You’ve got to be kidding me. Seriously. I cannot believe that I didn’t know Rusty Kuntz existed for most of my life.
I feel like my entire childhood (and subsequent and ongoing immature adulthood) was wasted without the ability to say this name and not get in trouble. In case you’re wondering, yes, I would have pronounced it that way and ignored anyone who told me was actually more like “Koontz.”
Imagine the possibilities that this name possesses. I can picture it now:
A young boy on a car trip as a kid, say around 12 years old – old enough to know most of the key bad words but not old enough to say them in front of his parents. He finds this magical piece of 1984 Topps cardboard glory in the binder on his lap, and he says to his folks, “hey, Mom and Dad, do you know anything about Rusty Kuntz? Because I do!”
The parents inevitably then do one of two things. Option one is that they immediately get angry at the boy for saying the C-word… er… K-word. Option two, they look at each other in puzzled bewilderment, trying to figure out exactly what it was that the public school system had been teaching their child in health class last week. They knew there was some new shit going down in sex ed teachings since they were young, but Rusty Kuntz? That can’t be accurate… young people weren’t doing anything that could cause that, were they? Maybe it’s just an expression…
I know that my parents would have taken option one and immediately scolded me for my use of the word. But either reaction would have been worth it. Well worth it.
For the record, Kuntz played parts of seven seasons in the Bigs, and got a World Series ring with the Tigers in 1984. He also contributed a key RBI to that series win, although he never registered a postseason hit. He now works as a coach with the Kansas City Royals.
Until a player comes along with the F-word for a name, this is the ultimate name for card collectors with maturity issues, and he deserves to be a legend. Maybe Topps can include him somehow in their vast array of nostalgia one of these years.