is recounted in detail at lavish mid-winter dinner parties at the Ripken’s lovely suburban Maryland home. Nevertheless, I don’t get it.

Cal Ripken: Hey babe. Happy birthday. I got you a bottle of champagne. And this dog. The dog’s name is Champagne. Get it? Also, the dog is mine. We have a photo shoot in two hours, so be a doll and grab my good sweater and my baseball top hat.

Cal Ripken Jr’s wife (also named Champagne): My birthday is next month. This streak is tearing us apart!

It should also be noted that this baseball card is a “1993 Limited Edition.” This means that, amazingly, they did not produce an infinite supply of cards featuring Cal Ripken, Jr. and his wife’s dog, Champagne. So if you have this card, consider yourself one of the fortunate ones. I, for one, am saddened to say that this card is not my own, but was instead mailed to me –- in the hard plastic sleeve –- by my buddy Sean (avid O’s fan) with the note:

What Cal lacks in his all-white jersey (inset), he makes up for in his seizure-inducing sweatshirt.
P.S. This is in a sleeve. In case it’s worth something, I want it back. If not, enjoy Cal & Champagne.

Ha, ha, Sean. I looked it up on Beckett and this card is worth four Milkbone bacon treats, which equals $2,800 in American human currency. I will mail this back to you…nevah!!!

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I am drunk off Champagne. Both the dog, and the drink. Mostly the drink.

Did you know?
When Ripken and Eddie Murray were teammates, the Baltimore Orioles were arguably the most dog-food-endorsing team in Major League Baseball.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keeping family in the loop, and occasionally tossing them out

Note: This column appears in the 4/29 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/30 issue of the Peoria Times

There has been a running joke in our family for years involving videos from Idaho. My uncle –- then stationed in Idaho for the Air Force -– and my aunt had just given birth to their first kids, twin girls. Armed with a camcorder and the anxiety that everyone back east was missing everything, my uncle countered by recording everything. When my aunt and uncle eventually returned east for good, our entire family was subsequently treated to hours-long, sound-free, grainy footage of my cousins doing mundane things amidst the appealing aesthetic of the flat and empty Idaho landscape. Having to watch those videos again is now a threat at family functions aimed at anyone who gets out of hand, which usually ends up being, ironically, one of the co-stars of those famous movies. They drink wine now.

I was so young when those videos surfaced, but even I have a faint memory of their monotony. Now, years later, I can sympathize with my uncle totally. Here we are, my wife and I, new parents and the rest of our family is across the country. How is everyone supposed to know how our little one is doing without aggressive and frequent documentation?

The medium has changed, of course. The process is less intrusive in that we won’t need to gather the entire family around in one place to observe footage of our little one’s progress. But it’s also much broader. Between online picture albums, texts, instant videos and iChats, there are plenty of ways to make our family back east aware that our hopefully-soon-to-be-daughter can army crawl.

Thing is, both my wife and I are cognizant of this. We’re both, I think, self-aware to a fault, in that we often choose not to overstep our bounds at the risk of depriving those who really desire to see these things. The result has been this constant struggle for my wife regarding whom to bombard this footage with.

Our respective parents? Forget it. We could have a camera on our little one Truman Show-style and my mother-in-law wouldn’t leave the house. After that it gets dicey. We get so much positive feedback about sending pictures, etc, but we’re always trying to interpret that as genuine versus being nice. Also, my wife is the type of person who responds to every email, text, forward, and wall post, so when someone doesn’t respond to her she interprets that as either a) I need to slow down, or b) that person is making fun of me right now.

A few weeks ago, after sending out another picture text, my brother-in-law responded with an innocuous joke about the amount of pics he was receiving. My wife took him off the list, didn’t tell him, and then reveled in the fact that he later lamented about not receiving any more pictures. She doesn’t mess around, my wife.

Last week we took our hopefully-soon-to-be daughter to the park for the first time. We put her on one of the infant swings and she loved it. She was smiling and laughing the whole time. We took a video of course, and we’ve both watched it at least twenty times since. “Who wouldn’t want to watch this?” I say to myself. And I think of Idaho. But ya’ know what? I don’t care. Something tells me, when the jokes come up, my uncle doesn’t care either.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You know you can change that, right?

