Classic card of the week

Wilson Alvarez, 1996 Topps

Here is a Wilson Alvarez baseball card. Like you, I wonder: Did this professional baseball player play baseball as an adolescent?

Wilson pitched for a Venezuelan entry in the 1982 Little League World Series, an event that also included a Tampa, FL, team whose star was Gary Sheffield.

This is the most interesting thing I have ever heard about in my entire life. Are you trying to tell me, card, that Wilson Alvarez played baseball in an event that also featured another, different baseball player? I mean, what are the odds? Furthermore, what are the chances that the other player would be none other than Gary Sheffield? Is there no end to the link between Wilson Alvarez and Gary Sheffield? Some things are just…destiny.

Earlier that year, he’d fanned 21 in a game!

Who? Gary Sheffield or Wilson Alvarez? Either way, I enjoy the emphatic exclamation point as it pertains to what somebody did when they were 12-years old. I don’t like to brag, but I once accumulated 36 total bases during one inning of a tee-ball game when I was 6, mostly because several of my peers had not yet learned how to catch or throw a baseball. You would think this rousing success as a youth would have translated to a professional career, but alas—I am the exception rather than the rule.

Ironically, in 1994, a squad from his hometown of Maracaibo won the series.

Much has been made of America’s inability to grasp what the term “ironic” means, but this Wilson Alvarez baseball card really doesn’t grasp what “ironic” means: Venezuela did not win the Little League World Series in 1982. Ironically, they did win the Little World Series in 1994. What is ironic about that? According to this card, when a thing doesn’t happen but then it does, that = ironic. Now, what IS ironic is the fact that when the 1994 Maracaibo, Venezuela Little League attempted to celebrate their World Series victory with ice cream cake, they were unable to cut it since they had plenty of spoons but no knife.

Ironically, Wilson Alvarez was no stranger to cake himself. Sayeth Wkipedia:

The inconsistency and poor conditioning continually kept the talented lefty from realizing his full potential.

Poor conditioning?

He’s like an Adonis! Besides, Alvarez’s strategy of walking a ton of guys and not working out reaped its fair share of rewards.

On August 11, 1991, Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles, a team that had, earlier that year, faced off against none other than Gary Sheffield.

Did you know?
In 1992, Alvarez's conditioning coach, no one, told him to take a break until 1993.


frank said…
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