Luis Gonzalez, 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
Gil: Bart! Get in here!
Bart: What’s up, boss?
Gil: Bart, listen. I need two awesome shots of Houston Astros baseball player Luis Gonzalez. I need these two awesome shots to be awesome, got it?
Bart: Sure thing, boss!
Gil: And Bart, remember—this is the Collector’s Choice series. Not some shim-sham rinky-dink whatchamadoo, mkay?
Bart: Got it.
The next day …
Bart: Boss, check it out. Got one shot of Luis Gonzalez taking a face full of dirt on a slide.
Gil: That. Is. Awesome. If I’m a collector, that is my choice. Nice work! You're getting a raise. What else?
Bart: Okay, and for the other pic, I got a shot of him contorted and wincing with his buttocks in the air …
Gil: Okay, okay. That’s … something. I, uh … I’m kind of getting grossed out looking at it, and now by back hurts. We’ll put this one on the back of the card, m'kay? Also, you’re fired.
In a make-or-break season, Gonzalez came through and reached .300 on the season’s final day.
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Last day of season, 1993, Houston Astros dugout …
Art Howe: Alright, Gonzo. You know the deal, right? You’re at .299 right now. Get to .300 today and you might have a future in this game we call baseball. Anything less than .300 and not only are you out of baseball forever, but we toss you into a pit of hot lava. Those are the stakes.
Gonzalez: Are you serious right now? I mean, .300 would be nice, but I have 34 doubles and 20 stolen bases this year and I am 26-years old and I haven’t even definitely not done steroids yet. I’m pretty sure my future is set.
So Gonzalez had a solid career. Bloop hit here, lucky hit there, 57 home runs one year which was 26 more than his previous career high … the ushe. But what I’d really to know is: what would a piece of his chewed gum go for in 2002? Wiki?
He was also selected to All-Star Teams in 2002 and 2003. During the 2002 season, Gonzalez received publicity as a piece of gum chewed by Gonzalez during a spring training game was sold for $10,000 on April 15, 2002. The buyer was Curt Mueller, owner of Mueller Sports Medicine Inc., manufacturer of the gum, Quench.
Future economists wearing silver suits with aerodynamic wrap-around-the-entire-head sunglasses are going to open our generational time capsule and say, “In 2002 someone paid $10,000 for a piece of chewed gum. In 2012, stray dogs had taken over dilapidated Detroit. In between, something … happened.” Quench—“Thirst Quenching Gum for Active People”—is still around, apparently, despite such excesses. I recommend checking out their “new Quench X Video,” for which the link on their homepage features a gorilla in an America-themed tophat and sunglasses.
Gonzalez was also the Celebrity face for a cornfield maze in Queen Creek, AZ for the Schnepf Farms' annual Celebrity Maze.
All cornfield mazes that have an annual cornfield maze (?) require a celebrity face. If not, locals will say, “Who endorses this cornfield maze? How am I supposed to know it is safe and that I will not get lost? I simply cannot trust the reputation of Schnepf Farms exclusively!” Then baseball player Luis Gonzalez comes along and is like, “Don’t worry everyone! This cornfield maze is safe and open to the public! And I should know, because I play baseball!”