Sunday, October 21, 2012

Untitled Baseball Card Series: Jeff Reardon

I've got a stack of baseball cards on the shelf. These are their stories. 

Jeff Reardon, 1992 Upper Deck
What in God's name is Jeff Reardon doing in this picture? Did he get an itch on his inner thigh after throwing a four-seamer? Did someone from the photographers' well yell something at him?
"Hey Jeff, your epidermis is showing!"
Someone at Upper Deck must not have liked him. Did he fool around with someone's wife? Look at the way he's staring right at the photographer. It's a look of "Uh oh, you got me". The person putting the card together must have thought "That'll learn him to bust my tomater" or something dirty like that.

More fictional speculation after the jump.

Reardon was traded on August 30th, 1992 to the Atlanta Braves for a minor leaguer and an ineffective starter. Some say it was to give Atlanta an extra push towards the playoffs. I think it was because someone in Boston's front office saw this card and said "No. We can't have this on our team. Get him out of here."

Later that year, in game 2 of the World Series, Reardon gave up a two run home run to Blue Jays' pinch hitter Ed Sprague in the top of the ninth inning. That gave the Jays the lead, and Tom Henke came on to seal the win. Some say it was because Reardon underestimated the young Sprague. I believe he couldn't get the image on this card out of his head.

After that World Series, Reardon elected free agency. After being paid 2.6MM by the Red Sox in 1992, a big pay day should have been in order. The only team to come calling was the Cincinnati Reds who offered $500,000. Some say it was because of his lackluster performance in the World Series. I blame the card.

The card haunted him all the way to New York in 1994, where the Yankees offered him $250,000, but ended up releasing him in May.

All because of that card.

The only truth to this piece are game events, transactions and figures, all gleaned from Reardon's Baseball Reference Page. Any Red Sox front office decisions and dalliances with Upper Deck card designers' wives are entirely fictional and for entertainment purposes only.

Please don't sue me, Jeff Reardon.

Also, one of these days I'll come up with a witty little title for these posts.

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