The Screwball: Comedy Is in the (Baseball) Cards 2

There are a lot of things going on in this one baseball card.

There are a lot of things going on in this one baseball card.

Hey, discerning baseball fan! How about another pop quiz?

A Azocar

Oscar Azocar:
A) is planning to bring a glove to next year’s prom.
B) enjoys the soothing lullabies produced by native ash.
C) is fond of the phone he got for subscribing to Sports Illustrated.
D) is thinking, “More like Azucar, am I right?”

A Hatcher

Mickey Hatcher:
A) once reached for a pop-up and came back with a traffic copter.
B) prefers to lease his glove as a single-family unit.
C) suffers from carpal Holland Tunnel syndrome.
D) enjoys taunting Bill Buckner.

A Buckner

Bill Buckner:
A) is truly a victim of circumstance.
B) is too busy fielding his position to think about symbolism.
C) isn’t aware that the tarp spindle is nicknamed “Mookie.”
D) is truly a victim of circumstance.

A Drabek 3

Doug Drabek:
A) often moonlights as long-handled mop.
B) has been using the wrong conditioner.
C) hopes that someday his scalp will become an American League pennant.
D) is actually Phyllis Diller.

A Hudler

Rex Hudler:
A) is among the least popular dancers at Scorezzz Gentlemen’s Club.
B) knows he falls in love too quickly.
C) will do whatever it takes to get to the top.
D) has always wanted to be a fireman, especially a deranged one.

A Johnson

Randy Johnson:
A) is among the most popular dancers at Scorezzz Gentlemen’s Club.
B) feels pretty, oh, so pretty.
C) owns a company called Big Unit Pole Erection, Inc.
D) has always wanted to be a fireman, especially a giddy one.

A Comstock

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Keith Comstock:
A) is determined to earn a spot in the Vienna Boys Choir.
B) is an especially devoted seamhead.
C) is partial to primitive forms of contraception.
D) has just learned of the pimple emerging from his groin.

A Palmer

Lowell Palmer:
A) has Georgia on his mind, for sure.
B) will never face Corey Hart, sadly.
C) often takes secret naps between pitches.
D) thinks you can’t see him.

A Reed

Jeff Reed:
A) is treating his stomach ulcer with one dose of chest protector.
B) always thinks “safety first” during Civil War reenactments.
C) has a unique way of singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
D) hates these sandpaper walls.

A Hamelin

Bob Hamelin:
A) is Bob Hamelin.
B) will not stand for identity theft, because he is Bob Hamelin.
C) also writes his name on his underwear, in case he forgets he’s Bob Hamelin.
D) is still Bob Hamelin.

A Pettini

Joe Pettini:
A) has grown tired of being Father Guido Sarducci.
B) has sparked several fires with his eyeglass lenses.
C) just learned that his surname in Italian means “scallops.”
D) has a bad feeling he’ll hit .069 this season.

A Clark

Will Clark:
A) enjoys wearing ill-fitting caps on plush green lawns.
B) is sporting a fake mustache composed entirely of dog fur.
C) is sporting a fake dog composed entirely of mustache hair.
D) is happy to pose, but wonders why the card doesn’t feature his dog’s name.

A Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard:
A) named his python Monty, probably.
B) named his boa Larry, for sure.
C) is giving what he calls “110 serpent!”
D) will take about three weeks to fully digest.

A Jordan

Brian Jordan:
A) has always had trouble hitting the out route.
B) once got penalized for roughing the pitcher.
C) leads the league in intentional grounding out.
D) is about to line softly to the free safety.

A DeRosa

Mark DeRosa:
A) is surprised that Brian Jordan’s liner took nearly two decades to reach him.
B) once called for a fair catch on a routine pop-up.
C) is leading the American League in interceptions.
D) is leading the Canadian Football League in fielding percentage.

A Tucker

Michael Tucker:
A) is not entirely proud of being the Fastest Gun in the Central.
B) enjoys shootouts at the No K Corral.
C) is using what he calls a “nail gun.”
D) is pretty embarrassed, probably.

A Manwaring

Kirt Manwaring:
A) is wearing a man, coincidentally.
B) is having problems with this sporting-goods salesman.
C) is ranked third in the Bobby Del Greco-Roman Wrestling Federation.
D) insists that Goodfellas deserved the Oscar, and will fight anyone who says differently.

A Urbina

Ugueth Urbina:
A) has a cannon for an armrest.
B) prefers to work in short relief.
C) is being featured in Terrible Photography Monthly.
D) insists that JFK deserved the Oscar, and will shoot anyone who says differently.

