Friday, May 30, 2008

Fan Friday

An esteemed panel of HHR scribes were joined by guest judge Blog of Hilarity Chris to choose the winners to yesterday's questions:
  • What is Jim smoking? (TIE)
jim kern is smoking in the boys room, if you know what i mean --worldclassfad

Jim is smoking hashish and smiling because it's fun to say "hashish" --tonegent
  • What does T.R. stand for?
"Top Rapist" by the looks of it. --CL
  • What is Mike yelling?
Mike is yelling at the repo man, towing his '74 Monte Carlo out of the parking lot. --mrmatpsu


Your prize is the actual card. If you actually want them, send us an email with your address. We will rip Jim Kearn in half. Don't worry about him - he likes getting ripped. Heyyyyooo!

Thank you all who playing. We had so much fun, we want to throw another pair up for you to amuse us with.

Today's questions:
  • Who does Lynn Jones think he is?
  • What is Rick Camp's beverage of choice?
Lynn Jones
Outfielder, Detroit Tigers
1982 Topps #64

Topps Fact: Often used as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner, Lynn had 4 RBI's vs. Yankees, October 4, 1980.
GMT Fact: Often used binoculars to "Beaver Hunt" while riding the pine.

Rick Camp
Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
1981 Topps #87

Topps Fact: Was an All-State football player in high school.
GMT Fact: (Not really, but his willingness to do anything to be able to satisfy addictions garnered him a reputation as a "wide receiver").

The Dick Drago All-Stars

Sports by Brooks tips us to an article by CNBC Sports Biz' Darren Rovell at Slate where he profiles the popularity of 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr. card.

In the piece, Rovell talks about how the Griffey card was given the designation as the #1 card in the set.
Junior was chosen to be card No. 1 by an Upper Deck employee named Tom Geideman, a college student known for his keen eye for talent. Geideman earned his rep by consistently clueing in the founders of The Upper Deck, the card shop where the business was hatched, on which players would be future stars. Geideman took the task of naming the player for the first card very seriously.
More interesting though, is the creativity with which Geideman numbered the 1992 Upper Deck Set:
It’s probably the most thinking Geideman ever did compiling a checklist, save for the 1992 Upper Deck set when he assigned numbers that ended in 69 to players with porn-star-sounding names. (Dick Schofield at No. 269, Heathcliff Slocumb at No. 569, and Dickie Thon at No. 769.)

If only Dick Drago were still alive in '92. (Was he?)

Wonder if Geidman is the brainchild behind the World of Isaac's recent contest.


Dick Drago
Pitcher, Boston Red Sox
1981 Topps #647

Topps Fact: Home: Land O' Lakes, Florida
GMT Fact: Was disappointed to learn the Land O' Lakes butter Indian was merely the product of an artist's imagination...and his. Now he must break you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mr. Meyer's Neighborhood

Pop that collar, Bri. Pop it good.

Brian Meyer
Pitcher, Houston Astros
1990 Donruss #648

Donruss Fact: Signed by the Astros out of Rollins (FL) Coll.
GMT Fact: Between starts, Brian impersonated puppets and would regularly try to sneak into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Even Fred Rogers was creeped out by this. Sure he looked like a puppet, but when you are 6'1" and dressed in tights prowling for children, you're in for a world of hurt. King Friday XIII had Meyer executed in 1993 before a shocked X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat.

Fan Feedback

Help us out...
  • What is Jim smoking?
  • What does T.R. stand for?
  • What is Mike yelling?
List answers in comments.

Jim Kern
Pitcher, Texas Rangers
1982 Topps #463

Topps Fact: Don Money tied record with 12 assists at 2nd base, 6-24-77.
GMT Fact: Jim Kern was so baked during the 1982 season that when he saw Don Money's name on the back of his card, he rolled it into a joint and smoked it while playing a "Two Tickets to Paradise" 45 in his skivvies.

T.R. Bryden
Pitcher, California Angels
1987 Topps #387

Topps Fact: Born: 1-17-59, Moses Lake, Wash.
GMT Fact: T.R.'s mother was a mermaid, his father a trout.

Mike Madden
Pitcher, Houston Astros
1985 Topps #479

Topps Fact: (None given)
GMT Fact: Mike is the victim of his own "Madden Curse" - he only has one testicle.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Smokey the Bear grew senile in his old age and was routinely taken advantage of. How else would you explain him partnering with a notorious bridge burner and a man named after an obvious fire hazard for his 1987 Public Service in Wildlife Prevention campaign?

