Today we have Baltimore's own version of the Mick: he of the towering home runs, the incredible walk totals, and the legendary love of Froot Loops. He was also, like Rafael Palmeiro, a part of the impressive guest cast of the film Little Big League. Mickey is one of the more villainous major leaguers in the movie; in Billy Heywood's first game as manager of the Twins, they drop a home game to the Tigers. Tettleton is playing catcher, and as he snags a pop foul in front of the home dugout for the last out, he looks over at Billy and sneers, saying something to the effect of, "Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid".
Though he was kind of a jerk on screen, I think this card best represents Mickey as most fans remember him. The powerful Oklahoman with a cheek stuffed full of chaw, grinning boyishly. By the time this 1991 Topps set rolled out, he was gone from Baltimore. The day after the O's infamously traded for Glenn Davis, they sent a catcher one year removed from a 26 home run performance (who had just walked 106 times in an otherwise down year offensively) to Detroit for Jeff M. Robinson and his 5.96 ERA. All Mickey did was hit 30-plus home runs in four of the next five years. The winter of 1990-1991 didn't exactly represent Roland Hemond's finest hour as a GM.
I want to take a moment to talk about some of the movies I've discussed this week. None of them could be considered classics in the conventional sense. There is no Field of Dreams, no Eight Men Out, no A League of Their Own in this crop. They're all goofy comedies, some intended for children. But I saw them all as an impressionable, baseball-mad adolescent, and they hold a sentimental value for me, much like the cards I've discussing each day. So whether they're good or just so-bad-that-they're-good, I just can't help but put the remote down when I find one of them playing on TV.