Mark Gubicza and John Russell, 1990 Fleer "Superstar Specials" series
MARK GUBICZA and JEFF RUSSELL, you have henceforth been selected to consecutive AL All-Star Games and are now featured on Fleer’s “Super Star Specials” series as “STARTER & STOPPER.” Please try to contain your excitement!
It is possible that both MARK GUBICZA and JEFF RUSSELL remain perturbed that their respective names have not received the proper name recognition as the more celebrated hurlers in baseball at this time of 1990—players like Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. Perhaps CAPS LOCK will do the trick?
Neither MARK GUBIZCA nor JEFF RUSSELL carries the name recognition of the more celebrated hurlers in baseball.
Person: Hey, have you heard of MARK GUBIZCA?
Other person: Who? No! That name sounds silly and difficult to spell.
Person: What about JEFF RUSSELL?
Other person: Why are you screaming at me? And yes—I went to kindergarten with a Jeff Russell. He used to eat his boogers and poop in his pants and there was a big rumor once that he put his boogers in his poop.
Person: No, I am talking about the major league pitcher.
Other person: You mean Roger Clemens? Yes! Let us celebrate him with a toast!
But now that each has been selected to represent the AL in the last two All-Star games that should change.
Whew! The last thing I want is for two guys making lots of money who play baseball for a living and are All-Stars and who every person who follows baseball is aware of regardless of any misconception that they are wallowing in obscurity (deep breath … ) to be not afforded the proper name recognition.
Let’s start with GUBIZCA. What would you say is most impressive about GUBIZCA?
Most impressive about GUBIZCA is his tenacity.
Awesome! Please elaborate.
Over the last two seasons he has pitched 524.2 innings.
Good gracious that is tenacious! What about RUSSELL?
RUSSELL earned a save or win in 53% of the Rangers’ victories.
The 1989 Texas Rangers slogan was “Got RUSSELL?” Because the milk ads had yet to surface, this made little sense to both fans and other MLB teams. In fact, confused, the Atlanta Braves responded with their own slogan: “Yeah. John,” which made even less sense bereft of context. As a means of escalating the Russell war, the Rangers countered by signing John Russell the next season, and as a result, 96% of Rangers wins and loses were at least partially influenced by a Russell in the year of 1990.
Any rare feats I should know about?
Thus, he made the All-Star team as a starter in 1988 and as a reliever in 1989.
A rare feat!
GUBIZCA and RUSSELL would go on to star in the popular UPN sitcom, “The Starter and the Stopper,” in which a black major league starting pitcher and a white major league closer—who are best friends—solve crimes. GUBIZCA and RUSSELL played local shop owners.