Sometime during the 1992 season, Andre Dawson fell awkwardly into a brick wall at Wrigley Field after making a catch (don’t question me, the ball is in his glove). Because they had the technology to do so, Upper Deck documented this incident with a multi-shot baseball card. This makes perfect sense, because they couldn’t find a usable shot of him slipping on his way up the stairs, or stubbing his toe on a coffee table. Great work depicting a future bench player for the 1996 Florida Marlins.
How we know they’re different people:
Mike Stanton #1 pitched in 277 Major League games, 274 of them in relief, for Houston, Cleveland, Seattle and the Chicago White Sox between 1975 and 1985. He never appeared in a postseason game.
Mike Stanton #2 pitched in 1178 Major League games, 1177 of them in relief, for nine teams between 1989 and 2007, including a total of 53 postseason games and six different World Series.
Mike Stanton #3 got so tired of all the confusion of being a baseball player named Mike Stanton that he changed his name to Giancarlo Stanton prior to the 2012 season. When he made the announcement, he was reportedly quoted as having said “I ain’t no stinkin’ relief pitcher like those other clowns,” but this is unconfirmed.
How we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:
Mike Stanton #1 started his career in 1975, but didn’t appear in the bigs again until 1980. He then retired in 1985, and Mike Stanton #2 started his career in 1989. Maybe Mike Stanton #1 just took another break before his second comeback. Think about it. As for Mike Stanton #3, well, he was born that same year, in 1989. Coincidence? Come on.
In 1993, Kelly Gruber took his fantastic flow to Anaheim to play 18 games for the California Angels. These are the same California Angels who were once the Los Angeles Angels, and were later the Anaheim Angels and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Their next obvious natural evolution: The Anaheim Angels of the Los Angeles, California Area.
As for Gruber playing for anyone other than the Blue Jays, it’s just wrong. Check out the great Gruber nostalgia over at Mop Up Duty, and you’ll understand what I mean. He might have gone just 2 for 19 in the 1992 World Series – but oh, what a 2 it was.
Gruber also spent some time with the Orioles organization in 1996, but he never cracked the Majors outside of Spring Training, and never wore that goofy orange bird on cardboard, thank God. The Blue Jay is the only bird for Kelly Gruber… well, other than this one, maybe.
See what Upper Deck did here? The New York Mets had a bunch of players in 1993 that were switch hitters as well as being fairly big names, so they made a card entitled “Big Apple Power Switch.”
Along with Eddie Murray, Howard Johnson, and Bobby Bonilla, the Metropolitans that year also boasted in their starting lineup a switch-hitting catcher in Todd Hundley, and a switch-hitting left fielder in Vince Coleman. Hundley and Coleman obviously weren’t cool enough to be featured, but can you blame anyone for that? Look how graceful Murray, Johnson and Bobby Bo look here.
How did that end up, you ask? Well, they finished 59-103 that season in the midst of six losing seasons in a row. So, not great.
Dave Stieb has already been featured a couple of times here at Sorting by Teams. Get used to it. Dave Stieb is fucking awesome and he will be featured again. Be ready for it.
Right here, however, we have a weird moment on 1993 Upper Deck where Dave Stieb is shown pitching for the Chicago White Sox. Trust me when I tell you, nobody wants to pitch for the Chicago White Sox. People just don’t care. Dave Stieb ended up pitching a total of 22.1 innings for them, and I’ll bet about eight people noticed. He did not have good numbers there.
Little known fact: Stieb was signed by the Kansas City Royals for about 6 weeks after being released by Chicago early in the 1993 season. He never pitched for them, and even if he was going to, at least they wore blue.
Dave Stieb knew that going to Chicago and Kansas City was wrong too. That’s why he went into hiding from that point until 1998, when he actually pitched pretty well over 19 games for the Blue Jays, posting a 1-2 record, 2 saves, and a 4.83 ERA. It was a surprising comeback, but Dave Stieb was a Blue Jay and a Blue Jay alone. We just got it, and we got him.
Geronimo Pena, Ray Lankford, Bernard Gilkey and Ozzie Smith were, for some reason, featured on one of these awesome 1993 Upper Deck team cards. On these cards, a group of players from one team are associated with some kind of slogan, like, in this case, “Runnin’ Redbirds.” Smith, of course, is a Hall of Famer, Lankford was coming off a really good 1992 season, but I’m not really sure what Gllkey and Pena are doing there.
You will notice two things about this slogan:
- There is an absence of a “g,” replaced with an apostrophe in the word “Runnin’.” This is obviously much cooler than using the word “Running,” which only nerds use.
- The cardinal on the “Runnin’ Redbirds” logo is much stronger looking than the cardinal they use on their hats and jerseys… almost juiced up, one might say… perhaps a sign of things to come for the Cardinals later that decade?
Just look at all that… TEAL. Wow.
Teal invaded Major League Baseball in 1993 with the same intensity that is on Scott Pose’s face as he rounds the bases.
The Florida Marlins brought teal with them, and the Colorado Rockies were responsible for the introduction of purple. In hockey, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim combined both. The results were not good.
It really was out of control back then.