When we were kids, after we got through the initial stages of awe, we thought baseball cards were going to be big, serious business.
And sometimes, baseball cards are serious business.
But other times, like on a Friday afternoon … well, you just want to have a little fun.
And what better way to have fun than with some silly old baseball cards?
Here are 10 goofy pasteboards that can make every day feel like Friday after work if you’ll only let yourself go a little.
Willard Nixon is standing outside the club on Friday night, ready to unwind after another hard week in the Red Sox clubhouse with Ted Williams. Looks like he may have a head start on the happy juice, too.
Unfortunately for the diminutive Topps photographer, Earl Torgeson just got a new prescription for his glasses. The Boston Braves slugger is also sick of varmints running onto the field and is intent on ending the problem once and for all.
Topps was a stickler for deadlines when it came to snapping pictures for their baseball cards on the 1960s. It didn’t matter if you were in the middle of a bathroom break when your appointment came up — you would pose for the cardboard cameras. Claude Raymond must have had a leaky memory, because Topps caught him with his fly down in both 1966 and 1967.
Dan Schneider had just broken off a piece of his Jolly Rancher Cherry Stix and got it wedged in the roof of his mouth when the Topps photographer approached for this shot. Alas, Schneider was subject to the same punctuality rules that snagged Raymond above — but you have to wonder if Topps realized the success Schneider would eventually have on Head of the Class and with the Washington Redskins.
Brian Downing always loved Friday nights, and he would get gussied up for an evening of baseball, Disco, and high fashion. Though he hated to leave the ChiSox, in retrospective moments, he admits that he’s very grateful for not having been in Comiskey to watch it all crash down around him in 1979.
Mario Mendoza was at first flattered when the Topps photographer told him that he was being honored with the christening of a new baseball milestone — the “Mendoza Line.” Glee turned to flabbergast as Mendoza learned the particulars, and you can see the nascent moments of his justified protest … his lifetime batting average entering 1981 sat at a robust .213, well above his eponymous distinction.
Tim Stoddard is normally a shy and unassuming young man, but it’s Friday night and someone in the stands has caught his eye. If he plays his cards right, he might finagle a date to the malt shop after the Orioles game.
Mike Armstrong subscribed to the Mo Berg theory of baseball success — never tip your hand, always keep your eyes and ears open, and hold your cards close to your vest at all times. You never know when (another) spy is trying to steal your intel — or at least your signs.
Devon White fell asleep reading Gulliver’s Travels in the Angels’ dugout and woke up to find himself hopelessly stranded at the end of a monster basketball dunk in Brobdingnag. Also, his back itches.
Ken Griffey, Jr., has a fun evening planned after his nameless-team-because-Jimmy-Dean-didn’t-want-to-pay-the-MLB-licensing-fees finishes their game.
His plans include you.
Ken Griffey, Jr., will treat you right — just gaze into his eyes.
As we’ve said before, you can’t have one of these types of lists without an Oscar Gamble entry, so here is us, satisfying that requirement. And, when it comes to Oscar Gamble cards, they don’t come much sillier than the 1985 Topps offering, right? I mean, Oscar Gamble without his ‘fro is like Claude Raymond without his fly open or a band without their signature song.
Come on, Oscar, sing “Come on Eileen” just one more time!