Rick Reuschel, 1991 Score
‘Sup playa. You cop that new Reuschel?
This was how a typical conversation between my friends and I began back in 1990. My friends and I were awesome.
Of course, I am kidding. The advent of such terminology did not even occur until later in the 90s, and we weren’t always being awesome. I used that intro to sarcastically highlight the fact that we were not very interested in obtaining Rick Reuschel baseball cards.
Why? Well, I can’t speak for my friends, but I was always kind of grossed out by flappy elbow-area skin.
Also, Rick Reuschel pitched for like a million years to the point where you could barely even read the backs of his baseball cards. Even in my later years this has been a nuisance, as I am much more attracted to the tidbits on the backs of cards than the stats, which I can find on the Internet. Reuschel’s long and very solid (twss) career—good for him—left little room, literally, for nonsense—bad for me.
Nevertheless, let’s see what Score could squeeze in.
Personally, I think Big Daddy is an awesome nickname, and I wish people called me that. There are several reasons why people would call someone Big Daddy, but let’s look at two that don’t involve penises. One, if you’re old and are like a daddy to your team and/or a daddy in real life. (Ex.: "Allow me to impart some tough love on you, Candy Maldanado. I've been around the block a few times, and also I have kids myself, somewhere. So I can speak from experience when I say, you shouldn't be playing music that loud and 'Candy' is a weird name. Change it. Now come here, sit on my lap, and give Big Daddy a hug.") Or, if you’re portly. Score does not elaborate, but thankfully we have Wiki:
His nickname was "Big Daddy" because of his portly physique.
the Giants ace, pitched only 11 games in ’90 before cartilage damage to his left knee disabled him for most of the rest of the season. At 41, he was the oldest player in the NL.
I’m not sure it’s possible to find a more scintillating back-of-the-card tidbit than what we see here. If this card were an ad for an upcoming movie, the buzzwords would be, “DISABLED!” “OLDEST!” “ACE?” “CARTILAGE!” “PORTLY! – Wikipedia” Also, the movie would be called “Big Daddy,” and a lot of people would go see it thinking Adam Sandler was involved, but it would be two hours of watching Rick Reuschel sitting in the dugout, spitting out sunflowers seeds and intermittently massaging his left knee.
Despite the whims and passing interests of my naïve youth and my current penchant for lightheartedness, it should be mentioned that Rick Reuschel had an excellent baseball career. He pitched 26 complete game shutouts, struck out over 2,000 dudes, and did at least some of that with cartilage coming off his knee and, apparently, elbow. And I can make light of things all I want, but the proof is in the pudding.
Because, yeah—I copped that Reuschel. What of it, playa?