Sometimes I think the good folks at Topps got bored in the 1990s.
Over this year, I am going to pull a few cards from the 1990’s where the photo editors must have been trying to amuse themselves.
A case in point, this bizarre card from the 1994 Topps collection (the year of the strike no less.) The Rangers, playing in the final season in Arlington Stadium, did a “Turn Back The Block” day. They wore hypothetical uniforms that the Rangers might have worn in the 1910’s or 1920’s. And let’s be honest, they look cool and a lot better than some of the real Rangers unis.
But using a picture from this day is kind of confusing. Why not one pic wearing the regular Rangers uniforms? And Kevin Brown, not known for being a cute and cuddly guy, is goofing around in the outfit.
He has his hat backwards and is doing an exaggerated windup the way pitchers in the turn of the century would do. Essentially, Brown is doing a bit and doing so in an unusual set of threads.
I imaging the editorial department at Topps looked a bunch of proof sheets showing images of Brown in mid wind up or posing on the mound. This one made them chuckle and someone, who might not have been sober at the time, decided “What the hell? Let’s run with it.”
The back of the card includes a standard picture of Brown pitching, but that isn’t on the front.
I wrote about Kevin Brown before where I compared him to another Kevin, that would be Mr. Costner.
There was a stretch where Kevin Brown was truly one of the best pitchers in baseball and probably should have won a Cy Young for his troubles. (Likewise, don’t forget Kevin Costner was once a legitimate superstar who was pretty damn good in a lot of movies.)
His real name is James Kevin Brown. Usually I scratch my head when I find out a player goes by their middle name. I am looking at YOU George Thomas Seaver, Lynn Nolan Ryan and William Roger Clemens! But with Brown, I will accept it.
He couldn’t go by James Brown.
And Jim Brown was taken as well.
So remember KEVIN Brown for his fine career and not him punching a wall, getting bombed in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS nor for this bizarre card.