For several years as a youngster, I voraciously collected baseball cards, and in particular, Royals cards. I remember a birthday sleepover/baseball card swap party in third grade in which I netted eight different Kurt Stillwells. It was a magical night in a young boy's life.
Eventually, I moved from collecting baseball cards to POGs, from POGs to comic books, from comic books to Mad Magazines, from Mad Magazines to music albums, and finally, from music albums to pornography. Don't tell me I haven't lived! It's been quite the journey!
And even though I've moved four times among three states since exiting my parents' house, I've managed to hold onto my baseball cards, comic books, Mad Magazines, and music albums. Unfortunately, I sold all the POGs and porn to pay for Grad School.
Anyway, there are thousands upon thousands of Topps, Upper Deck, Bowman, Donruss, Fleer, Leaf, Score, and yes, even KC Police, Tombstone Pizza, Jimmy Dean, Wonder Bread, and Hostess baseball cards lovingly cataloged in vinyl sheets in binders, organized by team and alphabetized by player name, sitting on my bookshelf as I type this. It's ironic that with all the slipshod work that is routinely published in this blog, I have a rod up my ass when it comes to organizing my worthless chotchkies.
But I'm happy I've managed to hold onto them, as some of them are so ridiculous that I'm pretty sure I can squeeze some dumb jokes out of them for blog entries. So here goes! For this second Royals vs. Cards post, we'll be looking at Royal Also-Ran Philip Farrell Hiatt.
If you don't remember Phil Hiatt, you're probably not alone. He was pretty highly touted when he made his Royals debut in 1993 at third base. He was supposed to be the second coming of Kevin Seitzer, and Hiatt actually led the team in RBI in April. But after struggling for a few months, the Royals picked up the recently released Gary Gaetti, Hiatt was sent to AAA, and the rest is history.
He did make another brief appearance with the Royals in 1995, but was shipped to Detroit as a PTBNL for Juan Samuel. Hiatt only reappeared in the majors a couple more times with the Tigers and later the Dodgers. Despite his lack of success in the big leagues, Hiatt is a AAA legend, bouncing around with ten or so teams over thirteen seasons at that level. He hit over 300 homers, had nearly 1000 RBI, and was a AAA team MVP in 1996 (when he hit 42 homers for the Toledo Mud Hens) and in 2001 (when he hit 44 homers for the Las Vegas 51s). In 2007, Phil Hiatt's name showed up in the Mitchell Report as a steroid user. Whoops.
In an alternate timeline, Hiatt would have been a star. In reality, he's Crash Davis without the charm. If nothing else, he'll always be remembered for a series of ridiculous Upper Deck baseball cards.
1992 Upper Deck Collector's Choice #45
I can't stand artwork of athletes/sports stars. That's why we take the piss out of it on a regular basis in this very blog. This Phil Hiatt card, a painting of him as a Memphis Chick, is pretty appalling. He's a head and one-and-a-half shoulders, floating in a diarrhea-colored abyss. But hey, he signed it, so maybe it's not a completely worthless piece of shit.
1993 Upper Deck Diamond Gallery #33
If you can't tell, this is a hologram card showing a shiny, amoeba-like chromium blob of Phil Hiatt. In the foreground, we have Phil in a classic pitcher's pose surrounded by an oozing, black oil slick. This was only a few years removed from the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, so maybe that's where they got the idea. But hey, the Diamond Gallery was a limited edition set, so maybe it's not a completely worthless piece of shit.
1993 Upper Deck Fun Pack #4
DO YOU GET THE PREMISE? HE'S A STAR OF TOMORROW, AND HE'S ALSO A CONSTELLATION MADE UP OF STARS! SO CLEVER! But, apparently, the Phil Hiatt constellation is like so many others, where without his superimposed image there, you'd be hard pressed to know what the hell he was supposed to be.
Here, take a look at the star pattern minus Hiatt:
Personally, I think the constellation looks more like Ed Grimley than anything:
So hey, I must say, maybe it's not a completely worthless piece of shit.
And finally, my prize Phil Hiatt card:
1993 Upper Deck #645
I guess I lied about selling all of my porn. What we have here is Phil Hiatt banging Phil Hiatt, who happens to also be banging Phil Hiatt. It's a Phil Hiatt sandwich, with the middle Phil serving as Lucky Pierre. Please don't Google that.
And on that note, I just want to say thank you, Phil Hiatt. Your baseball cards bring me more joy than you ever could have as a Royal. I guess you're not a completely worthless piece of shit.
Go Royals! You're the Best!