Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I like to think that I'm a fairly reflective person.

Often times, I find myself looking for little, interesting nuances about daily life to enjoy. Things that may not seem all that important to others.

I still see it as one of the "quirkier" aspects of myself.

Truthfully, it's part of why I actually look forward to going to school these days. You never know what you'll see next.

As I was walking down the hallway with a friend this afternoon, one of those strange little thoughts popped into my head.

"If this were a TV show, how often would the network have to use that 'bleep' button?"

Like I said, it's a quirky thing.

But, hey, you were young once, right?

I'm nowhere near a vulgar guy, but even I'm prone to making an off-color joke with my friends once in a while. I'd bet most of you out there were (or are) the same way.

For the record, though, I think the "bleep" button would be broken after one hallway. I won't go into specifics, but that's just my belief.

Now, for the most part, I'd bet that most non-collectors believe that baseball cards are quite tame, more of a "family" hobby than anything.

For the most part, they're right.

Compared to a hallway packed to the brim with young adults, they're certainly right.

Still, a few cards from this hobby would definitely give the censor something to think about.

Don't believe me?

Well, then you'll just have to take a look for yourself.

Take the back of this Fred Merkle card, for instance.

Exhibit A.

I'm sure the large, bolded, um..."b-word" featured here carried a slightly different connotation back in the day. 

For better or worse, another card I've seen features it even more prominently.

Unfortunately, people have been linking it to Merkle ever since his unfortunate slip-up in 1908.

I should note that Mr. Merkle wasn't nearly as big of a "goat" as history has made him out to be. But that's another discussion for another post.

That aside, though, the 12 year-old kid in me can't help but laugh whenever I cross paths with this one.


They said it, not me.


The "bleep" button wouldn't do a lot of good here.

Looks like the baseball card networks would have to break out the old "censored" bar for this one. (One that has made quite a few appearances in my time watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? over the years. If you know what I mean.)

What I want to see here is the aftermath of ferocious attempt to break up a double play. A shot that represents the odd photography that makes '73 Topps such a classic.

However, what I end up seeing is Tito Fuentes involved in an act that would never pass on network TV.

I just feel sorry for that unfortunate Reds shortstop.

I've had the idea for this post rattling around for a couple weeks now.

The major reason it took so long to finally get it out of my system involves the very man you see above.

Until recently, I didn't think I owned a card of [Bleep] Pole. I figured that any post along these lines needed a card of his in some way, shape or form.

Either him, or Pete La...well, this guy.

I don't want to get into trouble with the censors.

Luckily, this card of Mr. Pole proved to be yet another spectacular byproduct of the "little blue box" I gushed about last night.

No, that's not a euphemism.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

This card has quickly become one of my favorites over the years.

After all, this proved to be Santo's final card as a Cub. Plus, such a great shot encapsulated in an awesome horizontal frame simply makes it a stand-out piece of cardboard.

But don't think I can't see you back there, Mr. Durocher.

I'm not sure what you're doing, but let's keep it family-friendly around here.

You too, Mr. Trammell.

Adjust your cup when the cameras aren't pointed at you, please.

Score may have said that they didn't "catch" this little error in time, but I don't believe them. They knew what they were doing by tossing this Paul Gibson card onto the market.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't see anything else whenever this one pops up in my collection. For better or worse, Trammell has become its "focal point".

Mostly worse.

This is mind-boggling.

I've been blogging for over a year now. And I haven't featured this card once.

Not once.

How could that be?

It's one of the greatest cards ever made, no doubt.

Thankfully, I'll have rectified that oversight once this post is published. And I can't think of a better time to do it than with a write-up like this.

Years before Mark Fidrych would play in Detroit, Billy Martin introduced a different type of "bird" to the world of cardboard with this one.

I see that middle finger, Mr. Martin. We all do.

Astoundingly enough, no one at Topps did.

It must've slipped past the censor.

No big deal, though.

After all, a little off-color humor every now and then is a part of life.

Baseball cards are no exception.

You can bet your [bleep] on that.


Hackenbush said...

I noticed the Leo Durocher thing as well:

beefman said...

Great post, Nick! I'll bet you own at least one card with the 'F-bomb' on it - the infamous 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card. I only own one variation of that card, and it's the vulgar one. Can't believe the white-out version is 'worth' more. 'Book Value' again being questionable in judgment!

Nick J

hiflew said...

Never saw the Fuentes before. Another classic photo from that set.

Are we sure that is Alan Trammell in the background of the Gibson card? It makes the most sense, but has anyone definitively nailed that down yet?

Nick said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Beefman -- Not sure how, but the Ripken completely slipped my mind when I was writing this post. Looks like I'll have to do some editing.

I too own the vulgar one, it's one of my favorites. I have the "black out" version as well. "Book value" is absolutely crazy when it comes to those variations.

hiflew -- I thought I remembered reading that it was indeed Trammell behind Gibson, but I can't recall where.

I guess it would be hard to definitively say that Trammell is the Tiger in the background, but it'd be the most logical guess.

Anonymous said...

Bleeping brilliant. And bleeping hilarious.

Anthony Hughes said...

Great post, thanks!