Collecting baseball cards is as much a part of the game as a bat or glove for numerous fans who have enjoyed the hobby throughout the years. Many of us grew up listening to our parents or grandparents tell stories of how they put a card, which would be worth a small fortune today, in their bicycle spokes before riding around the neighborhood.
Sports cards are a great way to celebrate one’s favorite player and relive some of their greatest moments on a piece of high-grade cardboard. In most cases, an athlete’s baseball card serves as an opportunity to showcase a sports star in all their glory; a chance to catch them at their very best.
However, there have also been a few instances, throughout the years, where baseball card photographers dropped the ball, so to speak. There are some cards on the market that look nothing short of ridiculous.
Baseball cards have been around for well over 100 years, so searching the internet for the very worst was a difficult task. That being said, in the end, all the hard work paid off.
As a result, 15 of the most hideous sports cards ever created have been assembled for our loyal readers' viewing pleasure.
15 1993 Upper Deck SP Brian Harper
Cell phones have certainly come a long way since the early 1990s. Former Twins catcher Brian Harper looks to be having a serious conversation in this 1993 Upper Deck SP classic. While the phone was likely a prized piece of technology at the time, the large device looks a bit silly, nearly 24 years later.
Harper played for eight different teams from 1979 to 1995. He is probably best remembered for being a part of the 1991 World Series champion Minnesota Twins Team. The catcher had a very respectable .295 career batting average. These days Harper serves as the hitting coach for the (AAA) Toledo Mud Hens.
If you are looking to own a piece of telecommunications history, expect to pay around 20 cents for this card.
14 1991 Pacific Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan doesn’t look too thrilled to see the cameraman, while he is stretching out in his skimpy short shorts. Can’t a guy do a little stretching in peace? Besides the awkward photo, the color scheme on this card is also quite hideous. Nolan Ryan has some great looking and extremely valuable cards out there, but the '91 Pacific “Ryan’s Routine” isn’t one of them.
Nolan Ryan is a Hall of Fame pitcher who is widely considered to be one of the best to have ever played the game. He has the MLB record for most career strikeouts (5,714) and most career no-hitters (7). He is currently the executive advisor for the Houston Astros.
If for some reason folks are looking to purchase the '91 Pacific “Ryan’s Routine” card, they shouldn’t pay more than a buck.
13 1984 Fleer Jay Johnstone
Stylish Budweiser umbrella hats are just one of the many reasons to love the 1980s. That being said, this particular hat doesn’t seem to be working, as Jay Johnstone’s face appears to be soaked in this memorable 1984 Fleer card. One has to wonder if this cap meets MLB standards; It makes for an interesting baseball card in any case.
Johnstone was a competent big leaguer who managed to have a career that spanned almost 2 decades (1966-1985). The outfielder had .267 career batting average and 102 homers while playing for nine different teams throughout the course of his career.
Those who wish to make the 1984 Fleer Jay Johnstone a cornerstone of their baseball card collection, shouldn’t have to pay more than 20 cents for a mint condition copy of this beauty.
12 1997 Collector's Choice Steve Sparks
This 1997 Collector’s Choice Steve Sparks card is a goofy one, to say the least. The pitcher is hamming it up for the camera as he waves to the Upper Deck photographer. It would be difficult not to chuckle a bit after pulling this card from a pack. This is easily one of the dorkiest looking cards ever created, but at least it isn’t boring.
Sparks was knuckleballer who managed to last almost 10 years in the majors. The journeyman pitcher had an uninspiring 4.88 career ERA with a win-loss record of 59-76. He played for several teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, before ending his career as an Arizona Diamondback in 2004.
This common card can be purchased for a whopping 18 cents in 2017.
11 1986 Donruss Bobby Grich
It’s safe to say that whoever was in charge of creating the 1986 Donruss set wasn’t a fan of the California Angels. Based on this photo, one might assume that Bobby Grich recently finished a meal that was in the shape of California. This card manages to be slightly gross and highly entertaining all at the same time.
Bobby Grich was an excellent second baseman during his 16 seasons in the majors. He was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and led the American League in home runs back in 1981. He is a member of both the Baltimore Orioles and California Angels Hall of Fame. These days he is a member of the Angels front office.
Finding a 1986 Donruss Bobby Grich for under a quarter shouldn’t be too difficult.
10 1995 Stadium Club Rex Hudler
Rex Hudler looks as though he is desperately trying to escape the dugout in this hilarious 1995 Stadium Club card. The former 1st round draft pick makes one of the goofiest faces ever seen on a baseball card while holding onto this post for dear life.
Hudler had a somewhat forgettable playing career, though he managed to hang around in the majors for 14 seasons. However, he did earn some cool nicknames like “Wonderdog” (the dog from the Super Friends cartoon show) and “Bug Eater.” These days Hudler can be found in the broadcast booth where he uses his signature catch phrases like “Waiter! Check Please!” and “Believe it.”
Collectors hoping to get a copy of this interesting card can expect to between 18-20 cents.
9 1963 Topps Wally Moon
A 1963 Topps Wally Moon is sure to stand out in anyone's collection. Granted this was the early-1960s, but razors had already been invented, meaning there was little reason for Mr. Moon’s prominent unibrow.
Unibrow aside, Moon actually had a very respectable run as a pro. He was a three-time All-Star who had a career batting average of .289. Moreover, the left fielder won three World Series with the Dodgers between 1959-1965. He was also named National League Rookie of the Year back in 1954 and captured a Gold Glove Award six years later in 1960.
For those fans that are looking to add a '63 Topps Wally Moon to their collection, one can expect to pay between $1.94 to $4.83 for this gem, depending on the condition, of course.
