Do not worry folks, I assure that this post is CSFW - Completely Safe For Work. Although, my apologies if you find yourself at work on this chilly Sunday morning. Anyway, the "wild" alluded to in the title has nothing to do with inappropriate shenanigans and everything to do with an athletic man using his powerful left arm...
...wait... that still sounds dirty. Okay - let's try this again, this post has everything to do with a man who prefers being the pitcher...
Dammit all to hell. I'm sorry; this post is suddenly devolving straight down into NSFW territory. My most sincere apologies.
I brought this upon myself.
But, really, there's nothing risque going on here; I assure you wholesome readers that I'm just trying to show off the latest gem I've uncovered on Listia. Listia, if you're not familiar with it, is an auction site like Ebay that, instead of using money, uses credits. If your impatient, you can earn these credits buy laying down cold, hard cash; if you're patient (and cheap), you can gather up credits gratis by watching product advertisements and testing out apps. Guess which route I took.
The exchange rate between dollars and credits has steadily gotten more and more ridiculous - it's like exchanging yen to USD. Even the smallest of transactions often take tens of thousands of credits. You know what that means - I had to binge watch a TON of ads to acquire this bad boy:
I regret nothing. Being able to add an autograph to my CATRC binder for 30,000 credits (and exactly zero real bucks) is so totally worth it.
According to the item description, this boxed-set oddball was signed, in person, by "Wild Thing" just a little less than a month ago at a show put on by St. Louis Sports Collectors. I noticed that while I was bidding on this particular John Hancock that the same seller had several inked Williams singles up for grabs and this explains it. Clearly the guy is a Cardinals fan and wants nothing to do with this Cubs nonsense!
Of course, while he registered 36 saves that season, Mitch wasn't exactly the shutdown type of closer. After all, how do you think "Wild Thing" earned his nickname? Just watch the bottom of the ninth from the season opener:
In the end, he still racked up the saves, earned his only AS nomination and helped lead the Cubs into the playoffs - thus, his inclusion in the 1990 Fleer Baseball MVP box set (one of the last of it's kind) isn't particularly surprising.
The Cubs stole that playoff spot on the back of several blossoming young stars and managed to land three additional names on this small, 44 card checklist - darn near 10% of a set dedicated to the best of the best set aside to one team.
Clearly, Fleer thought quite highly of the Cubs' trajectory, as did most of the baseball world. Unfortunately, two of those hot rookies accompanying Mitch on the Baseball MVP roster, Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith, saw their star go supernova almost immediately and "The Boys of Zimmer" faded back into the doldrums.
After one more year in the Windy City, the Cubs traded their "Wild Thing" away to Philadelphia, He put together a few more seasons as a top-notch closer, but he seared his name into the baseball Hall of Infamy for giving up the walk-off World Series home run to another former Cub, Joe Carter, in 1993. That round tripper basically ended his career, as he was never the same again.
Can't say I blame him - that'd probably screw me up pretty well too.
So, all told, I was able to acquire an autographed card for my CATRC binder, featuring a fairly prominent player and on an oddball card, to boot. All of this for the low, low price of free, sans the time of my life spent watching product pitches that I'll never get back. Nevertheless, I'd still say that this worked out quite well.
See? This post was nothing but quality, family-friendly baseball talk - there's nothing NSFW about that. Just "Wild Thing" makin' my heart sing... and I'm quoting the song lyric here and not making vague hints about anything more than that.
Open mouth, insert foot.