Poor Bastard.

(Yes, I have the entire set.)

Jose Canseco
1987 Smokey the Bear #1

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd
1987 Smokey the Bear #2

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who Let the Dawg Out?

There was one thing I loved as much as collecting cards - collecting Topps stickers to put in their respective collectors albums.

As such, I ended up with plenty of dupes, including this 1982 Jerry Remy AL All-Star FOIL! (This being years before he wanted me to be a part of his fantasy or invaded the Land of the Rising Sun.)

Handsome as ever.

Jerry Remy
1982 Topps Sticker #132

Primarily I only collected Topps until the late 80's when Paninis started popping up around the 'hood (meaning they were sold at the corner store). Around that time, Panini also started this slick marketing campaign, obviously aimed at ADD-riddled children and Little Leaguers who hit like crap:

Home Slice: Kimbo Was a Brewer

Long before he was the poster boy for MMA, Kimbo Slice went by the name of "Larry Hisle" and patrolled the Milwaukee outfield, mashing 164 Big League homers between 1969-1981, including 7 seasons of 20+ over that period.

Larry Hisle
Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
1982 Fleer #144

Fleer Fact: (None Given)
GMT Fact: Hisle's "Angry Black Man" persona went over well with the fine, diverse folks of Wisconsin.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Foghat, Spectrum, 1976

The 1980's had no shortage of hard rockin' ballplayers.

The following group, who liked to refer to themselves collectively as the "Night Shifters," caused a ruckus in the Spectrum parking lot in 1976 when they commandeered a tailgating Winnebago and offered "free high hard ones" to any ladies offering coke. Randy Lerch was eventually locked up over night (and subsequently missed the concert) after soliciting an undercover officer after wandering into FDR Park.

Randy Lerch
Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
1981 Topps #584

Topps Fact: Topped Eastern League with 16 Wins at Reading in 1975.
GMT Fact: It took him the entire off-season to grow the mustache on his 1981 Topps card, but only 3 days to grow out his hair.

Barry Jones
Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
1987 Donruss #602

Donruss Fact:Busy Middle Reliver in his rookie season last year with the Pirates, ranked 3rd on club in ERA.
GMT Fact: Barry Jones preferred the BOC to Foghat.

Ed Whitson
Pitcher, San Diego Padres
1987 Donruss #360
Donruss Fact: Named to '80 All Star team en route to 11-13, 3.10 ERA with Giants.
GMT Fact: Card makers were equally disgusted and in awe of Ed's gastrointestinal prowess during photo shoots. Topps decided that they'd immortalize him in the form of one of their Garbage Pail Kids. After being bogged down in litigation, to get around paying the Players Association for the rights to his name and likeness, they made him black and called him "Windy Winston."

Dave Frost
Pitcher, California Angels
1981 Topps #286

Topps Fact: He learned the palm ball from his Junior College coach.
GMT Fact: He learned the stink palm from Joe Beckwirth. When he was 31 he took my cousin to prom.

Joe Beckwirth
Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
1983 Fleer #202

Fleer Fact: Had 2.70 ERA in 1982, second highest on the squad.
GMT Fact: That's the only time Beckwirth was ever described as the "second highest." He took great exception to this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

GMT Hall of Fame Inductee: Rance Mulliniks

Today we are honored to induct the first ever member into the Gem Mint Ten Hall of Fame.

It is our pleasure to announce the inclusion of the great Steven Rance Mulliniks into this esteemed institution.

He had the look. He had the name. Most of all, he had the glasses, the mustache and the general awkwardness of an IT guy living in his parents' basement.

When Rance Mulliniks stepped to the plate, kids across America (and Canada) thought to themselves, "If this guy can make it to the Big Leagues, why the hell can't I?"

According to the end-all, be-all Wikipedia, Rance:
  • Batted over .300 three times (1984, 1987 and 1988) and demonstrated great patience at the plate
  • Was named to Sports Illustrated's Dream Team as a utility infielder in 1984.
  • Is the west coast colour commentator for Rogers Sportsnet's Blue Jays coverage, and starting in 2007, he is also a colour commentator alongside Jim Hughson and Jesse Barfield on CBC Sports, broadcasting Blue Jays baseball.
But best of all:

A fielding play where Mulliniks missed the ball was once described as "Rance does a dance, but no chance."

Today, we salute you, Rance. And thank you for the hope and laughs you brought us throughout your career.