8 1993 Stadium Club Oscar Azocar
Players tend to have their own preferences when it comes to equipment, most notably baseball bats. However, based on this 1993 Stadium Club card, it would appear that Oscar Azocar may have quite literally fallen in love with his bat. Anyone who pulled this card from a 1993 Stadium Club pack had to appreciate Azocar’s love for his lumber.
The Venezuelan played for both the Yankees and Padres during his brief career in the majors, which lasted from July 1990 until the end of the 1992 season. During that span, the journeyman batted .226 and stole 10 bases. Sadly, Azocar died from a heart attack back in 2010 at just 45 years of age.
Those who simply can’t live without a '93 Stadium Club Azocar, can expect to shell out around 25 cents for a mint copy.
7 1992 Score Jeff Reed
One has to believe that Score had a more flattering photo of Jeff Reed available to use for this card. The catcher looks like he was shot in the stomach in this particular image. Fortunately, Jeff Reed is alive and well today, so it would appear that no baseball players were harmed in the making of this '92 Score card.
Reed was a solid defensive catcher who rarely appeared in more than 100 games a season. The backup played 17 seasons in the major for six different teams. He was also a member of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds world championship team, for which he is arguably best remembered.
For folks that consider the 1992 Score Jeff Reed card a must have, expect to pay less than 15 cents to own one.
6 1990 Upper Deck Randy McCament
Randy McCament almost looks like he’s posing for a modeling shoot on the back of his 1990 Upper Deck card. The Giants pitcher looks ready to unleash a pickup line that no woman in her right mind could resist in the 657th card in the series.
McCament only had a cup of coffee with the majors. He pitched for Giants sparingly from 1989-1990. During that period, he recorded 17 strikeouts and had a 3.80 earned run average. Following his demotion in 1990, he pitched for a couple more years in the minors before calling it quits in 1992.
There were a lot of baseball cards printed in the 1990s, and the '90 Upper Deck set was no exception. If you need Randy McCament to complete this set, expect to pay around 18 cents.
5 1996 Pinnacle Bob Hamelin
If there is one thing we know for sure from this 1996 Pinnacle baseball card, it’s that this is Bob Hamelin. It’s on the card itself, it’s on the white paper Hamelin is holding, and it’s even on his hat (his last name anyway). Apparently, the Royals first baseman wanted to make sure to avoid any potential case of mistaken identity.
Hamelin began his career in style, winning the American League Rookie of the Year back in 1994, a year that ended abruptly due to the famous baseball strike. That year, Hamelin had 24 home runs and batted .282 in limited action. He would never again come close to repeating the success he had in '94 and would be out the league entirely by 1998.
If you paid more than 18 cents for '96 Pinnacle Bob Hamelin, you paid too much.
4 1994 Upper Deck Chuck Finley
Chuck Finley appears to be rocking out, with his backward hat and bat-guitar. The Angels pitcher looks like a character out of the hit film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in his 1994 Upper Deck card. This is without question a baseball card that embodies the spirit of the 1990s. Finley was a player who knew how to have a good time.
Finley had an outstanding career, most of which was spent as a member of the California Angels. He is a five-time All-Star who recorded 2,610 strikeouts over the course of his career. In 2009 Chuck Finley was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame.
Collectors who are hoping to get their hands on this cardboard masterpiece should expect pay around 20 cents, give or take.
3 1984 Fleer Glenn Hubbard
Glenn Hubbard does his best Jake “The Snake” Roberts impersonation in this 1984 Fleer card. The Braves second baseman looks quite comfortable holding a boa constrictor in a card that certainly stands out from the rest of the pack. Speaking of packs, more than a few folks back in '84 likely did a double take when they pulled this card from one. The card is so popular that class A team, the Lexington Legends, had a bobblehead giveaway night that featured Hubbard with a boa constrictor draped over his shoulders.
Hubbard was a serviceable second baseman who played for the Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics. His career batting average stands at .244.
This iconic card can be purchased by collectors for around $1.61 in mint condition and 32 cents in near-mint.
2 1995 Collector's Choice Chuck Carr
It looks like Chuck Carr could be a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace. This 1995 Collector’s Choice card shows the Marlins outfielder having a little fun with Cubs first baseman Mark Grace. Grace appears to have found a clever way to get Carr to step outside the baselines.
Carr was an excellent base stealer but didn’t particularly excel in any other aspect of the game. He is arguably best remembered for being released from Brewers in 1997 in a memorable incident involving manager Phil Garner. Carr found himself in a 2-0 count and was instructed to take the next pitch. Instead, he hit a pop-up to the third baseman and was called out. When he got back to the dugout, he told the manager (Garner), "That ain't Chuckie's game. Chuckie hacks on 2-0.". He was released shortly after.
One can reasonably expect to purchase this card for around 10 cents.
1 1989 Pro Cards Keith Comstock
Based on the photo, it would appear that Keith Comstock needs to work on his fielding a bit. The pitcher appears to be on the receiving end of a brutal groin shot in this 1989 minor league card. Comstock’s facial expression sums the situation up rather nicely. Honestly, it hurts just to look at this card, which emphasizes the importance of wearing adequate protective gear on the field.
The relief pitcher was in and out of the majors for several years between 1984 and 1991. A 1990 Sports Illustrated article claimed that he had, “more cups of coffee than Juan Valdez.” The article also claimed that in 1983 the A’s traded him to the Tigers for $100 and a bag of baseballs.
If for some sick reason folks are interested in owning this card, expect to pay around 18 cents.