Trust me that this post is not in retrospect, considering Round 1 of the NFL Draft is finished. I just never got around to mentioning this yesterday.

Besides, I would never hold anyone to any sort of accuracy standards when it comes to mock drafting. They are silly, but apparently required if you are a sports writer. But I just cannot let this doozy from Peter King slide.

Keep in mind that a mock draft is, for those unaware, a made-up scenario regarding how a particular person thinks the draft will pan out. With that in mind, here is what Peter King has to say regarding the 29th pick in his mock draft:

29. New York Jets
Jahvid Best, RB, Cal

This pick makes no sense -- unless you think Leon Washington and LaDainian Tomlinson are short-timers.

This pick. Makes no sense. Indeed it does not, especially considering that it is your own pretend pick. I mean, who are you talking to, Peter King? Because it seems as though you are harshly criticizing the New York Jets for making a pick that they did not, and most likely will not, make. Because you made it up.

I think -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that a mock draft is an attempt to outline a draft that makes sense. So to do a mock draft, and openly admit that at least some of it doesn't make sense, just...doesn't make sense.

It should also be mentioned that the Jets have three running backs, lest we forget about their projected starter, Shonn Greene. So this whole thing makes no sense on a number of levels.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Classic card of the week

Ken Griffey Jr., 2000 Upper Deck

Sometime around the year 2000, there was a top-secret Superstar Summit, which was held at an undisclosed location (Bennigans), was organized by Upper Deck and the baseball branch of the C.I.A., and included the superest superstars of Major League Baseball.

What you see here has never been disclosed to the general public before, and it seems to be the identification card for Ken Griffey Jr. to enter the Superstar Summit. How and why do I have it? I am not at liberty to disclose that information. Not now. Not ever. I will not be putting my family or this country at risk for a fleeting moment of self-glorification!

That said, here is what I know:

Name of All-Star
Ken Griffey Jr.

Fact No. 1: You had to be an All-Star to attend this Summit. Not too surprising that a summit of superstars would require at least some star experience. Think Joe Johnson is gaining entry into the Superstar Summit? Think again. Fact No. 2: The man pictured here is named “Ken Griffey Jr.”

We also discover that this man plays for the Cincinnati Reds, has 12 years of star experience, wears Jersey No. 30, and plays the outfield. He is 6’3” tall, weighs 205 lbs and was born on 11/21/69. If this is not an authentic Ken Griffey Jr. identification card, it is indeed a clever forgery.

In fact, the only way to be sure this is not a forgery is through the Superstar Summit seal, which is present here, and which can only be duplicated through a complicated process that includes reflected translucent gamma rays, a ball point pen, and cardboard only found in the French Alps. Another indication of this ID card’s authenticity is the signature, which was required, and which was stamped with the validation of approval on the 33rd month and fifth day of the year 2000.

This card however, is not without its secrets. The code contained on the bottom of this man’s picture -- “KG-CIN-30” -- has not been cracked by even the superest of mathematicians. Were I to have attempted to gain entry into the Summit – which I did -- using this card, I would be denied – which I was -- as a result of not being able to crack the code. The only people who know what this code means are Ken Griffey Jr. himself and Richard Nixon, who bravely and stubbornly took it to his grave.

Let’s see what information we can draw from the back of this card:

In 2000, Griffey surpassed the 40-homer mark for the seventh time in his career. He also eclipsed 100 RBI for the eighth time.

No wonder this man was invited to the Superstar Summit. However, it is indeed odd that the information contained on this man’s ID card would be presented in the third person. But the truth is, not even the Superstars themselves could be fully trusted.

For example, Ken Griffey Jr. – hypothetically of course – would arrive at the entrance of the Superstar Summit and attempt to gain entry. He would hand this very ID card to the guard, who would then swipe the bar code in order to confirm that the real Ken Griffey Jr. was not already inside. Then the guard would look up and down at Ken Griffey Jr. to confirm that the listed personal data corroborated. Then he would ask Ken Griffey Jr. to sign something random – in this case a non-C.I.A.-issued-Ken-Griffey-Jr. baseball card that he just happened to have – to confirm that the signature matched. Then the guard would say something like, “Question: Who, in the year 2000, surpassed the 40-homer mark for the seventh time in his career, and also eclipsed 100 RBI for the eighth time?” Ken Griffey Jr., if he were smart and truly desired entry, would reply, “Me.” Then he would have to crack the code.

