Classic card of the week

Junior Ortiz, 1985 Topps

No doubt this gorgeous, professional swing produced a grand slam home run for Junior Ortiz! That, or an opposing player has grabbed the other end of Ortiz’s bat with plans to drag him around the infield as retribution for an earlier insult.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And here it is, the thing that you are thinking: Sure, Junior Ortiz likes to play baseball during the summertime. Who doesn’t?! But I wonder what he does during winter months?

Excellent, excellent question. I was wondering the same exact thing.

Junior is a graduate of Ana Rogue (Puerto Rico) High School.

This is valuable information. Especially the part about Puerto Rico. For a second there I thought they were talking about the Australian Ana Rogue, who was infamous for her stance on less education and who also hoarded and abused ferrets. That, or “Ana Rogue” is Spanish for “Puerto Rico,” which is already Spanish and which, if accurate, you would think I would have been aware of by now. Nevertheless, this information brings us no closer to discovering what Junior Ortiz does in January.

He plays baseball in winter months.

This is just…I mean…so you’re saying that he…what?! Junior Ortiz plays baseball during summer months and also during winter months? Man, that guy must love baseball! I bet winter months in Ana Rogue are like summer months in Neuva York! Ha, ha! Seasons are crazy sometimes. Anyway, speaking of Junior Ortiz and Puerto Rico and the Mets, let’s take a peak at the baseball trivia quiz…

Which player has played the most times on a losing All-Star squad?

The answer to this question is Brooks Robinson. Other acceptable answers are “Who freakin’ cares?” and “Junior Ortiz.”

Because the only information contained about Junior Ortiz on his baseball card is that he has a high school education and likes baseball, and also that thing about Brooks Robinson, let us travel elsewhere for information:

Ortiz himself suffered one of the more interesting injuries when he had to sit out a game after stepping on a papaya.

Standing next to him at the time was a man wearing a bumblebee costume and three scantily clad females wearing giant fruit hats -- which is how the papaya got loose, obviously -- and everybody was dancing to Menudo. I mean hey, these things happen.

In August 1991, in the midst of a long slump, Ortiz changed his name to Joe, but changed his mind when his funk continued.

Makes sense. I mean, we’ve all been there -- stuck in a rut and thinking a swift name change could do the trick. If I were 2-for-my-last-45 and just stepped on a freakin’ papaya, I would change my name to Joe, too. And if it didn’t work? Change it back! It’s just a name. Nothing is written in stone.

He also named his son Junior, making him Junior, Jr.

So is this a Puerto Rican thing or what? I need to know. I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway, as after Junior, Jr. failed a vocabulary test at Winston Churchill (Puerto Rico) Elementary School, the entire family’s name was changed to “Bill.”

Did you know?

My great-grandfather once missed a very important Whiskey-drinking contest after he slipped on a potato near a Catholic church.