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Monday, October 18, 2010

1981 Fleer: Big Steak

My second pack of 1981 Fleer, from the packs I recently picked up in Cooperstown, wasn't that interesting. That is, it wasn't that interesting until I got into Baseball Reference's Bullpen. Then it one of the players featured became very interesting. That's where the title of this post comes from. But I'll get to that later.

First, I'll get into what else I found in this pack of 17 trading cards. The most notible thing on first glance is the relatively large contingent from the Niekro family in the pack. Both Joe and Phil were there, Phil Niekro being the lone Hall of Famer in the pack. Joe Niekro's card leaves off his hands, so one can't judge how well he was taking care of his fingernails back then.

As far as CMC set members, there were to names of members of the CMC set in this pack of cards. One of the names, however, wasn't the actual CMC set member. That was Keith Smith, whose career consisted of 53 games over three seasons, his last 1980. The Keith Smith in the CMC set played for Vancouver in 1990. That Keith Smith's career consisted of just six major league games, his last coming in 1985.

The other card there is Jeff Leonard. I tossed him in because I picked him up in another Cooperstown pack, the 1984 Topps pack I picked up on our last trip to Cooperstown.

As far as actual CMC set members, I had to dig through the two checklists that came in this pack to find one. Right there at the top of the Blue Jays checklist is Bob Bailor, member of the 1980 Blue Jays. Bailor went on to manage the Syracuse Sky Chiefs in 1990, earning him a spot in the CMC set. Maybe his actual card will be in the third 1981 Fleer pack.

That brings me to the title of this post. It's a reference to this guy: Frank Pastore. Thanks to Baseball Reference's Bullpen, he is easily the most interesting player in this pack. He's that interesting because he's eaten a 72 ounce stake in 9.5 minutes. That's under 10.

He did it at the Big Texan restaurant on May 3, 1987, as part of the restaurant's ongoing steak challenge. The challenge was actually featured on the Travel Channel show Man v. Food, on the premiere. I remember watching that show, but I don't recall hearing Pastore's accomplishment mentioned.

Pastore's mark was a record that stood for 21 years, according to the restaurant's Web site. Pastore's actually done the challenge seven times. His first time, in 1976, he only finished 21 minutes. It was probably cold by then.

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