What actually happened inside the Superstar Summit is a secret akin to who shot JFK. Who was there? It’s impossible to say. Vinny Castilla? I don’t know, maybe. What did they discuss? Who knows. They probably talked about how awesome they were, which umps should get whacked, where to get the best steroids, and how hot J-Lo is. Was J-Lo herself there? Probably. I don’t know. This is all speculation. Man, I miss Bennigans.

Did you know?
Due to bar coding issues stemming from the 2000 Superstar Summit, invitations for the 2010 Superstar Summit were sent out via Evite.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seeing scorpions? There are specialists for that

Note: This column appears in the 4/22 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/23 issue of the Peoria Times

The last time I discussed scorpions here I mentioned how my wife and I had resorted to hunting for them outside with a black light at night, collecting them in a jar, and then releasing them on the concrete at which point I would kill them in the most panicked and effeminate way you can imagine –- with my flip-flop, while screaming.

Believe me this was not the ideal way we wanted to go about ridding ourselves of scorpions. The dread of reinitiating that summer night routine had remained in the back of my mind, as was the reality of scorpions in general and the fact that we have, though not yet officially, a family now. But one day a few weeks ago while walking back from the mailbox, I noticed a truck parked in front of our neighbor’s house that read, “Scorpion Specialists.”

So I talked to the guy, Chris. He said the Scorpion Specialists seal your home, inside and out and completely, to the point where, along with regular spraying and being aware of what you bring into the house, the chances of seeing a scorpion in your home will be reduced to virtually zilch. I said, “Let’s do this.”

It was an investment no doubt, but considering that I would pay a million dollars to never see a scorpion again –- or, better yet, to hire an arsonist/hitman to set fire to every scorpion in the universe –- it was a bargain. (I want them to die by fire, fyi.)

They sealed the foundation and screened off and caulked every exterior vent, including those on the roof. They sealed the garage, easements, and put new sweeps on every exterior door. They foamed and/or caulked every outlet, light fixture, crack, sprinkler head…everything. They sealed things I didn’t even know we had. We’d be doing a walk-through around the house, and Chris would be like, “You got a high-compressor air chamber vent in this closet?” and I’d be like, “What? I don’t know. No. What?” And he’d open the door and there it was. This happened like a dozen times. I barely know where our hot water heater is.

I told Chris afterwards that had I known specifically about all of the nooks and crannies that allow scorpions to get inside, I never would have been able to sleep at night. As it was I was having bizarre scorpion-related dreams at least weekly. (I didn’t tell him that part.) So I was glad I found them, to say the least.

Which brings me to another point. Part of our lament regarding scorpions is that it seems to us that everyone here dismisses them or is just indifferent. The omnipresence of scorpions is like the elephant in the room of Arizona. But you would think that, with all of my documented frustration with scorpions that someone –- anyone! –- would have been like, “Hey, you know there are desert-proofing services like ‘The Scorpion Specialists,’ right?”

But no. I found out about this because I walked to the mailbox. So thanks, everyone. For nothing.

Still, I write this for anyone as concerned about scorpions in there home as we are. Do what I did. Drop the flip-flop and black light, and pick up the phone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Classic card of the week

Andres Galarraga, 1991 Score

Andres Galarraga. Good ballplayer. I want to know more:

Dubbed the “Cat” by his teammates because of his graceful moves around first,

Wrong. Galarraga’s nickname, as specified by Wikipedia and anyone who followed baseball in the 90’s was “The Big Cat.” And while that may sound like nitpicking, I mean, that was his nickname. Not “Cat.” That would be like saying that Frank Thomas’ nickname was “Hurt.” I would even venture to say that the fact that Andres Galarraga’s nickname was “The Big Cat” is probably the most commonly recognized thing about Andres Galarraga, as evidenced by this very card opting to mention it first and foremost. So the fact that this card, in doing so, got it wrong is very weird to me. But that’s not the weirdest thing about this little tidbit.

Not by a long shot:

In ’89 Andres was awarded his first Gold Glove. “He’s very classy around the bag,” said scout Joe Klein. “And he has tremendous hands.”

