Classic card of the week

Mike Greenwell, 1989 Sports Illustrated for Kids

Here is another of my Sports Illustrated for Kids perforated baseball cards which I tore out of the magazine and which is worth at least $700. What makes it so expensive is the beautiful blue-green splotchy design, which resembles a line of low-end kitchen countertops.

Mike joined the Red Sox’ regular starting lineup in June 1987, and he still hit 19 homers and drove in 89 runs that season.

“Despite playing baseball, Mike Greenwell acquired good baseball statistics.”

In 1988, he batted .325 with 22 homers and 119 RBIs for the American League East division champs. He also led the league by driving in 23 game-winning runs.

Greenwell finished second in the ’88 AL MVP voting to Jose Canseco, who became baseball’s first 40-40 man that year and who recently pitched “6 strong innings to knock of funky Fielders lineup,” whatever that means. By keeping generally quiet and doing the opposite of everything Jose Canseco has done since 1988, Mike Greenwell has won the ’88 AL MVP of America’s heart.

How many more RBIs did Mike have in 1988 than he had in 1987?

Don’t patronize me, Sports Illustrated for Kids. I subscribe to your magazine of words and data—if I can send in a renewal check, I can do simple mathematics. Jerks. Also, it's "RBI," not "Runs Batted Ins."

Amazingly, SI for Kids offers little in the way of useful information. Where, oh where, can we turn for that?

Greenwell owns a 890-acre (3.6 km2)

I thoroughly enjoy how Wikipedia consistently posts alternate measurements for things, as if this is necessary for a person coming to Wikipedia for information. What the heck is an acre and how am I supposed to know how much land former Red Sox player Mike Greenwell owns in measurements I can understand??!!! (yelled in a British accent)

ranch in Alva, Florida, on which he grows fruits and vegetables. He runs an amusement park in Cape Coral, Florida called "Mike Greenwell's",

Mike Greenwell: I don’t care what ya’ll call the dang amusement park! I got fruit to harvest! Just make sure the people know it’s mine.

which opened in February 1992. He also coached both of his sons, Bo and Garrett … Upon his retirement from baseball, Greenwell began driving late-model stock cars.

That is such a cliché it barely warrants mentioning.

In May 2006 he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway for Green Light Racing, starting 20th and finishing 26th. In 2010, Greenwell had given up racing.

Mike Greenwell: Former almost MVP, vegetable farmer, carnie, coach, father, late-model stock car driver, retired late-model stock car driver, not necessarily in that order, but kind of. Too bad he wasn’t a prankster.

“The Gator”
Greenwell received his nickname during spring training in Winter Haven. He had captured an alligator, taped its mouth shut, and put it in Ellis Burks's locker.

Mike Greenwell: Ellis Burks is our teammate. Let us prank him!

Todd Benzinger
: Indeed!

Greenwell: Any ideas?

Benzinger: We could order pizzas to his house, and he will be surprised because he’ll be like, “Whaaaaat? I didn’t order pizzas!” and he’ll have to pay for the pizza and eat it!

: Okay, okay, not bad. But how about this—I capture an alligator and then tape its mouth shut and leave it in his locker!

Benzinger: Wow. Ummm, okay. Well, uh … what kind of tape are you going to use?

Greenwell: I don’t know—haven’t thought it through yet. I mean, not Scotch, if that’s your concern.

Benzinger: Okay, how about this: You do that, and I’ll do the pizza thing, and we’ll see which one he likes better.

Greenwell: Okay. But I have a feeling they’ll be calling you, “Pizza” for decades. Are you willing to take that risk?

Benzinger: I’m willing. Let’s do this!

Did you know?

There were two roller coasters at Mike Greenwell's amusement park. The Florida Board of Safety shut down one. How many roller coasters were left?