"I want it to look like a comebacker hit me in the nuts," I said.
August 23, 2019 10:51 AM Subscribe
Keith Comstock played on four major league clubs as a journeyman reliever, but his professional career is most often remembered for one thing: a ball to the crotch. Thirty years ago -- in what otherwise would have been a forgotten minor league set -- Comstock appeared on one of the most memorable baseball cards ever made. Here's the story of how it came together, in his words. 'You're the guy with the ball to the crotch': The inside story behind the funniest baseball card ever made (ESPN)
I was drafted in 1976, and it took me eight years to reach the majors. I was traded or released so many times, it was hard to keep count. In 1983, the Oakland A's sold me to the Detroit Tigers for $100 and a bag of balls. I had to deliver the balls. For much of my career, I'd get moved to another team and my wife would pack up the Chevy Vega with our kids and they'd follow me. One time, it took my wife three days to reach my next assignment. On the day she arrived, I found out I'd been demoted.Unfortunately, his next cards were of him in the minors. "And, honestly, another minor league card was a reminder of how my career was going." Until The Card.
By the late 1980s, I'd been up and down a few times -- with Minnesota, San Francisco and San Diego. I never had a major league baseball card of myself, until 1988. That's when the Topps card company produced my first real card, like the ones I collected when I was a boy. I'm throwing a pitch in the photo. I was so happy when I saw the card, really humbled. When I got that first card, I didn't keep it. I sent it to my mom. It was like validation for everything that I'd gone through, like here was proof I was a major leaguer. The cool part of that 1988 card is it became a sought-after error card within the Topps set (Radicards). There was something wrong with the coloring of the "Padres," so I got a little notoriety for that. I couldn't wait to show up in another set.