You can tell from the picture on his 1988 Leaf baseball card that Rick Rhoden knows something you don’t. He’s got that sly look in his eye and a shady little grin. He knows some shit’s about to go down and he’s not going to tell you about it.
I don’t particularly like the Seattle Mariners. While I don’t have a specific hate on for them or wish them any type of ill-will, for the most part, I enjoy that they are the less successful expansion cousins of 1977 and haven’t really done anything of consequence in the postseason – ever.
However, I like Ichiro Suzuki. He has been unique to his generation, and probably unique to all of baseball history. He’s been a lot of fun to watch, and we are fortunate to have been able to watch it from the sidelines and our living rooms.
It is for this reason that I am not happy about Ichiro’s trade to the Evil Empire of the New York Yankees today, even if he’s a shadow of what he once was and even if it made sense for the Mariners to move on. I would prefer to remember Ichiro wearing Seattle’s colours – their somehow enduring teal and blue colours – and not this god-awful mess of Yankee nonsense:
I’m sorry Ichiro, but I now wish for you to fail at baseball for as long as you are a Yankee.
So, Wade Boggs was a pretty decent hitter. Even though he sold his soul to the Yankees in December 1992, and ended his career with Tampa Bay about a decade before they were good, he still had 3010 hits and a career batting average of .328. I guess you could say it made sense that Upper Deck wanted to use some fancy technology to show us his swing (turn your head sideways, it kind of makes sense).
However, Wade Boggs might be more famous because of the legend that claims he once drank 64 beers on a cross-country flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Regardless of what the actual number was, I think it’s pretty clear that Boggs liked a little drinky drinky in his day, and we should help keep the legend alive for future generations of high-functioning alcoholics.
In 1984, Don Mattingly hit .343 as a 23-year old and won the AL batting title, also leading the league in hits and doubles.
In 1985, Wade Boggs hit .368 (!), which got him the AL batting title that year. Only two players in the American League have hit higher than .368 since – Nomar Garciaparra in 2000 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2004.
In 1986, Fleer recognized that they both had spectacular mustaches, and made the baseball card you see above.
You see, there is value in the mustache.
Everything about Dave Winfield in this picture is cool. Let’s examine this more closely:
1. Hat perched on his head. I get the feeling he could wear it inside out and it would still look cool.
2. No jersey on under that slick Yankees jacket, just a t-shirt.
3. The look. That look says it all. “I’m Dave Winfield, I can do anything I want, and I’m definitely better than you. Probably not just at baseball, but life too.”
Things were shitty with the Yankees for Winfield by 1989, but brighter days were ahead for him, including a World Series win with Toronto in 1992, with Winfield getting the game-winning RBI in the decisive game six. Maybe that’s why he looked so cool. He knew things were going to get better.