A Lee

Cliff Lee:
A) enjoys pitching in Timothy Leary’s residual hallucinations.
B) is aware of the Champale supernova in the sky.
C) is about to tumble into a wormhole made entirely of breast cancer awareness.
D) is signaling to Ruben Amaro Jr. something about a pink slip.

A Perez

Mike Perez:
A) expects to regress, infinitely.
B) never tires of signing autographs, which in this case is helpful.
C) can feel the giant thumb (not pictured) on his back.
D) has a great idea for a Charlie Kaufman movie.

A Bird

Doug Bird:
A) pronounces his last name “Beard.”
B) pronounces his first name “Da Ug.”
C) pronounces his middle name “Lee.”
D) pronounces his full name “Da Ug Lee Beard.”

A Valentine

Bobby Valentine:
A) is pondering the implications of the recent Tbilisi Demonstrations.
B) likes to compose solemn free-verse while posing for photographs.
C) is not altogether confident of his plan for “Valentine’s cards.”
D) is beginning to formulate his philosophy on fake mustaches.

A Mitchell

Kevin Mitchell:
A) is entering the storm cellar just as the twister hits.
B) thinks the fire started near the mound, though catcher Mike Fitzgerald disagrees.
C) just gained three yards for Coach Woody Hayes.
D) thinks the fog machine at this Bon Jovi show is a bit much.

A Rose

Pete Rose:
A) is pretending not to notice a teammate’s wooden leg.
B) has grown weary of giant chopsticks in the dugout.
C) is unaware of the photographer’s grotesque fingernail.
D) is thinking double or nothing.

A Loviglio Et Al

Jay Loviglio, Reggie Patterson and Leo Sutherland:
A) are beginning to see their windows close.
B) have each chosen a direction other than forward.
C) are about to see the writing on a nearby wall.
D) will eventually form a constellation called Flopus Major.

A Sierra

Ruben Sierra:
A) is competing in third annual Swing A Giant Spliff Contest.
B) is batting cleanup for the Cheech & Chong All-Stars.
C) is pondering the nickname High Sierra
D) will probably have to arrest himself.

A Mendoza

Mario Mendoza:
A) is known not only as Manos de Seda but also as Ojos de Quatro.
B) declined to wear around-the-horn-rim glasses.
C) is staring intently at the Mendoza Line of the eye chart.
D) needs a new prescription just to see his hits total.

A Minton

Greg Minton:
A) also needs a new prescription to see Mario Mendoza’s hits total.
B) is wearing a cap whose logo stands for “Science Fair.”
C) is often referred to as a Giant dweeb.
D) will consider contact lenses, sure, but only weak-contact lenses.

A Brusstar

Warren Brusstar:
A) is the No. 3 reliever on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.
B) was voted Most Likely To Live In A Cabin In The Woods.
C) eats Topps photographers for breakfast, and also for lunch.
D) is gonna need a bigger cap.

A Harrelson

Bud Harrelson:
A) is known as the Unabunter.
B) is not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, but probably should be.
C) is about to slap-hit the photographer.
D) dares you to say his batting glove is on the wrong hand.

A Cruz

Julio Cruz:
A) is easily amused by netting, and always has been.
B) is laughing at the nickname Julio “Four-Day, Three-Night” Cruz.
C) giggles whenever he smells anyone’s left armpit, including his own.
D) is still thinking about last night’s episode of Diff’rent Strokes.

A Canseco

Jose Canseco:
A) dreams of someday becoming a best-selling author.
B) is pondering the advantages of the omniscient voice.
C) is also considering the epistolary voice.
D) is pleased, he wrote, that he “topps all star rookies.”

A Hernandez

Carlos Hernandez:
A) is not accustomed to seeing UFOs during daylight hours.
B) sometimes wonders if he’s the other Carlos Hernandez.
C) is just now initiating his provocative mask-first striptease.
D) thinks that if he tries hard enough, he can produce a thought bubble.

A Schilling

Curt Schilling:
A) did produce a thought bubble, this one low and rectangular.
B) likes to get out front of his image.
C) is demonstrating Upper Deck’s new picture-in-picture technology.
D) refers to his portrait as Schill Life with Dapples.

A Roland

Jim Roland:
A) just told the one about “the priest and the RBI” walking into a bar.
B) likes doing what he calls a “brim shot.”
C) is in position for a “punch line drive.”
D) likes to keep ’em “Roland in the aisles.”

A Foster

Steve Foster:
A) always smiles when pierced by an incandescent javelin.
B) is not afraid of even the largest hypodermic needle.
C) is skilled at emitting contrails from his neck.
D) is often made giddy by flash photography.

