Billy Jo Robidoux Would Have Boxed You

It was a different time, you understand — 1987, or ’88. A time when men like Billy Jo Robidoux and Mark Funderburk were the flying buttresses in the architecture of baseball — beautiful appendages that distract from the innermost works of the structure. Or something.

It was also a time when baseball cards like this were possible:


They gaze on, each to no great end.

The random pairing of players, the dissimilar orientation of the photos, the misspelling of Billy Jo‘s name, the prospect emblem in Johnny Rocket’s font — all of these were only possible in the 1980s, when anything went up one’s nose.

These men’s names are also things of the past, though arguably of different pasts. The name Mark Funderburk, like the man it’s attached to here, seems at home in the ’80s; it suggests excess, awkwardness, crispy hair, strange smells, orifices of all sorts torn asunder. Cheeseburgers were probably in their prime in the 1980s, as they were finally no longer seen solely as a treat, but rather now considered nutritiously American. The above card suggests as much.

Billy Jo Robidoux, both the name and the man, also belongs in the ’80s — the 1880s.


Lamenting the departure of the time machine
that dropped him into these tights.

Notice how his posture posture resembles that of an old-timey bare-knuckle boxer. Notice how his would-be-iconic moustache wilts from exposure to weapons grade plutonium.

This is a man who, in another time, would have boxed you — meaning that he would have engaged you in a boxing match for nothing more than looking askance at his dog’s bollocks, but also meaning that were you to engage him in return, he would have put you in a casket. Bro.

Had he not been so misplaced, he could have been burying opponents on the reg’ and getting his name in periodicals of note. But alas, time travel was not kind to Billy Jo Robidoux, Never-Was Bare-Knuckle Champion of the Five Points.

During time travel, his hat’s font got all jumbled, his face got all weary, dozens of moustachio locks fell from his lip. Forced to play a confusing sport-of-the-future for the rest of his athletic prime, he hit but five homeruns.

There was a time, you understand, when Billy Jo Robidoux would have kicked your ass. But now?

Damn.




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nubillybaroo
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nubillybaroo
4 years 8 months ago

I have a T-206 Piedmont Billy Jo Robidoux for sale – asking $163,000 obo.

Person
Guest
Person
4 years 8 months ago

Combined WAR: -1.7

But that’s not the point is it?

Michael
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

This card is my new white whale.

EMD
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EMD
4 years 8 months ago

I have it, and you can too, for the low low price of $13 plus shipping.

Seriously.

mattc
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mattc
4 years 8 months ago

FUNDERBURK?!?!?!?!

olethros
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olethros
4 years 8 months ago

I’m fairly certain I have that card, Michael.

Jack
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Jack
4 years 8 months ago

Funderburk is an applicable word to replace essentially any other word in a sentence. For example, from the above selection:

During time travel, his hat’s font got all jumbled, his face got all weary, dozens of moustachio locks fell from his Funderburk. Forced to play a confusing sport-of-the-future for the rest of his athletic Funderburk, he hit but five homeruns.

or

Cheeseburgers were probably in their Funderburk in the 1980s, as they were finally no longer seen solely as a treat, but rather now considered nutritiously American. The above card Funderburks as much.

The Rajah
Guest
The Rajah
4 years 8 months ago

Two of the greatest baseball names of all times: Mark Funderburk and Billy Jo Robidoux. How appropriate for their likenesses to grace the same card. This card should be worth millions!

george s. peek
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george s. peek
4 years 8 months ago

Rob,

This piece is great.

– George

reillocity
Guest
reillocity
4 years 8 months ago

It’d be something to see a bareknuckles bout between Billy Jo Robidoux and Randall “Tex” Cobb. Sure, we probably wouldn’t be able to tell the pugilists apart but that’s largely beside the point.

EMD
Guest
EMD
4 years 8 months ago

Sadly, Billy Jo was never in the movie Raising Arizona. Nor Uncommon Valor.

Eddie Rivas
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Eddie Rivas
4 years 8 months ago

I once saw Billy Jo homer for the El Paso Diablos while on a rehab assignment. Back then in El Paso if a player homered after he crossed home he would take his batting helmet off and go around the first row and fans would drop $ in the helmet. After I went down and dropped a dollar in his helmet, I though… Why is this guy down on rehab taking a dollar from me a 13 year old(at the time)? Billy Joe you owe me a dollar plus interest.

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