Steve Farr

Bringing the thunder.

Why we like him: In retrospect, by 1993, Steve Farr looked a lot like Kenny Powers, and with good reason too. In the three seasons prior to that, he was a bulletproof tiger out of the bullpen. When you look at the guy's career in hindsight, he actually put together a very sneakily impressive 11-year résumé. He didn't even crack a major-league roster until he was 27, and he pitched mainly as a reliever during an era when what we now know as the closer role was still in its intermediate development stages. His final line for his career : 11 seasons, 4 teams, 48-45 record, 3.25 ERA, 132 saves, 668 strikeouts, 1.32 WHIP. I'll take that.

Sunday Double Header: Luis De Los Santos & Jim Campbell

De Los Santos is perplexed by something whilst Campbell rocks the classic Mulletstache combo.

Why we like them: Luis De Los Santos, for me, was always "that guy with a four-word name on the baseball card." Other than his fantastic '80s jheri-curl, De Los Santos was basically good for nothing. He was a Royal in every sense of the word. The Royals plucked him in the second round of the '84 draft (they suavely chose Scott Bankhead in the first round). He made his debut in 1988 and thanked the organization by posting a teenie-weenie .091 average in 11 games. Things were better the following season when he batted .253 in 28 games. He disappeared for a couple of seasons before being claimed off waivers by the Tigers. He batted .167 for them in 16 games during the 1991 season. That was it for his career. He finished with a career .209 average, 0 homers, 0 stolen bases. At 6'5/205, it's amazing he never managed to generate any power whatsoever.

As for Jim Campbell, he has one of the most interesting careers ever, and it only spans two games worth of action during the 1990 season. He made two starts. His career record is actually an unblemished 1-0. Take that, Cy Young! His career ERA, however, is a rather toasty 8.38. Through 9.2 career innings of work, Campbell amassed a hilarious pair of strikeouts, and he walked a guy. At least he'll be able to tell everyone he was an undefeated major league pitcher.

Ladies and gentlemen, Luis De Los Santos and Jim Campbell, ballplayers.

Kevin Maas

Falling down holding a splintery shard of a bat with a goofy look on his face. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up for Maas and his career.

Why we like him: Kevin Maas always seemed like one of those guys who just had a tough start to his career, but would one day show up somewhere and put together a few decent years and help a team find some success. He was the "heir apparent" to Don Mattingly's aching body in the Bronx. He was left handed and built like a Greek god, and fans and scouts just knew he would be peppering the right field bleachers in Yankee Stadium with season after season of ridiculous home run totals.

In his first 79 games in the majors, Maas cranked out an impressive 21 homers and 41 RBI, which by1990 standards, seemed like the second coming of Lou Gehrig, and he garnered enough votes to finish behind only Sandy Alomar Jr. in AL Rookie of the Year voting. The following season, which was Maas's only true full season in the bigs, the league figured him out, holding him to 23 homers and 63 almost harmless RBI in 143 games while posting a measly .220 batting average. Yuck. Definitely not what the world's most passionate baseball fans were wanting. The Yankees gave Maas two more years to figure things out, and it just never happened. He was released prior to the 1994 season and bounced between minor league assignments with the Padres and Reds before given another chance at the majors with the Twins after the 1994 season. He didn't exactly make the most of it, batting a sad .193 in 22 games in 1995. He was released on June 30. He signed with the Yankees July 1 and never appeared in the majors again. At least I have his rookie card. I'm holding onto it too. He's the next Donnie Baseball.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Maas, baallplaayer.

Todd Van Poppel

Tall hat.

Why we like him: If you're anywhere close to my age, you know you remember this guy. Every few years, some super prospect comes along and has scouts all over the league drooling all over their radar guns, slide rules, and notepads of VORP calculations. Invariably, said prospect ends up mercilessly crapping the bed and fading into the realms of baseball obscurity/hilarity.

Essentially hailed as the second coming of Nolan Ryan, Van Poppel put together an impressive high school career that Oakland apparently loved. Van Poppel even went so far as to try to set his own terms, telling the Braves he would not sign with them as the first overall draft choice (The Braves stupidly selected unknown shortstop Larry Wayne Jones with that pick instead.) However, he was destined for failure before he ever set his ridiculously oversized cap atop that brutally misshapen noggin that was adorned with that dorky face. The A's, in their infinite wisdom, signed TVP to a major-league deal which put a limit on the number of minor league options that could be used on him. The result was that A's were stuck with a raw, unseasoned young pitcher who was never that good in the first place.

