Leading us off on Hideous Ballplayer week: Dale Sveum

So we admit, the above picture was stolen from Gem Mint Ten, as was the factoid that was on the back of the card that we’re about to share with you. The following ‘Topps Fact’ (remember those as a kid?) comes to you exactly as it was printed on the back of this card.

Topps Fact: Dale was an All-Northern California High School Choice in ’82.

It’s true. This guy was one of the best high school ballplayers in the hotbed that is California in the year I was born. And we digress, California must have been ‘low on numbers that year’.

This guy, in short; is white dog shit. He is Dale Sveum.

As you might have deducted from that mustache, the 80’s were good to Dale Sveum. As a 23 year old, he hit 25 home runs and drove in 95 in his first full year in the big leagues. It was as if God had armed him with a thunder bolt instead of a bat. Except he hit only .252 for the season. I’m sure that most people still thought they had the next fucking Teddy Ballgame on their hands. That’s what they did back in the 80’s in cities like Milwaukee. Hey Brewers fans, how did Dale Sveum work out for you?

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. My first memory of Sveum actually comes from an 80’s baseball card as well. Remember how the old Donruss and Topps cards would list Name, Position on the front of the card? Well, Dale’s position was ‘Pinch Hitter’. I shit you not. If anyone out there can scan the card that I’m talking about and send it our way we will reward you handsomely. But I swear, his position was pinch hitter.

The only problem I spot with that is by that time (early 90’s), Sveum was well on his way to becoming a player that rolls out of bed and hits .197 (he did so twice), .177, .155, .185, .211, .242, and he even hulked up and hit .353 one year in 12 games.

Either the pinch hitter role has evolved, or this guy hung around the big leagues for 12 seasons disguised as a guy that knew how to hit. Maybe he had pictures of Gene Lamount in drag. That’s the only way he sneaks into 131 plate appearances with a team like the 1992 White Sox.

Why in the sweet fuck would you have a guy who was a perennial .180 hitter as your first gun on the bench? It’s pronounced “Swaim” by the way.

They had one thing right, he hit 9th primarily in the Brewers batting order in 1987 (90 times).

He was also the cousin of John Olerud. He played with the likes of Orlando Hernandez (El Duque), Todd Van Poppel, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas, Derek Jeter, and Bill Haselman.

Help celebrate Hideous Baseball Week at Diamond Hoggers, submit to us a hideous ballplayer or baseball story of your liking to our Twitter or at Diamondhoggers_at_gmail_dot_com. We’ll do some research just to verify that the player is indeed hideous; and we’ll run the post telling you why said player or situation was hideous.