A Peavy

Jake Peavy:
A) is taking the bait in front of the trawl net.
B) is demonstrating to the TSA his groin-specific metal detector.
C) previously glued ball to bat, strictly for appearance’s sake.
D) is bunting, contrary to etiquette, in the late stages of the BP pitcher’s no-hitter.

A Mayne

Brent Mayne:
A) is demonstrating his extraordinary capacity for bioluminescence.
B) is mesmerized by the glow of a rare infield campfire.
C) can never find his catcher’s mask when it’s dark outside.
D) works only with photographers from Eddie Gaedel Studios.

A Worrell

Tim Worrell:
A) knows exactly where the sky is located, and is happy to prove it.
B) says, “The wind is definitely blowing.”
C) has never been good at that John Travolta dance.
D) is asking Zephyrus, god of the west wind, to pull his finger.

A Lake

Steve Lake:
A) says, “Avian flu, shmavian flu.”
B) thinks Tippi Hedren is a sissy.
C) wants a cracker, for some reason.
D) other.

John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.
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8 years ago

Rex Hudler: “What? You are trading me to Cleveland? You will have to pry me off this pole with the jaws of life. “

John Paschal
8 years ago


8 years ago


John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Well, I’m always hesitant to reference terrible humans for the sake of a punchline, because if I had been a victim of that person I might not find the joke so funny, but these days even Hitler and JFK jokes are in play, so I guess I’ll take my chances.

8 years ago

Jim Roland is clearly the lead singer in a Screaming Lord Sutch cover band (“Screaming Lord NoneSutch”?) and practicing for the next performance of “Jack the Ripper”.

John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  hopbitters

All I know is this: I would have wanted to party with Jim Roland.

Stinky Pete
8 years ago

Ugueth Urbina chose to cloak the two most impressive parts of his anatomy in his cargo shorts.

John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  Stinky Pete

One wonders: Was he wearing the same shorts when he attacked those dudes on his farm?

8 years ago

Brian Jordan asked Tom House to be his pitcher for the Home Run Derby

John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  tz

Yep! I remember attending games at Arlington Stadium back in the day and seeing the entire Rangers pitching staff throw post patterns to each other in pre-game warm-ups.

Paul G.
8 years ago

Thanks. Needed that.

Jim Roland

E) is about to get away with his Lucky Charms.
F) hopes to be traded to Milwaukee where his best, admittedly not very good, Fonz impression will be better appreciated.
G) never wonders if his uniform makes him look fat.
H) dares to riddle me this, Batman.
I) is about to seize the camera so he can take a “card selfie.”
J) has failed multiple offensive linemen tryouts, and this is no exception.

John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul G.

Paul G. !

Brilliant work!

That Roland card is ripe. With some of these cards I struggle to come up with a fourth punchline, but this one could go from A to Z.

Incidentally, Roland is smiling on a few of his other cards — and, notably, looking like he just got lobotomized on another — but this is by far the best.

Paul G.
8 years ago

Lowell Palmer:

E) will respond to Lowell, but prefers to be called “Smith.”
F) has learned from past experience how to avoid the neuralizer, somehow.
G) is planning on beaning John Connor the next time he bats.
H) has never been photographed without his shades, at least not by anyone who survived.
I) never wants to play for Pittsburgh as he could never pull off a double eye patch.
J) ironically really does believe that the shoes make the man.

P.S. His White Sox card is, if possible, even a bit weirder.

John Paschal
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul G.

You’re on fire, dude. Awesome.

And yes, that Lowell Palmer White Sox card is already lined up for a future installment.


8 years ago

I had forgotten that Ruben Sierra was ever that slender. It must have been the munchies that did in his trim waistline.

Paul G.
8 years ago

Steve Lake:

E) would like you to know his pet sitting services are surprisingly affordable, especially if you call now.
F) displays both his solidarity with the Philadelphia Eagles and his general incompetence at ornithology.
G) greatly prefers this to the monkey.
H) has not kicked the bucket, shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, and /or run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

Eh, I think I did better than “Other.”

John Paschal
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul G.

Hey, come on — it took me a long time to come up with “other.”

8 years ago

Canseco is blissfully unaware that Hong Man Choi is in his future.

John Paschal
7 years ago
Reply to  hopbitters

That was likely the worst 1 minute 17 seconds of Canseco’s life — I mean, if you don’t count the time it took to blow off his finger and add it to the time it took for a ball to bounce off his head and over the fence and then multiply that figure by, like, 40.