Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cardboard appreciation: 1981 Topps Juan Eichelberger

(After completing 15 days of work with only a single day off mixed in, it is time to appreciate two straight days of sweet, wonderful, glorious, blissful sleep. ... Ah, sleep. How I've missed you. But first, Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 57th in a series):

It doesn't matter what card blog you read, sooner or later you are going to come across a post in which someone comments on a player's facial hair.

It's a rite of passage for bloggers everywhere. But once that rite is over, some just can't seem stop. And I am one of those who can't find the brake pedal. If someone has crazy facial hair, I must comment. And I must do it more than once.

It's funny because, back then -- 1981 to be exact -- we didn't waste a thought on hair like this. Mutton chops? So what? You could bump into a guy with mutton chops on every corner in 1981. OK, maybe not. But they did show up plenty on baseball cards.

Sadly, those days are over. And when I see this card, I break out in a wide smile as I remember the Golden Era of Grooming. What an awesome photo. And the photo angle just adds to it. Somehow, Topps made a mediocre pitcher for a lousy team look regal and comical all at the same time.

Kind of like this:

All right, Isaiah Mustafa doesn't have mutton chops. But when you look at the card now, don't you wonder if Juan is on a horse, too? He could be.

Ladies, don't write-off the crazy facial hair. Juan just might have two tickets to that thing you love.


  1. I just saw that commercial again and I'm highly offended by it. I mean entertained.

  2. Whoa! Easy on the "lousy team" comments... oh, wait. the 1980 Padres WERE lousy.

    They could steal some bases, though.

  3. I always think of Eddie when I see awesome chops like those. That man knew his facial hair grooming.