1989 Upper Deck – Ron Washington
2013 Topps Heritage – Ron Washington
Back then, in 1989, Ron Washington was just a young, old-looking guy staring off into an uncertain future as his playing career wound down, not really sure what was next for him. Well, I’ll tell you, Wash from 1989: some cocaine, and being one of the “old school” guys with Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s (see around the 0:58 mark). Then, you’ll come close to winning the World Series, and nobody will be sure whether to credit you for getting the Texas Rangers there, or blame you for them losing.
Now, in 2013, Ron Washington is an old, young-ish-looking guy staring out at the bullpen, looking completely unsure about how to use it (probably because he is completely unsure – that’s where the pitchers sit, right?) But hey, he’s cool, he’s unique, and people like him. Sometimes, a lot.
1990 Topps – Nolan Ryan 5000K (Tex)
On this date in 1993, Nolan Ryan struck out the 5,714th and final batter of his Major League Baseball career. The batter was Greg Myers of the California Angels. Greg Myers was a catcher (see below) and played for a few teams – Toronto, California, Minnesota, Atlanta, San Diego, Atlanta again, Baltimore, Oakland, and Toronto again. He started and ended his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, somehow hitting .307 with 15 home runs in 2003, 16 years after his debut in 1987, and a few points above his career average of .255.
1992 Pinnacle – Greg Myers
Interesting fact about Nolan Ryan: of the four teams he pitched for, he had his highest K/9 inning rate with the Texas Rangers (10.1) from 1989-1993, when he was 42-46 years old. Maybe he was doing something right. He never had Tommy John surgery. Everyone has Tommy John surgery now. Except Matt Harvey. But he will soon, don’t you worry your pretty little head.
One more thing about Nolan Ryan: his 5,714 strikeouts put him 839 ahead of Randy Johnson, who sits second overall on the career list. That would be like someone beating Barry Bonds’ home run record of 762 with a total of 892. Or, if you aren’t into Barry Bonds’ record being legit, it would be like someone beating Hank Aaron’s record of 755 with a total of 883. Those are some pretty staggering numbers.
But ya, he struck out Greg Myers on September 17 once.
1991 Donruss - Kevin Belcher
When you’re 10 years old, burps and farts are just ridiculously funny. You laugh at every mention of them. Kevin Belcher’s name, therefore, was infinitely hilarious in 1991.
In fact, a general lack of maturity makes me still chuckle a little bit. Belcher. Burps. Ha.
1986 Topps - Gary Ward
It’s not just about the mustache. It’s about the whole package, including the Afro, the sideburns, and the flavour saver. Put them all together, and you get Gary Ward, circa 1985. That is one hell of a manly marvel of facial hair. No wonder his son also played in the big leagues (Daryle Ward).
Once again, 1986 Topps comes through in the clutch with another great card. This is one of the best sets you can buy for $8 – there is seemingly no end to the greatness.