When I started this blog, I had a notion in my mind that I would eventually do "theme weeks". Often I just pick a day's card as the mood strikes me, as long as I haven't used that player and/or year and brand of card recently. I'm all about variety. But in commenting on Tuesday's card, Steve from White Sox Cards pointed out that each player I'd chosen this week had played for one of the Chicago teams. Unbelievably, the players I'd had in mind for Wednesday and Thursday also had ties to the Windy City! From Saturday onward, I've had Dave Crouthers (who was traded to-but never played for-the Cubs), Phil Bradley (White Sox), Corey Patterson (Cubs), Jamie Moyer (Cubs), Mike Devereaux (White Sox), and Mike Morgan (Cubs). So for yesterday's card, I decided to go with the flow and choose another ex Chi-Sox player in Don Buford. Today I'm straddling two theme weeks by going with one more former Cubbie, Tim Stoddard.
I've got a handful of Stoddard cards, and I enjoy them all. There's just something about a 6'7", 235-pound pitcher with a walrus mustache that is inherently entertaining. Believe it or not, Tim's a two-sport athlete...and the second sport is not football. He started for the 1974 NCAA Championship basketball team at North Carolina State University. To date, the only other major league baseball player to even appear in a Final Four has been speedy outfielder Kenny Lofton. So hats off to Tim Stoddard.
Two-sport athletes would probably make an interesting theme week, but that's not what I have in mind. You see, my favorite giant relief pitcher is also a movie star, having appeared in 1993's Rookie of the Year. Regrettably, I can't remember his character's name, and he's credited as simply "Dodgers pitcher". Stoddard, who also acted as a technical advisor on the set, was well-cast as a hulking, intimidating hurler. He sported the same penetrating stare that you see in the card above, but was ultimately goaded into distraction by his twelve-year-old counterpart, protagonist Henry Rowengartner (as played by Thomas Ian Nicholas of American Pie fame)...
Yes, Tim Stoddard has the dubious honor of being the subject of the taunt, "Pitcher's got a big butt, pitcher's got a big butt!"
I can't help but imagine that if any batter had tried that against Stoddard in his prime, he would've gotten a fastball in the ribs for his trouble.