Wednesday, April 1, 2020

That guy played pro baseball!?

While I was born in the early '80s, I grew up in the '90s. Baseball players resembled comic book superheroes. Obviously many were aided by needles and pills and clear creams, but when I think of baseball players, I think of hulking dudes in their late 20s.

Even today, these guys - for the most part - are in tip top shape. Mike Trout looks like a machine. Judge and Stanton? Huge. Whether they use supplements or are more diligent about off-season training and weight-lifting, these guys continue to resemble the players I knew in the late '90s.

One of my favorite things to do when looking at cards from the '80s and earlier is to think, "that guy played professional baseball?! He doesn't even look like he could catch a fly ball." It's judgmental, as I'm very much judging a book...or a it's cover. Case in point?
This guy! Maybe unfair since he was like 46 or 47...but even so, I don't know many mid 40s guys who look that old!

I always laughed at Gene Harris on Major League because he didn't look like a real major leaguer the way Pedro Cerrano did. But you know what? He wasn't that far off. Just look at Phil!

You go back even further in the 80s and 70s, and these guys looked so unathletic - just based on a picture of a piece of cardboard - that I find it funny.

Before you get bent out of shape, yes, I know many of them were great players and it was a different time. It's just funny that guys who looked like my nextdoor neighbor could be MLers.

Happy April Fool's, everyone. Stay safe.


  1. I often wonder how much "bulking up" hurts players today. Pre-1990 players overall seemed more durable.

  2. I'll bet he could still fool a lot of today's players with that knuckle-ball!

  3. Yeah, 80s basketball cards have some real gems too! I thought Niekro was a manager card at first until I flipped it over.

    1. I actually have a manager card of Niekro in a minor league set after he retired. It hilariously says "pre-rookie" on it.

  4. He was right around my age in this photo... but he looks more like my dad's age. Happy birthday Phil!