Michael Anthony Tucker is one of our favorite Royals. Not because he was any good (he wasn't, really), but because of his expressive countenance. He was known in our household by several nicknames: "Bug Eyes," "Blinky," and "That Guy Who Always Looks Terrified."
Basically, Tucker had three expressions: Worried, Happy But Slightly Worried, and Angry But Slightly Worried. This may have been because of his bulging eyes, his constant blinking, and his eyebrows that were arched upward in the middle. In case you've forgotten, here's a nice shot:
We loved that guy's mug. His goofy expressions made Steve Busby's one season as television commentator bearable. His goofy expressions made the dumbass black uniforms and cut-off sleeve uniforms bearable. He was always great for some laughs, whether in his first stint during the team's steady decline in the Herk Robinson era or in his bizarre reappearance during the Allard Baird era, which included the Royals' random 2003 season when they broke .500.
Here's another picture of him looking worried, but this time, probably for legitimate reasons. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, the Royals headed to Toronto to face the Blue Jays.
Tucker seems, well, pretty goddamn worried:
Anyway, Tucker wasn't a great player by any stretch. He had decent range in the outfield and a pretty good arm. He could steal a base once in a while. He could hit twelve or thirteen homers a season. He struck out about twice as often as he walked. Basically, he was an average player who worked best in a platoon.
Sort of like Jeff Francoeur, but unfortunately, his frightened expression didn't endear him as much to Royals fans as Frenchy's grinning maw. Just like Francoeur, Tucker was a first round draft pick that never really lived up to his full potential. Just like Francoeur likely will, Tucker had a long career and played for seven different teams. But UNLIKE Francoeur, Tucker was an Olympian in 1992. So suck on that, Frenchy.
The best thing about Michael Tucker (aside from his "I just shit my pants" facial expressions), was that he and Keith Lockhart were traded to the Atlanta Braves just before the 1997 season for Jermaine Dye and Jamie Walker. Dye, of course, was one of the Royals' best offensive and defensive outfielders in history, right up until Baird traded him for Neifi Perez in 2001. But the shitty Neifi trade is probably also what led Baird to trade Shawn Sonnier to the Cubs for Michael Tucker prior to the 2002 season.
CAN THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN, BYE AND BYE, LORD, BYE AND BYE.
Anyway, Tucker looms large in Royales with Cheese history due to the Michael Tucker OMG Moment of the Week posts, which we've done a total of four times over the course of the twenty-one weeks since we started it.
That's why we're the best, folks.
Nevertheless, it's high time we do a Royals vs. Cards post on Michael Tucker and his awesome facial expressions, so let's do it!
1992 Bowman Foil #682:
This may be Michael Tucker at his least worried. He's an Olympic athlete on Team USA and he's rocking a killer stache. But if you look closely at his eyes, there's fear there. Real fear.
1993 Score Select #291:
Here he is in action. Much less confident than when he was just hanging out on the practice field. In fact, that face is pretty upsetting to look at. Of course, he might be so worried because he's floating in a blue abyss boxed in by a TECMO Bowl-style football field.
Perhaps he's trapped in a nightmare video game world being pursued by an 8-bit Freddy Krueger a la Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare?
Don't forget to put on your 3-D glasses when Maggie puts on her glasses in the film!
And check out other New Line hits this summer, including House Party II and Suburban Commando!
And don't forget to drink Barq's! Barq's has bite!
Freddy's Dead! They saved the best for last!
I should probably hire an editor for this crap.
1992 Upper Deck #445:
Michael Tucker worries as he runs the bases.
1994 Action Packed #24:
Michael Tucker worries as he catches a ball.
2004 Upper Deck Vintage #273:
Michael Tucker worries after hitting a ball.
1995 Select Certified Future #9:
This isn't Michael Tucker. It's Jon Nunnally. I have no idea what happened here. I'm guessing this card error caused Michael Tucker a great deal of worry.
1996 Pinnacle #202:
Michael Tucker worries in profile.
1995 Ultra Golden Prospects #10:
A motif of Michael Tucker worrying.
1995 Upper Deck Minors Top Ten Prospects #9:
Michael Tucker, hat askew, worries while holding a Nikon camera.
1994 Ted Williams Dan Gardiner Collection #DG2:
Michael Tucker holds a worried pose for artist Dan Gardiner.
2003 Donruss Studio #42:
Magic Mike 2: Fingerbangin'
Go Bug Eyes! You're the Best!