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Just Because: Mickey Hatcher's giant glove baseball card

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Those of us who grew up in the eighties loving baseball and collecting baseball cards remember this beauty as possibly the most absurd card of all-time:

That would be the 1986 Fleer card of career goofball Mickey Hatcher. For some background -- and a funny story -- here's The Hardball Times:

Here's the story on how the giant glove made its way onto the Fleer card. An unremembered company brought the glove to the Twins' spring training site in Orlando. “I picked it up and the card guy just happened to shoot it when I was out there playing for fun,” Hatcher told ESPN.com. “I said, ‘Get a picture of me with this glove because I need all the help I can get.'”

According to one Internet source, Hatcher eventually became the owner of the giant glove. He carted it around, giving himself an ever-ready prop to be used before and after games. I can only imagine the pre-game spectacle of Hatcher shagging fly balls while wearing the gigantic glove, a feat that would have made Luis Polonia proud. (For those who might not remember, Polonia used to wear a glove that was about the size of a lawn rake, and was almost certainly larger than the legal limit.)

According to legend, Hatcher once made two errors in a game and then, in honor of his defensive malaprops, bounced out of the dugout wearing the glove, proudly displaying it to the fans. Hatcher's manager might not have appreciated the self-deprecating gesture, but the fans in the ballpark surely did.

As for the legality of the glove, it is, um, not legal. Per MLB rule 1.14, gloves other than for the first baseman and catcher may not exceed 12 inches from the heel to the tip of any one of the fingers and may not be more than 7 3/4 inches wide. I don't think we need more than to eyeball that thing to determine it's well beyond those measurements.

Hat-tip: Reddit baseball

 
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