Imagine riding your bike to your local card shop with your monthly allowence of $10. You go in, sweaty & tired and buy as many packs of ’89 Upper Deck as you can with hopes of pulling a Jose Canseco or Ken Griffey Jr. Instead, you leave the store with a bunch of commons and two different Walt Weiss cards to add to your shrine of close to 30 others.
Let’s move forward to 1996 and it’s payday, your first ever as a 16-year old. You not only have to put up with coming in at 4 A.M at the local Offerdahl’s bagel shop, but every Saturday, a pissed-off, angry, and very cheap Dan Marino comes in with his spoiled demon spawn only to demand free bagels from the store. It doesn’t matter, though because when the day is over and your ride shows up you will be heading towards the nicest but most expensive card shop in South Florida. When you arrive at the card shop you buy yourself a box of the high-end Topps Finest. This is it. With the cards you pull today you can trade for 50 different Jose Canseco cards. Instead, you walk away with no-name players and 2 Walt Weiss refractors. This is called Walt Weiss Syndrome.
Look, I have nothing against Walt Weiss. His biggest dilemma is coming into an organization after Jose Canseco (’85) and Mark McGwire (’86). Unless you are an 8 foot ogre with the ability to hit 95 home runs and steal 100 bases…you were pretty much screwed. It didn’t help that Weiss looked like a midget next two the two Juiced-up Bay heroes and hit with as much force as Mike Gallego twin brother, Ike.
Today, Walt Weiss Syndrome is still in full effect for those who bust cases, boxes, and packs of baseball cards. Yes, the player has changed but the sickness hasn’t. Just take a minute and look through your cards, preferably game-used relics and autographs. Do you have just one too many Carlos Quentin’s or Michael Bourne? How about that hot prospect who has an official Rookie Card trophy from the years 2002 to 2008? It is a sickness that you will no doubt hit upon sooner or later.There is no such thing as Joba Chamberlain Syndrome. No one has ever gone through Alex Rodriguez 1/1 dual patch auto Syndrome. It only occurs with a few, select players. Walt Weiss is long gone and despite his non-Hall of Fame career stats, at least he isn’t wearing make-up and lingerie or crying in front of Congress. I guess Walt Weiss wasn’t so bad after all.