The Poppelgänger actually managed to piece together two decent seasons with the Cubs in 2000 and 2001 with the Cubs as a reliever, but Chicago cleverly turned him loose to free agency after the '01 season. He landed in Texas, and his ERA landed well over 5.00 for the rest of his career. When he was at his best, he was bad. When he was at his worst, he was, well, even worse. He did make a career of it for 11 years though, and for that, I respect the guy. And his hilariously elongated head.

Ladies and gentlemen, Todd Van Poppel, ballplayer.

Throwback Thursday: Rich Rollins


Why we like him: Remember back in the day when the Minnesota Twins were stocked with promising young talent and seemed like a shoo-in for a World Series title? It was about a decade ago. It also happened in the early '60s as well when the Twins were loaded with the likes of Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, and Zoilo Versalles in the field, and pitchers like Jim Kaat and Jim Perry, all of whom were in or near their respective primes at that time. They also had a good mix of role-players like third baseman Rich Rollins who knew their jobs and how to do them.

"Rich Roll," which is the moniker I have chosen for him, was a classic two-hitter type with good hands who always at least put a bat on the ball and made things exciting. And speaking of exciting, he led the league with 10 triples in 1964. Rollins made the All Star team just once, earning a spot in 1962 at the tender age of 24 when he also finished eight in MVP voting. The following season was probably Rollins's best as he turned in career highs in batting with a .307 average and homers with 16. He also sported those glasses.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rich Rollins, ballplayer.

Rob Deer

Owner of beautiful feathery mullet and insane strikeout propensity.

Why we like him: Rob Deer hit 230 home runs over the course of his interesting 11-year career. That number is actually higher than his career batting average of .220. I know. It gets better. Deer never led the league in anything except strikeouts, which he managed to find a way to do on four different occasions. His 186 whiffs in 1987 is even good enough for a tie with Ryan Howard for 16th on the all-time single season list. And he did that in 134 games. Oh, what could have been if he had played in 162. Or even 150. He also batted .238 that year, which was the third best average he ever posted. Seriously. His 1991 season with the Tigers is almost as bizarre as it gets. He played in 134 games, swatted 25 home runs, and batted a cool .179 all while striking out just 175 times. Feast or famine, baby. Sparky Anderson obviously had faith in the Deer. I wish Rob Deer was in Cooperstown so that we could give new meaning to the phrase "mounted Deer head on the wall."

Ladies and gentlemen, Rob Deer, ballplayer.

Chuck Carr

Why we like him: It's always fun to see a guy with an eight-year career that you can refer to as a journeyman. Chuck Carr managed to be given the boot from five teams over the span of his career. He experienced the most success by taking his talents to South Beach and the Marlins from 1993 to 1995 where he stole 115 bases over the course of those three seasons including a league-leading 58 in 1993 as the regular centerfielder with the franchise's inaugural squad. That was even good enough to get him to fourth place in NL Rookie of the Year voting (three spots behind some guy named Piazza).

After a posting a less-than-impressive .227 average in 1995, Carr was shipped off to the Brewers in exchange for Juan Gonzalez (but definitely not that Juan Gonzalez). After his release from Milwaukee in 1997, Carr played half a season with the Astros, taking on the spot-play, pinch-hit role that he was somewhat forced to assume with the Brewers (and probably a good role for the speedy slap-hitter he was). The 'Stros stuck him on the free agents list at the end of 1997, and I guess that's right where you'd find him today.

Ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Carr, ballplayer.

Kevin Bass

Foreground, front center: The Basstache. Background: Kevin Bass.

Why we like him: I don't remember a whole lot about Kevin Bass, but I do remember his pristine and finely manicured mustache. That was some serious lip spinach. He wasn't much of a hitter, but I bet that cookie duster was a major intimidation factor for any pitcher in the league. It was almost like that upper lip plume was drawn onto his face by the baseball gods themselves. And it looked so good in contrast with those hideous '80s Astros uniforms.

Little-known facts about Kevin Bass's lip-tickler, a.k.a. the "Basstache."
  • Kevin Bass was a career .270 hitter. The Basstache batted 1.004.
  • Kevin Bass made the All Star team in 1986. The Basstache invented the All Star team.
  • Kevin Bass never led the league in anything. The Basstache always led the league in everything.
  • Kevin Bass was traded to the Giants. The Basstache was a giant.
  • Kevin Bass swatted 118 home runs in 14 years. The Basstache would make you run home and hide for 14 years.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Bass, ballplayer.