I would first like to mention that I never knew that “being classy” and having “tremendous hands” were mutually exclusive. I also enjoy how the statement “He’s very classy around the bag,” taken out of context, makes it sound as though Andres Galarraga consistently maintains his refined persona around a certain old prostitute. More importantly though, I do have to question how one manages to play first base in a classy manner. I can only assume that Andres Galarraga played first base wearing a three-piece suit, and would offer any opposing player that managed to reach first base a glass of brandy. Whatever the case, I’m sure we can all agree that Andres Galarraga played his position with more class than that white trash Todd Helton.

And then there’s this:

When Andres is on his feed, the ball jumps off his bat.

When Andres is on his feed, the ball jumps off his bat. Hmmm. At first I thought they were attempting to bring this back around to his nickname, as in “When Andres, who is a cat –- remember? –- is ready to eat, he hits well.” But that doesn’t make a lick of sense. (Pun intended, because cats lick themselves.) Furthermore, is “on his feed” even a feline-related phrase? I’m not up-to-date on cat terminology, so I honestly don’t know. Does anyone out there who has a cat ever say that he’s on his feed again? Like, “Uh oh, looks like Professor Giggles is on his feed again. Better get the Fancy Feast* ready.” Again:

When Andres is on his feed, the ball jumps off his bat.

Then I thought that maybe it was a straight typo, and is supposed to read “on his feet.” But, in the context of the rest of this tidbit, that would imply that Andres Galarraga plays first base sitting down, which is not only impossible, but also not classy.

I don’t know. I am lost. You are an elusive cat, Andres Galarraga!

*the classiest of cat foods

Did you know?
An updated version of Galarraga's nickname was used for a recurring character on the HBO hit comedy, The Sopranos.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

That red flashing stop sign on school buses means ‘stop,’ say police

Note: This column appears in the 4/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/16 issue of the Peoria Times

Last week I mentioned how writing about bad driving is a stale, clich├ęd, and predictable endeavor. As a result, this will be my second consecutive column about bad driving.

This is however, out of my control. My hand was forced as a result of the news that both Glendale and Peoria will begin –- like, now –- cracking down on motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.

One of the first things that I noticed upon moving here almost three years ago was how the local motorists react when an ambulance or fire truck is on the road with its siren blaring. Drivers in the Valley, rather than simply slow down and drive in a manner that will allow the ambulance or fire truck to pass –- which is what east coast drivers do –- instead come to a complete stop on the road, wherever they are. Even if the emergency vehicle is on the other side of a road that is separated by a median, drivers will stop as if they are doing their just duty as citizens, because emergency vehicles are notorious for spontaneously crossing five lanes of traffic and hopping medians at any given moment.

Now obviously I am all for adjusting our driving to allow emergency vehicles a clear path, but the manner in which drivers here abruptly stop –- often unnecessarily -– is a little much and, in my opinion, often dangerous in itself. Still though, the concept is an admirable one.

Which is why it came as a surprise to discover that Glendale and Peoria are now making a more concerted effort to stop motorists who pass stopped school buses. The implication being, of course, that there are motorists who pass stopped school buses.

As a functioning society there should exist rules that go unspoken, even if those rules are, technically, outlined in legal terms anyway. (In this case, the fine for passing a stopped school bus is $646.) That both Glendale and Peoria have taken the initiative to say, “Hey, everyone, let’s try and not run over little children with our motor vehicles, okay?” is a sad testament to society in general, and our local driving culture specifically.

But what really amazes me is the paradox between how drivers react to ambulances and this most recent revelation. In theory, your typical bad Valley driver would run through a school bus stop sign and risk hitting a child, but would alternately do whatever it takes to allow the ambulance that is carrying that child to the hospital to pass.

The program to stop these drivers started last week and includes police officers actually riding school buses and alerting road officers to the passing culprits. Again, this is a program –- a concerted effort –- to stop drivers who pass stopped school buses. Because that is what it has come to. That it is a program means that is has a beginning and an end, and this one ends at the conclusion of this school year. So, schoolchildren entering and exiting school buses in the year 2011 do so at their own risk.

Personally? I would ask my mom for a ride.

Or, ya know...go.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Classic card of the week

Dan Gladden, 1989 Donruss Diamond Kings

There have been Diamond Kings before, but none as feisty and throwbacky and pesky and Diamond Kingy as Dan Gladden. To wit:

Dan Gladden is a throwback to the old timers who played on the Gas House Gang Cardinals of the 1930’s.

