Friday, January 8, 2010

If You Build It, Dustin Hermanson (and Other Weird Cards) Will Come

See? All you need is a field with tall crops and then random baseball players will just show up. Unfortunately for Dustin, 1995 was no Field of Dreams, as he had a 6.82 ERA in 26 games.

I guess all rookies have those bumps to work out, which sort of includes this next guy, Jose Rijo. He had a 4.76 ERA in his rookie season before settling down to post 6 straight years of ERAs in the 2's. And to super soak baseball fans everywhere:
Man, I love weird card backs like this one, which reads, "Jose twice fined himself $500 for failing to back up third, then donated the money to Children's Hospital." Now the lack of pluralization for Hospital stands out, but how weird/nice of a gesture is that coming from a professional athlete. About the only other guy I've heard of that donates money for his misdeeds is Chad OchoCinco, who regularly donates money for all of the fines levied on him by the NFL. But OchoCinco kind of has to pay that money, Rijo just did it to do it - good man right there. Add in the throwback unis on the back of the card and this is a truly epic card.

Moving on, probably the meanest card I've ever seen - a 2006 Topps2K insert. The front is nice enough:
But the back is just mean, while also very silly. Jab one reads, "Andruw once said he was unconcerned that a video game version of himself was playing better than he was at the time. Why? 'Because I want to win the video games,' he shrugged."

This is definitely a quote of Andruw's that I've never heard, but it's pretty awesome. Essentially, screw my production, I rule at Play Station baseball. Nice.

Jab two, the mean one, reads, "Jones loves to get extended and has tremendous power on fastballs middle and away. That extension hurts him on inside fastballs and low offspeed pitches, keeping his average consistently under .280."

Have you ever read something meaner on a baseball card? Also, people wonder why Andruw just stopped producing one day - maybe it's because some card company decided to put Andruw's scouting report ON A CARD, meaning that even the laziest of pitchers would know exactly how to get Andruw out. Jeez Topps, sabotage much?

This next card could also be hard to stomach, because it depicts athletes acting. Has anyone ever seen Rockwell? neither...but apparently Karl Malone was in it!
This card, from 1990, shows Karl Malone on that movie set. He played "Elijah Abel, one of the first black men to settle in Utah." The movie, unlike the card, came out in 1994, which is a pretty long time to sit around before making it to theaters. I'm guessing it's pretty bad, and reviews seem to agree with that guess. Oh yeah, and they're all Mormons.

Gotta get away from all those nasty cards. Luckily we've got a little bit of slapstick to brighten the day, don't we Ray Holbert?
Ray's card speaks for itself.

Nearing the end, here's Hakeem Olajuwon, one of GQ's "NBA All-Star Style Team."
I love the head shot on the back especially, and the fact that Hakeem "is a good dresser, but everything is lizard." What the hell does that even mean?

Update! Kenny of So Do You Like...Stuff? posted the same Hakeem card with wacky commentary just 10 days ago! Check his stuff out as well - it's a hilarious site in general, but I think his Hakeem post is particularly funny!

Last card, which is one of my favorites of all time but doesn't look nearly the same when you don't see it in person. It's a 2000 Dominion Characteristics Insert of Kurt Warner.
The corners are rounded on purpose, the background is shiny and different colors, and random chinese characters are all over the place. Then the cardmakers, deciding they needed one more element to tie the card together, threw in a random chinese word for each player in the insert set. Kurt Warner gets "shun," which apparently means excellence or genius. It's really wacky, and doesn't really make any sense. But I guess a lot of inserts don't make sense, and this one looks nice, so it's all good.


  1. I have a Todd Helton insert with the same theme as the Kurt Warner one. I understand the idea they were trying to get at. They were trying to identify characteristics of each player that they could label in chinese characters. Just how animals of the zodiac represent different characteristics. It's hard to explain, because they took the theme and made it something that it shouldn't be. I would have thought that they would go with a textured look of hand-made paper and have the single character in the background done in black calligraphy, rather than having the card be shiny. The borders of the 2008 Topps A&G relics seems like a design that would go well with this theme. They are cool looking cards though.

  2. Dude, those are nuts. I had no idea Hermanson was a child of the corn.

  3. That's a great and diverse collection of cards! I think I'm going to have to incorporate "everything is lizard" into my everyday speech. I can't wait to see my boss' reaction.

    As for Andruw Jones, I think the reason he stopped hitting has more to do with the first thing you mentioned than the second: Jones was more interested in getting fat and playing video games than he was doing what he got paid to do. Eventually it caught up to him. Not that I'm a bitter Dodger fan or anything.

  4. Nico - I hadn't thought of 2000 Dominion Characteristics + '08 A and G relic borders. Sounds pretty amazing actually - far more subtle and effective than the kind of ridiculous (but still good looking card) that was 2000 Dominion Characteristics on its own.

    CCC - Me neither until I spotted it while I was home. Wonder if he bros out with Malachai and the bunch.

    Night Owl - Haha please let me know how that goes. Maybe I'll try as well, though I don't know exactly how to use it. I guess just as any qualifier? As in, "Yeah, Andre Dawson had a decent combination of power and speed, but everything is lizard." I'll have to fine tunre it I guess.

    And agreed on Andruw. His swing had issues, but mostly he just became a huge chubster. Shame your team paid him so much!

  5. I actually used to have the Hakeem card.

    The early 90's basketball releases were straight crap :P

  6. That is amazing that you have -- and posted -- that Hakeem card too, in the span of like, the same week! Great and warped minds thing alike, no? Great job on the cards, man...keep it up! (And thanks for the blog shout-out!)

  7. Hahaha amen to that Kenny. And no problem with the shout out - you posted it first, so credit where credit is due!