Thursday, June 02, 2011

Classic card of the week


Bill Spiers, 1994 Upper Deck

You know what I like about Bill Spiers besides EVERYTHING???!!!! The way he will sign a baseball or a baseball card while looking awesome wearing a helmet on top of his baseball hat and while not really paying attention because he is too busy trying to get the attention of an attractive female in the distance with the hope that she will notice how awesome he looks with all the protective hats protruding from his head.



Female groupies in distance: Look at Bill Speirs! Gossip, gossip, blah, blah, giggle, giggle! SO cute! You know what they say about a guy with three skulls! Giggle, giggle, hit with foul ball.

That helmet is so high atop Bill Spiers’ dome that there is ample room for a fast-moving baseball to still nail him in the head, rendering the helmet pointless, unless you count the fashion aspect of it, which is, from a monetary standpoint: priceless. It’s possible, however, that Spiers was simply basking in the glory of a facemask-less helmet that could let his brim breath a little, ya’ know? You’re just not afforded the luxury of keeping your hat on when you’re punting footballs:

He was also a punter for Clemson University.

I am assuming Wikipedia is referring to the football team, and is not implying that Clemson University employs a more general punter who is responsible for punting stuff around campus every now and then to the delight of students and faculty. Of course, with the most famous baseball player-slash-college football punter ever, Darin Erstad, as our prime example, I am also left to assume that there existed an overwhelming amount of articles, columns, and features about Bill Spiers’ scrappiness, hustle, Caucasian-ness, grit, football-mentality (wherein you tackle the opposing player, or, in this case, punt the baseball), peskiness, heart, and how his baseball statistics shouldn’t necessarily speak to his actual baseball ability because there is no statistic for grass stains on a uniform.

That football mentality and extra layer of helmet protection could have come in handy had Bill Spiers not been so blindsided one unfortunate day:

On September 24, 1999, while playing with the Houston Astros, Spiers was attacked by a 23 year old man while standing in the outfield before the bottom of the 6th inning. Teammate Mike Hampton was first on the scene and delivered several kicks to the attacker.

Mike Hampton is a pitcher. Pitchers pitch from the pitching mound. How was he the first one on the scene? The combined grit quotient of the other Astros was minus-1,095.98.

He was later quoted saying "The good thing was he didn't have a weapon... I always check right field before I deliver the first pitch.

"To, ya' know, make sure the right fielder is not getting randomly attacked," added Hampton. "Also to check the Jumbotron to make sure I am pitching that day."

It's just a habit. I looked out there and saw the guy on Billy's back... It was a scary thing. My instincts just took over. My rage took over. I was pretty furious. I wanted to get him off my teammate."

Honestly? This is the best Bill Spiers-by-way-of-Mike Hampton story I have ever read in my whole life.

After being arrested the attacker faced two counts of battery and one count of disorderly conduct. Spiers wound up with a welt under his left eye, a bloody nose and whiplash.

As a means of adding brevity to a tense and uptight clubhouse, Mike Hampton walked up to Bill Spiers the next day wearing a t-shirt that read, “NOW who’s the punter?” Everybody laughed, except Bill Spiers, who had whiplash.

Did you know?
The rumor around baseball was that Bill Spiers wore his helmet high atop his baseball cap to signify, as a nod to his football-playing days and also his off-season job as an event organizer, that he wore many hats.

No comments: