As I write more and more of these posts, it is becoming evident that there is a clear checklist of what makes a Terribly Awesome Card. There are rare exceptions, but I think it is safe to state that a card should contain at least one of these qualities to be considered Terribly Awesome:
- Marvelous Moustache
- Magnificent Mullet
- Idiotic Facial Expression
- Comical Name
- Interesting Prop/Gimmick
This Rollie Fingers card undoubtedly contains 1 and 4, while 3 is up for debate. Rollie Fingers is one of the most memorable and badass athlete names, but it would be an even better name for a porn star. In addition to the comical name, Fingers gets my vote for the most marvelous moustache in sports history, no disrespect intended to Keith Hernandez nor to Michael Jordan’s attempt to bring back the Hitler stache. Off topic, “Bacon neck” may be the only negative form of bacon.
In 1972, Fingers and other Oakland A’s teammates grew facial hair in silent protest of Reggie Jackson being allowed to grow a beard. The group thought that owner Charles O. Finley would force all of them, including Jackson, to shave, but to their surprise, Finley played along and offered a $300 bonus to whoever maintained the best facial hair through opening day. Rollie’s handlebar moustache was the hands-down winner and the team was dubbed the “Moustache Gang.” Finley even set up a promotional “Moustache Day” allowing any fan with a moustache into the ballpark for free. While revolutionizing the closer role in baseball, Fingers kept the handlebar for his entire career with the A’s, Padres, and Brewers and even sports it today nearly 30 years after retiring. His unwavering commitment to the handlebar moustache has gained my unwavering respect.