‘Talkin’ Softball’ – Where are they now?

Ask a baseball fan his or her favorite episode of The Simpsons and 9 out of 10 times their answer should be ‘Homer at the Bat’, the episode in which Mr. Burns hires a bunch of professional baseball players to play in the company softball game.

As it turns out, Mr. Burns did pretty well in picking his players and got pretty much all the stars of the game by early 90’s standards. Considering it’s been over 15 years, I’d say it’s a good time to see what our old school favorite players are up to.

All images belong to M.L.B and Getty Images and were taken in 2008.

Mike Scioscia – Mike’s visit to Springfield ended in Mike suffering radiation poisoning which may be the reason he ended his career with a .259 lifetime average. Thankfully, he is a much better manager who led the Angels to their first ever World Series championship and has a very strong chance of repeating the feat this season.

His tragic illness made us smile...

His tragic illness made us smile...

Steve Sax -The former 5-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year was wrongfully charged with every single crime in New York after his horrible visit to Springfield and retired from baseball at the young age of 34. The best thing I can think of saying about Steve is that he led the league in singles 3 times from 1986 through 1989. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, he was also among the league leaders in caught steals in the 80’s, including a whopping 30 times in 1983!

Steve Sax, from New York city?

Steve Sax, from New York city?

Wade Boggs – While he may have been knocked out by town drunk, Barney—he made it back to the game in time to get 3,000+ hits and retired with a lifetime batting average of .328, earning him a spot in the Hall of Fame. More amazing than his numbers, Wade has managed to naturally grow hair on his once bald head. How does he do it?

Pitt the Elder!!!

Pitt the Elder!!!

Ozzie Smith -Ozzie’s fall into the Springfield Mystery Spot may have been a tragic one but no one will ever forget his 13 straight Gold Glove awards, along with 12 straight All-Star appearances for the San Diego Padres & St. Louis Cardinals. Much like James Brown couldn’t do his splits during concerts late in his career, it’s been many years since we have seen Ozzie’s lovable back flips but thanks to the power of YouTube, you can watch it again and again.

Poor Ozzie was never the same...

Poor Ozzie was never the same....

Ken Griffey Jr. – It took a visit to rehab and lots of therapy but today Ken Griffey Jr. is off the bottle of nerve tonic and is the only player featured in The Simpsons that is still playing baseball (and well). As of yesterday, Ken¬† has 611 career home runs and can currently be seen playing for the Chicago White Sox, although a little heavier than you might remember. If you are near Chicago and haven’t made a trip to see him play, I’d do so ASAP because he won’t be around much longer.

The gigantism seems to have gone to his stomach!

The gigantism seems to have gone to his stomach!

Roger Clemens – Poor Roger Clemens was hypnotized into thinking he was a chicken in his visit to Springfield. In reality, “The Rocket” was a cheater who appeared in the dreaded ‘Mitchell Report’ earlier this season, wiping out any chance of an entry into the Hall of Fame. Clemens, pitched 24 seasons and won 354 games while striking out close to 4,700 batters.

Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!

Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!

Darryl Strawberry – For a while it seemed as if Darryl was a lost cause after several drug arrests and other brushes with the law but the man who once outshined Homer in his softball debut is doing much better these days and is making his fans proud again. Darryl retired in 1999 with 335 career home runs and exactly 1,000 RBI. The photo below was taken a couple of days ago. Something tells me this former Rookie of the Year and runner-up M.V.P could still jack a few dingers at Shea Stadium if given the chance.

Darryl

Darryl....Darryl....Darryl....

Don Mattingly РDon, who no longer sports those pesky sideburns can be seen with his long time friend and former Yankees work mate, Joe Torrem trying to keep Manny from being Manny  in Los Angeles. Mattingly, a former M.V.P for his amazing 1985 season, finished his career a .300+ lifetime hitter along with over 200 home runs and 1,000+ RBI.

I said get rid of those sideburns!

I said get rid of those sideburns!

Jose Canseco – Oh boy, where do I begin with this once future Hall of Famer now homeless Bash Brother? Jose, once destined for greatness never fully blossomed into the Cuban Babe Ruth many expected him to be and retired after being forced out of baseball. His memoir, released a few years later blew the lid off of baseball and the several cheaters in the game. Most recently Jose lost his home in a foreclosure, was knocked out by a former football player in a celebrity boxing fight, and appeared half naked on a reality TV program.