Let us, for a second, ignore the fact that the term “throwback player” is reserved exclusively for white players with a reputation for hustle, which is offensive to almost every current player not labeled a “throwback” in its insinuation that they do not hustle, and also inaccurate in its assumption that players from the good ol’ days hustled all the time and serve as the standard for how to play baseball properly. Yes, we shall ignore that.

What is rather amazing here is the specificity of this throwback statement. Because Dan Gladden wasn’t a throwback in a general sense –- he was a throwback to the Gas House Gang Cardinals. When people watched Dan Gladden play, they immediately thought of the Gas House Gang Cardinals, even though they were watching the Minnesota Twins. That is how much of a throwback Dan Gladden was. But what about these Gas House Gang Cardinals we speak of? Wikipedia?

The Cardinals, by most accounts, earned the nickname from the team’s generally very shabby appearance and rough-and-tumble tactics. An opponent once stated that the Cardinals players usually went into the field in unwashed, dirty and smelly uniforms, which alone spread horror among their rivals.

In this context, Dan Gladden was a throwback in that he was smelly and used questionable tactics to attain results. More:

He’s a feisty player, always hustling and fighting to win.

Dan Gladden makes David Eckstein sound like Milton Bradley. Also, one of my favorite things in the world is when baseball is presented as a sport wherein you can use your will and brute force to succeed. How does one, exactly, fight to win a baseball game? Regardless, we know that Dan Gladden was a throwback, and feisty, and a hustler. But the question remains: Was he pesky?

Gladden, a pesky hitter


would get on any way he could

There are eight traditional ways to reach base. They are: 1) a hit, 2) a walk, 3) an error, 4) fielder's choice, 5) a hit-by-pitch, 6) a dropped third strike, 7) catcher's interference, and 8) fielder's obstruction. Dissatisfied with these limited methods and determined to remain pesky, Dan Gladden would sometimes -- if he knew he was overmatched while facing a particular pitcher -- simply drop his bat and hustle to first base before a pitch was even thrown. Any umpires or opposing players who questioned this tactic were challenged to a fight by Dan Gladden, but none accepted, as Gladden’s roughness-and-tumbleness were well-documented throughout the league. And that is how one fights to win a baseball game. I stand corrected.

and taunted pitchers with his speed.

Dan Gladden: (standing on first base) Hey pitcher!

Pitcher: Yes?

Gladden: Check out this speed!

Dan Gladden darts to second base.

Pitcher: Hey! Stop that! What do I do?

Shortstop: Throw the ball to second base!

Pitcher: Okay. Wait…he’s there already!

Dan Gladden: (dusting himself off from sliding even though he didn’t have to slide) How’d ya like that speed? Your mother liked it last night!

Pitcher: (shaking fist angrily towards the sky) Curse you Dan Gladden!


Dan was plagued by injuries last year,

Making him, apparently, a Diamond King?

but knowing him, he’ll be back for more in 1990.

He’ll be back for more injuries? That’s weird.

His .295 average coupled with his 23 doubles and 23 stolen bases are good omens for the Twins.

Those are not omens. They are things that Dan Gladden did that were already realized directly by the Minnesota Twins. Unless they are saying that, while he was injured, Dan Gladden hit .295 with 23 doubles and 23 stolen bases in the comfort of his own home. In which case, yes, that would be a good omen for the Twins.

Did you know?
Because the term "throwback" hadn't yet been invented, the first hustling baseball players were often compared favorably and oxymoronically to Caucasian blacksmiths.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Decent society and the turn signal, a love story

Note: This column appears in the 4/7 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/8 issue of the Peoria Times

I’m a patient man, I think. It takes a lot for something to really get to me. I don’t have many pet peeves. Even those things that I list as being “pet peeves” don’t really bother me all that much. Sometimes I have to manufacture indignation so as to feel like a normal, frustrated, angry human being. I am, after all, from the east coast. There are expectations.

But there is one thing that honestly and legitimately makes my skin crawl with the type of loathing normally reserved for unrepentant and violent criminals. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, those who neglect or straight refuse to use their turn signal are murderers. Of the decent driver’s soul.

