I was back at my parent’s house the other day looking through my old baseball cards. In case you haven’t noticed, the sports card industry is absolutely booming lately, so I wanted to see if I had anything of value. Long story short, I probably don’t have anything too valuable but I ended up getting a bit distracted along the way. I was distracted by the number of mustaches, mullets, and instantly thought to myself “oh man, I remember this guy!”
So many of these no-namers are living in my head rent-free, and I want to share them all with you now. All kidding aside, sports cards were a big part of my childhood so seeing these guys was a fun way to take a trip down memory lane. Here are 5 of my favorites:
This nickname seriously does not get the love it deserves. Such a distinct memory I have was sitting at dinner as an 8 year old with my cards and going through them with my cousin. I was so confused by the name Oil Can that I asked him, “who would name their child, Oil Can?” He, being the older cousin, wanted to have some fun at my expense, and kept the ruse going. Still confused, I went to my mom for confirmation and she set the record straight. This was my initiation into nicknames and that most people are not going to name their child Oil Can, I assume.
Oil Can Boyd’s career stats: 10 years, 78-77 record, 4.04 ERA, 799 Ks (ugh, my OCD is killing me here)
Ron Washington wasn’t always known for his on the field endeavors as a player. He more so made a name for himself as a manager for the Rangers from 2007-2014. But he’s kind of made his way into cult hero status because of his colorful personality and for testing positive for cocaine in 2009. That hasn’t stopped Washington from continuing to coach in the majors. At 68, he is still working as the third base coach for the Braves but unfortunately, the afro did not make it to 2021.
Ron Washington’s career stats: 10 years, .261 average, 20 home runs, 146 RBIs.
As I was going through these cards, I said to my dad how old everyone looked compared to today’s players. I don’t know what it is, maybe it was the abundance of mustaches, but these young 20 somethings look ancient. The one guy who has epitomized looking extremely old throughout his career is journeyman catcher, Benito Santiago. Just look at the card, he’s 23 there! Not to toot my own horn but when I was 23 I looked 10. Taking a look at his stats, Santiago actually had a pretty good career throughout his 20 seasons. He was an all-star for 4 years straight in the beginning of his career, then again in 2002. Despite looking 100 in this photo, Benito, you were a legit catcher.
Benito Santiago’s career stats: 20 years, .263 average, 217 home runs, 920 RBIs.
I used to watch the same 3 things weekly as a child: Space Jam, Sportscenter, and this baseball greatest plays/blooper tape I had. Not many people would know Steve Lyons and by the time I was really starting to watch baseball he had already retired. However, despite Lyons looking very confused in this card, the best thing about him is the reason he ended up on the blooper tape in the first place. After hustling out a bunt single where he dove into first base, understandably there would be some dirt in his pants. Absentmindedly, Lyons dropped his pants to relieve himself of all the unwanted dirt in front of an entire stadium. Probably one of the best bloopers of all time (maybe second to Canseco aiding a home run with his head). Thanks Steve for this being the only reason I know who you are.
Steve Lyons’ career stats: 9 years, .252 average, 19 home runs, 196 RBIs.
To be honest, I don’t remember this card or this player. But when I saw it, I had to include it in my inaugural analysis. Mario Ramirez had a brief career in the majors primarily with the San Diego Padres. But this card is the quintessential 80s/90s baseball card. He’s got the mustache (most importantly), he’s being awkwardly staged, and Mario, what are you looking at? What is the meaning of that awkward smile? I bet some of his teammates were clowning around near him but he wanted to remain professional for his photoshoot. Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t suggest a retake and alas, this gives us this gem of a card. Tragically, Ramirez passed away in 2013, but his memory lives on here!
Mario Ramirez’s career stats: 6 years, .192 average, 4 home runs, 28 RBIs.
I have binders full of awkward baseball cards so get ready for more throughout the baseball season! Happy Weekend Day, everyone!
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