Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Sometimes Book Value Is Way Too Low

This has to be one of the greatest cards ever made!  For beginners it’s Turks RC, and probably the only baseball card with someone brushing their teeth on it.  If someone can find another I’d love to see it.

I can remember going to games in the mid-nineties and hope that Turk would come in and pitch.  The Cubs were pretty bad but Turk always gave you something to watch.  He has to be easily the most superstitious player ever to play the game.  He would chew a wad of black licorice during the game and brush his teeth between every inning.  He wore number 13.  He would wave to the center fielder before every inning and wait till he waved back before throwing his pitches.  He was and still is an avid hunter and wore a necklace of the teeth and claws of the animals he killed.  These included a buffalo tooth, turkey spur, a mountain lion claw, and even a polar bear claw that an Eskimo had sent him for luck.  He would not catch a ball thrown by an umpire, they had to roll it to the mound.  I remember going to a game where the ump threw the ball to him and he let it bounce off of his chest before picking it up.  He would always jump over the foul line when entering or leaving the field of play.  He would draw three crosses on the mound with his cleats.  When ever the catcher would stand, he would crouch.  The list goes on,  he even was known to throw his glove into the stands after a bad outing.

He is also known for being outspoken or for speaking the truth when others wouldn’t.  He called out Bonds and Sosa for using steroids.  Bonds responded by saying “You got something to say, you come to my face and say it and we’ll deal with each other. Don’t talk through the media like you’re some tough guy.”  Ironically he said this to a group of reporters from the dugout.  When Vlad Guerrero took exception to Turk beaning him, Turk told reporters, “If he doesn’t like it, he can freakin’ go back to the Dominican and find another line of work.”  He has also been quoted to saying “I only wanted a few things out of life — a wife, children, to play baseball and to hunt deer.” He often told the press he wanted to play his last year of baseball for free.  When he found out the union would not allow this, he threatened to drop out of the union when it was time.

He also works with children’s charities and traveled to Iraq as a part of the Heroes of the Diamond Tour.  All in all I think he was a great guy who played the game and this card should be worth way more than the quarter it books at.

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