The camera freezes a moment in time. You could be looking really smart at that moment, or you could be looking really dumb. The camera doesn’t care.
Heck, I’m sure there are pictures of Albert Einstein and Marilyn Vos Savant out there with eyes closed and mouths wide open. And that sort of pose makes even the smartest people look like they should be sitting on the couch, drinking Bud, eating Doritos, and watching Cops.
So, let’s just assume that’s the case here as well. I’m sure these guys were all rocket surgeons and brain scientists in the off season.
Though he never amounted to much in the pros, Gary Sutherland was quite the star before his professional career. In fact, Gary:
- Was an All American at USC
- Also played on the basketball team there
- Was on the US Olympics baseball team (a demonstration sport at Tokyo 64)
- Was a local figure skating champion in high school
Tom Shopay’s main claim to fame is playing all or part of seven seasons, but never getting more than 75 at bats in any one of those.
Oh, he also got cut from his Little League team.
And, just to put the final nail in the coffin, here’s a little something from Cal Ripken, Jr., who also collected cards when he was a kid:
I was an Orioles fan. Seems like it took me forever to get Brooks Robinson. I had a whole bunch of Tom Shopays though.
Like Tom Shopay, Bill Butler also played for seven seasons. He was marginally better, starting for the Royals in their inaugural season and also in the following year.
Overall, he finished 23-35 (.397), with a 4.21 ERA and 1.465 WHIP. Comparable pitchers include Ross Baumgarten and Juan Eichelberger.
By the way, don’t confuse Bill with current KC star Billy Butler.
Jose Arcia was up for only three years, but managed to get almost twice as many at bats as Tom Shopay. Like Bill Butler, he had two seasons in the sun that came after being drafted by an expansion team – in Jose’s case, the Padres.
The Pads traded him to the Twins for one Jerry Schlegelmilch. Folks, I couldn't make this stuff up.
Another so-so player, Tom Grieve was up for nine years, getting in 1,900 at bats. He had only one year where he was a genuine starter, getting in 526 at bats and hitting 20 homers.
Continuing our parade of mediocrity, Ed Stroud finished his six-year career with a .237 average and 14 homer runs in 1,353 at bats.
Interestingly, his nicknames include both “The Streak” and “The Creeper.” How can that be possible?
Okay, George, one’s a fastball and two’s a … Have you got a curve? Okay, one’s a fastball and … No, a fastball. One. A fastball. Okay, now two … George? George?
So, it should come as no surprise to you that George Stone is not frequently confused with Tom Seaver or Jim Palmer. Stone was up for nine years, finishing two games above .500 and with a 3.89 ERA. He did have one really good year, though, where he went 12-3 with a 2.80 ERA for the World-Series-losing Mets.
If only his IQ was as high as his batting average. People wouldn’t be making fun of Mario Mendoza then, would they?
Well, well, well – it’s Mr. Mediocrity himself. You may actually be surprised to find that Mendoza actually finished 15 points above his eponymous line. Of his nine years in the majors, though, he did finish a majority of them under .200.
I’m not sure if it’s because of his famous line or what, but Mario is in the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.
This Mike Tyson:
- 5’ 9”
- 170 lbs
- 1,017 games
- 27 HRs
- Middle name: Ray
- Nicknames: none
That Mike Tyson:
- 5’ 10”
- 230 lbs.
- 58 fights
- 50 wins
- 44 knockouts
- Middle name: Gerald
- Nicknames: Kid Dynamite, Iron Mike, The Baddest Man on the Planet
If you’re not that bright, don’t try to look like you are. Okay? It only makes you look kinda … well … even less bright than you actually are.
Verh Ruhle reminds me a lot of George Stone. Ruhle was up for nine years and finished with a 67-78 record and 3.73 ERA.
And, like Stone, Ruhle had one great year. In Ruhle’s case, it was 1980, when he went 12-4 with a 2.37 ERA, and the Astros won their first title.
You may also know him as a pitching coach for the Astros and then the Reds.
Frank Tanana was actually not a bad-looking guy. This shot, though, makes it look like he should be on the Special Olympics baseball team.
Tanana is far and away the best player in this post. He won 240 games and recorded almost 2,800 strikeouts in a 21-year career.
He also was a three-time All Star, and led the league in ERA, strikeouts, and shutouts. Finally, he had a 1.000 fielding average for six different seasons.
More dumb right here.