Oh, how the mightiest of might have fallen.

Oh, so sad...

Don't worry mam, I'll rescue your cat!

The Almighty Dollar – Guest Editorial

Do you think the amount of money an athlete gets paid affects how their career will play out? Today athletes in the United States and various countries get paid an outrageous amount of money to play their sport. Not only do athletes get paid millions of dollars to play for a professional team, but they get paid sometimes even more to endorse products such as shoes, sports drinks, and cars.

The next time you’re watching a baseball game, and the batter is about to ground out, look to see if they actual run to first base. Most likely if they know their about to be thrown out they will slowly trot their way to first base instead of running. I believe many players do this so they can limit the numbers of injuries they get in a season. How can you blame them for not wanting to get injured? If an athlete gets injured, they don’t meet the requirements of their contract, which means less money. Not playing as much means that less people will recognize the player and endorsement companies usually only like to endorse players that people recognize.

One hundred years ago athletes didn’t get paid very much at all. In fact there was a time that Honus Wagner, one of baseball’s best players, only made $35.00 a month. Players of that time did little endorsements for products and if their image appeared on anything a lot of the time they received nothing for it. A century ago, sports such as baseball was a much rougher game compared to what it is today. Back then Ty Cobb would slide into base and purposely hit players with is spikes. Cy Young would pitch a lot more than any other pitcher of today too. I think it would be really interesting to see a team made up of players such as Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Cap Anson play against a team of players like Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter. If a game like that could take place, I would put my money on the team with Cobb, Wagner, and Anson. Players of that time know how to play dirty and deal with pain, unlike a lot of players of today that have to sit out of a game because they have a hurt pinky finger.

Andrew Chrisman runs Sports Card Info, A blog that provides hobby news, stories, thoughts, and fake card information.

One Wild Night by Koby Clemens

I’m sure it must be hell being the son of Roger Clemens. Hanging out with your idols, driving fast cars, living in fancy homes, and flying in private jets must get tiresome some days. For Koby, the eldest of Clemens’ kids, he has chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps by attempting to become a Major League ball player. In 2004, the Astros picked Koby as the 254th overall draft pick and he’s been hanging around ever since.

In 81 games for the Salem Avalanche in 2008, Koby has done surprisingly well, hitting .273 with 5 home runs and 37 RBI in Single-A. Unfortunately, last night at the local Mac & Bob’s Restaurant things got a little out of control and Koby, along with two of his teammates, were arrested.

No comments yet from Papa Clemens…

Image courtesy of “REAL WHITE BOY”

The hottest autograph on eBay?

No, I’m not talking about the ‘Guitar Hero’ “legend” from ’08 A & G!

If I were to ask you what is one of the hottest baseball card autographs right now you might be surprised to find out who is on my mind. Some of the young ones might say Joba, others would suggest Jay Bruce. The answer is yes, but that’s not who I am talking about.

The player in question is having perhaps the worst year of his 23-season career but that hasn’t stopped his fans from paying big money for one of his low-end autographs, which just sold for more than twice the “book value” on eBay. Can you guess who it is yet? How about this: 8-time All Star, 4-time Cy-Young, 350 wins, 3,000+ strikeouts.

Yup, Mr. Maddux’s autographs are a hot commodity on eBay. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself. That ugly card with the dull patch just sold for close to $700 dollars and had 44 bids on it. Somebody should tell these eBay hounds that Maddux is no longer a prospect cause that price is insane for an “old guy”!

The thing is, these prices are nothing new. Scoring a pack-pulled, certified Greg Maddux autograph is nearly impossible unless you have some really deep pockets. I should know, I tried finding one for a decent price for over two months before having to settle on a certified, autographed baseball.

What’s insane is for that amount of money you could get yourself a Tom Seaver auto, a Roger Clemens auto, and a Tom Glavine auto and still have enough money left over to buy ‘Guitar Hero’….for your girlfriend or little sister and make a contribution to the Baseball Card Blog.