In this 1987 Topps card, you have a metal-mouthed 29-year-old John Shelby flashing a smile that shows off his tinsel teeth. I’ve always been an advocate for an age limit on orthodontics. There has to be an age where the humiliation of being an adult braces outweighs the burden of just having jacked up teeth. I’ve decided that age is 25. I suppose in extreme cases exceptions could be made. Maybe he had a horrific accident? I’ll give Shelby the benefit of the doubt. His teeth must have been a train wreck before this.
Then again, maybe not. I’ve gone ahead and performed the investigative legwork. In this 1986 Fleer card, you have a 28-year-old John Shelby flashing a smile that shows off totally normal teeth. Sure, they aren’t the neon white perfectly straight chompers of Cee-Lo, but I don’t see major snaggle tooth. I don’t see a Sookie Stackhouse gap or meth addict rot. So why would a full-grown man with these teeth opt for braces? It is a mystery we may never solve. I guess when you are a career .239 hitter with only 70 long balls, you will do anything to enhance your appearance and improve your chances with the ladies. Those numbers aren’t going to do it alone.