Now, I do not prefer to write about bad driving. For one thing, I’ve done it before, many times. It’s also hacky and stale and predictable. Any person can make an argument that the driving where they live is the worst. And it’s been well documented on this page that the driving in Arizona is the worst.

For the most part, I’ve adjusted. I expect to be rerouted through a construction zone at all times, and I’ve come to grips with the fact that none of these projects will ever finish. I don’t mind being sandwiched in between two pick-up trucks sitting thirty feet off the ground with engines that sound like helicopters. Waiting behind someone trying to make a left turn in a situation where making a left turn is virtually impossible and therefore obnoxious and utterly arrogant? Love it.

What I cannot and will not compromise however, is the turn signal. For me, use of the turn signal is the most common form of human decency, mostly because it requires the absolute minimum amount of human effort. You literally have to lift a finger. And while I would love to lift mine at every driver who refuses to use a blinker, I drive under the assumption that everyone in this state besides me has a gun underneath the driver’s seat. Or, in their non-driving hand.

Refusing to use your turn signal is like saying, “I am either too lazy or too indifferent to care about anyone except myself. This is my road. Want to know what I’m gonna do with my vehicle? You’ll know when I do it. Check out the sticker on my back window of Calvin peeing on my turn signal. It’s awesome.”

The other day I was completely cut off by somebody who was brazenly weaving in and out of traffic. But they used their turn signal, so I didn’t mind that much. That person was a jerk, no doubt. But a redeemable jerk.

I have no solution to this problem. I’m just venting. I’m allowed one of these a year. But if by any chance a person is reading this who contains that rare combination of literacy and the inability to use a turn signal, I say to you, sir or ma’am: You are a human being. There are expectations.

Not exactly what Bill Watterson had in mind

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Classic card of the week

Todd Dunn, 1993 Classic Games, Inc.

Seen here is Classic Games, Inc’s (?) “Four Sport Collection” featuring Todd Dunn. I can only however, locate one sport on this card, and that sport appears to be high school baseball, as photographed by the coach’s wife with a Kodak disposable camera.

If you need evidence of Todd Dunn’s baseball ability that goes beyond blurry documentation of an odd batting stance and proof that his fans included middle-aged groupies wearing scrunchies and Gotcha tank tops, then may I direct you to the back of the card:

Unfortunately, the back of the card includes another blurry photo. But there is also a difficult-to-read chart, which is nice. Also:

A first round pick by the Brewers, Todd was rated as the best overall athlete in Baseball America in an article listing the College Players with the Best Tools.

In the category of “College Players with the Best Tools,” Todd Dunn was voted the best overall athlete. It is unclear whether being a great athlete is a specific tool in itself, or whether Todd encompassed all of the tools necessary to be a College Player with the Best Tools, and therefore was indeed the College Player with the Best Tools. All we really know is that Todd Dunn had at least some tools. And he was an athlete. The best one.

Of course, if “College Player with the Best Tools” means the college player whose buddies were the biggest, and thus best tools on campus, then that is also impressive. You have to be some pretty big tools to be recognized as tools within the realm of college athletics. Kudos, friends of Todd Dunn.

A member of the 1982 Little League World Series Champions from Tulsa, Todd is an all-sport athlete,

Todd Dunn transcends the “Four Sport Collection” in that he plays every sport. I am not one to throw the term “all-sport athlete” around liberally, and so I am left to assume that Todd Dunn played –- and, because he’s Todd Dunn, excelled at –- every sport imaginable, from women’s beach volleyball to intramural tennis at Ramapo College and everything in between. (By the way, women’s beach volleyball and intramural tennis at Ramapo College represent opposite ends of the sporting spectrum. This is a fact, and not to be disputed.)

having previously competed in both football and wrestling.

So far I have counted baseball, football and wrestling –- of which he currently only plays baseball –- as the sports which qualify Todd Dunn on the front of this card as a “Four Sport” athlete and on the back of this card as an “all-sport” athlete. The lesson here: All of us can be great overall athletes with lots of tools if we really put our minds to it and win the Little League World Series. Thanks, Todd Dunn!

Did you know?
As a sophomore Todd Dunn attended the "Tool Academy of Ohio," where he learned to hit for average, hit for power, throw, drink car bombs, run fast, play defense, take his shirt off, and pump his fist.