card of Roger McDowell a couple of days ago.
There was nothing unusual about the card, except for one thing: there was nothing unusual about the card.
Just about every collector knows that McDowell liked to show his goofy side. A lot. And card companies couldn't get enough of McDowell showing his goofy side. Card company employees would wait in the bushes for that moment that McDowell wore an article of clothing inside-out, and then snap away with their disposable camera, or whatever they used back then.
Most of McDowell's wackiness on cardboard took place when he was a member of the Dodgers. He was well-established as zany when he was with the Mets and Phillies, but his four-year stint with the Dodgers coincided with card companies' trend in showing the lighter side of ballplayers. So, lucky me, I have a whole bunch of cards of McDowell being a cardboard cut-up.
In fact it's almost more difficult to find a Dodger card of McDowell in which he's merely pitching.
In 1994, McDowell was 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA for the Dodgers. He played a year for Texas and then a year for Baltimore, and then the master of the hot foot was done.
It was the perfect storm for McDowell. Upper Deck had shown that collectors would buy cards of players doing "un-player-like" things. Other card companies caught on, and a star was born.
A wacky, zany star. With props. And a headband.