Clockwise from Top Left:

  • 1989 Donruss #87
  • 1992 Fleer #337
  • 1989 Fleer #242
  • 1991 Donruss #663
  • 1991 Topps #229
  • 1988 Topps #167

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pretty Boys

Tim Leary
Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers
1987 Topps #32

Topps Fact: Tim pitched for US Team which finished 2nd in World Cup Tournamnet in Bologna, Italy, 1978.
GMT Fact: Actual Conversation...

Leary: Ok, Ladies, which of you will be lucky enough to go home with Tim Leary tonight?
Ladies: Who the f*ck is Tim Leary?
Leary: I played Jake Ryan.
Ladies: Niiiiccee.

Worked every time.

Randy Ready
Third Baseman-Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
1986 Topps #209

Topps Fact: He collected 1st major league Hit: 9-12-83.
GMT Fact: Seeing what luck teammate Tim Leary had posing as Jake Ryan, Ready tried to convince ladies that he was Long Duk Dong. When that didn't work, he grew a mustache and hit up a few gay bars.

Zane Smith
Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
1987 Donruss #167

Donruss Fact: Ranked 3rd on the Braves in wins and 2nd in strikeouts last year.
GMT Fact: Punched in the face by Ken Oberkfell for calling him "dude" despite numerous requests by Ken for him to "cut that sh*t out." Oberkfell had no tolerance for people from Wisconsin posing as stoner surfers.

Jim Slaton
Pitcher, California Angels
1986 Topps #579

Topps Fact: Born 6-19-50, Long Beach, Calif.
GMT Fact: Slaton now coaches Little League and was convinced by players' mothers that he could make a killing as a Chippendale on the side, despite pushing 60. They were right.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Glenn Hoffman Works Hard for His Money

As evidenced by him sweating his nuts off in his spring training headshot pictured on his '83 Topps card.

Actually, he just dumped Gatorade on himself in hopes of making himself look "cool." Now he's all sticky.

Glenn Hoffman
Shortstop, Boston Red Sox
1983 Topps #108

Topps Fact: Capped 5-run 1st inning with 3-run home run in 5-4 win in Toronto.
GMT Fact: His younger brother Trevor was always a better ballplayer than Glenn. But Glenn was always considered the looker. Once called Red Sox Nation a bunch of "drunken Micks." Proceeded to get his ass kicked, despite being technically accurate in his assessment.

Future Star of What?


Steve Searcy
Pitcher, Detroit Tigers
1989 Topps #167

Topps Fact: Steve was signed for Tigers by Scout Jax Robertson,
GMT Fact: Steve likes the way his sateen jacket feels against his freshly shorn chest.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Never Trust a Man with Two First Names...

...a bushy mustache and arms that look as though he is wearing a black wool sweater under his baseball uniform.

Andre David
Outfielder, Minnesota Twins
1987 Donruss #519

Donruss Fact: Batted .266 with 8 HR and 38 RBI at Toledo in '85.
GMT Fact: Spent the summer of '86 touring as Fozzy Bear in the Sesame Street Production of Follow That Bird.

Ooooh Billy!

Billy Beane
Outfielder, Minnesota Twins
1987 Topps #114

Topps Fact: Billy's sister, Chris, was member of Cal.-San Diego's 1981-82 Division III Volleyball Championship Team.
GMT Fact: Billy actually saw Chris' inability to "get to second base" a positive when evaluating siblings. They challenged each other to see who could screw more baseball players. Billy won when he became Oakland's GM.

1988 Topps Billy Bean via

Billy Bean
Outfielder, Detroit Tigers
1988 Topps #267

Topps Fact: Billy signed as a 4th round draft selection with the Detroit Tigers, June 12, 1986 by Scout Rick Arnold.
GMT Fact: Questions immediately surfaced regarding Arnold's sexuality. The Topps card only listed Bean as having hit from the left side.

Bill Bene
Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
1989 Topps #84

Topps Fact: Primarily a basketball player in high school, Bill was originally an outfielder.
GMT Fact: After Bean released "Going the Other Way: Lessons from a life in and out of Major League Baseball," Bene was mistakenly called upon quite often to appear on the talk show circuit. Despite reiterating each time that his name was pronounced "Ben-ay," the calls persisted and he decided to embark on a nationwide "Not a gay? Drop the 'A'" speaking tour.

