Thursday, May 10, 2012

Classic card of the week

Tracy Jones, 1988 Topps

It’s not always silliness on the front and/or back of a baseball card that will inspire a post. Oftentimes a normal-looking card such as this will lead me to Google, which will lead me to discovering extremely unimportant things that I never knew before. It’s all very exciting! In the case of Tracy Jones, I first examined his Wikipedia page, which does not appear to have been penned by someone especially fond of Tracy Jones:

Tracy Donald Jones … is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues primarily as a bench-warmer from 1986 to 1991.

Benchwarmer is kind of a derogatory term, in that major league teams do not employ players for the specific task of keeping the bench warm with their butts. Science has even failed to prove that a warm bench in and of itself poses any competitive advantage. A more objective term in this case would have been, “bench player,” “dugout caretaker,” or “pleasantly warm butt-haver.”

Jones also hosts a couple of radio shows. He is known for his brash personality and overstating his importance as a professional baseball player.

This tidbit intrigued me, as it seemed to be in direct conflict with the tidbit on the back of the actual card, which is: “Tracy had .304 Batting Average in the minor leagues.” Good luck overstating the importance of that.

Also, in what universe does a sports-talk radio personality disperse anything other than calm, reasoned, educated information to listeners who are seeking to become better-informed fanatics of a given sport? I wanted to dig deeper. MUCH deeper. So I clicked on the second Google search result, which led me to tracyjonesonline.com.

I have found many amazing websites in my day as a result of exhaustively “researching” baseball players from my card-collecting days. I am unsure any of those sites have approached the sheer diversity of tracyjonesonline. In fact, it took me a while to confirm it was indeed the site of Tracy Jones the former ballplayer, and not just a regular schmo named Tracy Jones who has outstanding and subtle web-design skills. The very first thing that catches the eye is a big picture of Joe Paterno with the caption, “R.I.P. Joe Paterno!” which, sure, but also, ? Below that is a video link to the famous fight, MINOTAURO vs SAPP, which is something I do not know and did not watch. Below that, after a ton of empty space, is a video of a dog sniffing a woman sunbathing in a park. Below that video is the caption, “If Tracy Jones is reincarnated as a dog in his next life, this is exactly how he will act.” This has probably been said before, but I think Tracy Jones' brief, heartfelt eulogy to Joe Paterno intersperses well with his wish to be reincarnated as a dog so that he can sniff women's butts.

After navigating the site for at least four minutes, it’s difficult to determine whether or not Tracy Jones is really this (among other things) arrogant, or if it’s intentional. The reason it’s difficult to tell is because everything is super weird and not really funny and very weird. For example:

Watching Tracy Jones' career in Cincinnati was like watching a John Wayne movie. He brought the Reds out of the depths in 1982 where they only sold 1.3 million tickets and increased the gate by over a million more fans when he played.

I am assuming they are referring to the John Wayne movie in which John Wayne helped a baseball team sell a lot of tickets. I mean, I know this is a joke, but other than that, I do not know what is happening. It does not help that many words are misspelled.

If the homepage is not enough, there are many links, including “The Cult,” “Hate Mail,” “Banishment”—you can, apparently, get banished from the Tracy Jones fan club, which is something I do not wish on anyone, but which is also something I fear, as a result of this, may happen to me; should it, tell my wife I love her—“Pool Party,” “Bikini Battle – N.,” and “Bikini – W.” I might as well mention there are bikini battle links for all compass directions, in case you live in the south and are like, “Is there a Bikini Battle South on the Tracy Jones website?” There is.

There is also a link for “Questions.” I contemplated submitting the question, “What?” But I didn’t, only because it took the link too long to load.

Welp, we sure did learn a lot about baseball today! Thanks for coming by. Have a great day, as John Wayne used to say regarding baseball.

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