Nerd Glasses + Eye Black + Mullet + Mustache (That Stance) = .254
Why we like him: This guy was actually the Yankees' shortstop of choice before that Jeter guy got there. He was a decent enough player, but everyone from George Steinbrenner all the way down to the guy who spanks the bat boy knew he wasn't going to be something to build around from the day he arrived. Though he wasn't much to worry about offensively, if nothing else, his goofy looks at least made us all question the effectiveness of eye black behind spectacles. Did the lenses magnify the sunlight onto the eye black where it was absorbed, or did his face get really hot? We'll never know.
Espinoza managed to play 12 nerd-a-rific seasons in the league, beginning in 1984 with the Twins, moving to the Bronx in '88 after a year in another dimension apparently, signing on with the Indians in '94, and then bouncing around from Queens to Seattle to his couch at home during the span of his last 3 years. He never did anything particularly well at any of his stops, but he was always a guy you could count on to give you a good effort at shortstop, lay down a bunt, or at least keep guys like me smiling because of his looks and how fun it was to say his name.
Espinoza was also one of six players in the history of the game to hit a fair ball that got stuck in a stadium obstruction. The other five were Ruppert Jones, Ricky Lee Nelson, Dave "King Kong" Kingman, Jose Canseco, and Kevin Millar. Honestly, if you have anything in common with Jose Canseco that doesn't involve a dirty needle and a night in jail, you're probably a fun player to remember. Espinoza was a career .254 hitter with little to no power (career slugging percentage of .331...wow) who stayed consistent until his final season with the Mariners where he didn't just flirt with the Mendoza Line, he redrew it (at .181) and called it the Espinoza Line.
Espinoza was a great player. Not because he was good at anything or made memorable plays, but because he was just a guy who was always fun to watch because he looked like a guy who would get wedgies in the clubhouse before becoming a serial killer. He never did anything that amazed me, but I'll always remember that name and that mustache. And the specs. And the inexplicable eye black behind them.
Ladies and gentlemen, Alvaro Espinoza, Ballplayer.