Bonus GMT Fact: The '89 Topps card lists Bene as having a 10-7 record and 5.62 ERA during his collegiate career. Yet, the Dodgers chose to expend a 1st round draft pick on him. He never made it to the Bigs. Dodger Blues lists Robin Ventura, Jim Abbott, Tino Martinez, Royce Clayton, Jim Edmonds, Alex Fernandez, Charles Nagy, Marquis Grissom and Luis Gonzalez as having been drafted after him.

Topps Thinks Pascual Perez is Disgusting

The Perez baseball dynasty. Like the Kennedys of Politics and the Jacksons of Music, it was a legacy tarnished by scandal and heartbreak.

Ultimately, the Perez boys became known for two things - their hair and their drugs.

Well, family-friendly Topps was not amused by their antics.

So they told kids everywhere what they thought of the family figurehead - Pascual - on the back of his 1990 Topps Big card.

And believe you me - as you will see - when Topps comes at you, it comes at you hard, pulling no punches.

Pascual Perez
Pitcher, New York Yankees
1990 Topps Big #291

Topps Fact: Pascual's mound antics have made him a fan favorite.
GMT Fact: (...a favorite to opposing teams' fans. His own teams' fans not so much.)

However, his biggest fan was fellow Dominican Jose "Joe Tables" Mesa, who vowed to keep the Perez legacy alive:

Mission accomplished.


Jose Mesa
Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles
1991 Upper Deck #703

Upper Deck Fact: Half of Jose 's wins have come at the expense of his former organization, the Toronto Blue Jays.
GMT Fact: Upper Deck fails to point out that Jose was a career 4-5 at the time and romantically courting Cito Gaston.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fan Friday

phillyBurb's Illuminati ponders this dilemma:
"I have never purchased a pack of O-Pee-Chees in my life, nor have I ever bought the cards individually. Why then do I own any?"
Ah the O-Pee-Chee enigma. The French-Canadian bastard child of Topps (like Leaf was to Donruss).

It's like finding a Canadian penny. Where did this come from? Is it worth anything?

We'll never know the answers to these questions (blame Canada).

If I had to render a guess, though, it'd be they were stashed between two "good" cards which where on the front and back of a K-Mart cello pack. It's like having a wad of one dollar bills with a Benjamin' wrapped around it.

Here's what an '83 Topps Bench should look like (Image via Cardboard Junkie):

Now the bastard child (via Illuminati)...

Looks like the '83 Topps Bench, but the joke's on you. Crafty Canadians.

Note the off-color back.
Be glad they didn't convert stats to the dreaded metric system.


Johnny Bench
Troisieme-But, Cincinnati Reds
1983 O-Pee-Chee #60

O-Pee-Chee Fact: Drilled Homer in win at Chicago, 4-27-82 / Bench cogna un circuit quand son club battit, le 27-4-82.
GMT Fact: Homer's ass was sore for 3 weeks and spent 15 days on the Disabled List.

Rock Out With Your Jocks Out

The Lizard King...

Jim Morrison
Second & Third Baseman, Chicago White Sox
1981 Topps #323

Topps Fact: Jim led White Sox in Hits & Doubles in 1980.
GMT Fact: Known for his fondness for "snowballing," sophmoric teammate Britt Burns referred to him as the "Blizzard King."

The New Edition...

Bobby Brown
Outfielder, San Diego Padres

Topps Fact: He made his World Series debut
GMT Fact: Is only half the man Ralph Tresvant is. Often joked with teammates about "Choking the Famous Chicken."

What We Do

Some have questioned exactly where I came up with the idea for "Gem Mint Ten" and poking fun of ballplayers from my youth. While there are dozens out there "doing what we do," including the fantastic "The Ugly Baseball Card Blog" (which we caught wind of shortly before our launch via our favorite online destination, SportsbyBrooks), the real beginnings go back to my childhood.

Below is a post that appeared on Hugging Harold Reynolds on February 8, which, as you will notice, is strikingly similar to GMT's M.O.

My sister and I always got a kick out of this issue/feature of SI. We cared not about the players' salaries, but used to have fun making fun of their mug shots and playing a little game of "What They Really Make."

Kirby Puckett: Inappropriate advances.

Kevin Bass: A push for mustaches to be cool again.

Bobby Thigpen
: Over-rated closers look under-rated

Dave Winfield
: Little kids pay for his autograph (true story happened to our friend Portly Jay when he was a 10-year old fat kid).

Bob Serra
: Me think 'Who the hell was Bob Sebra?'

Don Mattingly
: Ladies go wild.

