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Sunday Stupid: Mike Piazza and Ultra Pro get goofy!

October 12, 2014


Consider this a confluence of streams. October baseball fever continues from last week’s post on George Brett’s pants-crapping career, picks up a tributary of the Trading Card Set of the Week, and merges into Sunday Stupid. Welcome to Mike Piazza: The World’s Goofiest Baseball Card!

A friend of mine who owns a comic shop came across some boxes of old 9 pocket Ultra Pro trading card pages that he’d had buried in the back since the early days of his business, circa the early 1990s. He let me have them for cheap, knowing that I have a weakness for dopey non-sport cards and hence a need for things to store them in — because God forbid dreadful crap like the Rob Liefeld Youngblood cards should come to any harm. Anyway, I took them home, opened up a box, and what should greet me but the card you see at the top of this post: Mike Piazza, long ago Rookie of the Year and one of the all-time great hitting catchers in baseball history, right up their with bike-selling Yogi Berra. And he’s lifting a little girly weight. In a polo shirt. In front of a blue backdrop, having apparently shoved a kid getting his school picture taken out of the frame moments before.

What the hell, you know?

It doesn’t get any better on the back, as it turns out the tiny dumbbell distracted from the mullet and creepily wispy mustache:


Some would say that steroids helped more than the weight lifting. And I think all of us shudder a little inside contemplating what “aspect(s)” of his “leisure time” he “tackles…with a quiet intensity.” Hide the women and children!

It turns out there were a number of these cards inserted in boxes of Ultra Pro pages back in the day (it goes without saying that a “Limited Edition of 100,000” isn’t all that limited), as a boost to help get that nascent brand off the ground. (The pages that came out of the same box as this card still had “Patent Pending” on the side, a sure indication of their vintage.) That’s how crazy the card market was back in 1994: even card storage items had chase cards. There were six total of this particular set, including a “very limited” chromium card, all of which are glimpsed in this flyer that also came with the pages:


The golf club and the tuxedo/bat cards don’t quite measure up. Not to say that they don’t try, though.

Lest you think the flyer was simply informative, it was also an order form so you could acquire even more junk to go with this garbage — the kind of things your heirs will find in your attic one day and not hesitate a second before throwing in the Goodwill pile:


The performance-enhanced era that Piazza played in will likely be more than enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame. But I don’t think the image at the top and the goofy set to which it belongs are helping matters — that’s all I’m saying.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Shawn permalink
    October 13, 2014 10:51 pm


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