Bob Murphy: Teammates fall for the stink palm.

BJ Surhoff
: Women go black and never go back.

Mike Schmidt
: Harry Kalas cream.

Kal Daniels
: Balloon animals.

Jim Rice
: Enemies with the BBWAA.

Jose Canseco
: Subtle self-promotion.

Eric Hill
: Propane and propane accessories.

Rick Sutcliffe
: A "happy" drunk.

George Brett
: Pine tar.

Gary Pettis
: Personal appearances as Robert Guillaume.

Stanley Jefferson
: Songs that make the young girls cry.

Mike Fulmer
: Shoes smell.

Herm Winningham
: Paper dolls.

Ozzie Smith
: Barry Larkin a career NL All-Star reserve.

Julio Franco
: AARP membership payments.

Terry Francona
: A mock turtleneck look even more awkward.

Neil Allen: Bedazzled jackets.

Wade Boggs
: Threats against flight attendants.

Phil Bradley
: An infinity of boondoggle keychains at scout camp.

George Frazier
: Me know why lions eat their young.

Garry Templeton
: Me miss classic Motown.

Danny Tartabull
: Teams overvalue him.

Eddie Murray
: Bathrooms stink.

Gene Walter
: Young children uncomfortable.

Alvin Davis: "Elbow-titting" an art form.

Jeff Robinson: Moonshine.

Paul Molitor: Drug dealing profitable in the 70's and early 80's.

Pedro Guerrero: OJ angry.

Dale Murphy: A fine quiche.

Bill Almon: Bongs out of apples and Bic pens.

Wally Joyner: Mitchell's list.

Walt Terrell
: Belt buckles.

Willie Wilson: Green poopies.

Gary Carter
: Self portraits.

Von Hayes: Me wish I didn't grow up a Phillies phan.

Reggie Jackson: Aviators scramble for Blue Blockers.

What's Thats Smell?

Greg Minton
Pitcher, California Angels
1988 Topps #129

Topps Fact: Acq: Free Agent, 6-2-87
GMT Fact: Where you ever asked the question, "What crawled up your ass and died?" The correct answer is "Greg Minton."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Freaking at the Freakers' Ball

Mike Walker
Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
1989 Bowman #77

Bowman Fact: Acq: Via Draft
GMT Fact: If Mike Walker's eyes were any closer together, he'd be a cyclops.

Steve Rosenberg
Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
1990 Donruss #253

Donruss Fact: Signed originally by Yankees out of U. of Florida
GMT Fact: Rosenberg's face is comprised of a NASA-developed space age polymer consiting of Play-Doh and Velvetta.

Ron Robinson
Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
1990 Score #495

Score Fact: Before his surgery, he had come within one strike of pitching the first perfect game in Reds' history against the Expos.
GMT Fact: During surgery, as a gag, doctors replaced all of Robinson's teeth with baby teeth. They forgot to include bottom teeth.

Bonus GMT Fact: Embarrassed by almost losing a perfect game to Ron Robinson, the Expos decided to hightail out of Montreal in shame. It took a over 15 years, but they got it done.


When you became a Pirate in the 80's, you became a pirate in the 80's. It was an effort by management to become more kid-friendly. Having a swashbuckling appearance was mandatory.

Here is Captain Rod Scurry and first mate Spanky.

Rod Scurry
Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
1985 Topps #641

Topps Fact: Rod was selected as AAA Player of the Year as a senior at Proctor High School in Reno, Nevada.
GMT Fact: Was punched in the face when notoriously homophobic Cecilio Guante misheard him ask him to "swab his deck" at a Bradenton, Fla bar in 1985.

Sadly, Scurry took being a pirate too far...

Bonus fact via Wikipedia: Rodney Grant Scurry was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for eight seasons. He was best known for his part in the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials that addressed cocaine involvement among many players including several members of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Scurry...died of a cocaine-induced heart attack in Reno, Nevada in 1992.

Mike "Spanky" Lavalliere
Catcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
1990 Bowman #172

Bowman Fact: Acq: Trade with Cardinals, 4-1-87
GMT Fact: Was released by Pittsburgh in 1993 after accusations he regularly forced club house attendant to "dig deep in his pockets for buried treasure."

Bonus fact via Wikipedia: "Spanky's lack of speed was a frequent source of parody on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. In particular, a stopwatch was used to clock Spanky going around the bases. Furthermore, former major leaguer Andy Fox's home run trot was faster than Spanky going from first to home."