Pete is the proprietor of this shop, and in my estimation he's a man of 65 years or so. He knows the name of everyone who steps foot into his store. He recieves a phone call and can tell you immediately whether or not he's got the card you're looking for...and he has millions of cards. To get folks into the store, he runs a fantasy baseball/football/basketball contest (depending on the season) where you pick a few players for the week and track their stats, the winner recieving a $10 credit on their next purchase. Slow economy being what it is, foot traffic has dwindled for this store and so I'm competing with 2 other people this weekend. Say a prayer for Larry Fitzgerald, Willie Parker, and Kurt Warner. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.
He's a man with an Ivy League degree from Dartmouth, who worked for a number of years recruiting for the University in my old stomping grounds of the midwest, so we chat a while about Wisconsin and how cold it is there, how big the high school football kids are, and how I'm the only Brewers fan he knows. This is great, because nearly every card I go into his shop to find, I'm able to locate with little effort.
On to the cards...
2007 Topps Distinguished Service #DS23 Stan Musial
I'm a little bit of a dork when it comes to the military - both of my parents were in the military when I was young, and I've been serving this great nation of ours for the past six years. These cards are cool because they add to the baseball purest hatred of modern day card companies and the products they produce. As they did in '08 w/ the presidential candidate cards, Topps has a way with creating cards that people still want to collect. At least this one is loosely related to baseball, ya? This next one, however, nothing at all to do with baseball...
#DS28 George Bush
Actually, I take that back. His son (CURRENT president Bush) was a partner in the ownership of the Texas Rangers for a while...he also threw out a few first pitches, so I guess this one counts too. This next card, however, has absolutely NOTHING to do with baseball.
2006 Allen & Ginter #336 Pope Leo XIII
Although baseball had been around in United States in professional form for almost 20 years when Pope Leo XIII was elected to the Papal office in 1878, we have little reason to believe he had anthing to do with baseball. I just like the card.
Aside from the numerous Ryan Braun cards that I snatched up on this current trip, I also found two more Robin Yount cards to add to my Yount binder...
2008 Upper Deck Masterpeices #46 Robin Yount
I didn't know that UD gave Robin a card in the series last year. I was digging for the Ryan Braun and mouth went agape with awe when I saw it. Hmm...great painting? I find it very hard to critique the art of others, as I myself have very little artistic ability. But this looks absolutely nothing like him. To me, the player should be wearing a Cleveland Indians jersey and go by the name Jake Taylor. I wonder if Yount has seen this one yet. I assume there was no approval process when UD came out with this card. Here's how it may have gone, though...
UD: So, Mr. Yount, what do you think?
UD: What do you mean?
RY: This looks nothing like me. This looks like Tom Berenger.
UD: Tom who?
RY: You know, the guy from that baseball movie, played cather. The Indians?
UD: Don't think I know that one.
RY: Come on, they even had Bob Uecker in it as the announcer, Cleveland Municipal Stadium was actually shot at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Hell, that movie had more to do with the Brewers than it did the Indians.
UD: You know, now that you mention it I think I have seen that one. Is that the one with Bernie Mac in it as well?
RY: No, that's Mr. 3000. This one had Wesley Snipes, and that guy from the All State commercial.
UD: Yogi Berra?
RY: No, that's Aflac. I'm talking about Dennis Haysbert.
UD: I thought he did the US Navy commercial voiceover work.
RY: No, that's Godsmack, the band.
UD: Not the music, the....
As you can imagine, the rest of the conversation stayed somewhat along these lines, neither side acoomplishing much. At the end of this one hour meeting, both sides were so tired that neither thought it important to look at the back of the card. As Thorzul went into depth discussing on his blog once, Robin Yount never did, in fact, win the AL Rookie of the Year award.
I decided to call the fine folks at Upper Deck this morning to find out who did this painting for the card. I spoke with Crystal in their sports card division, and she's going to have the project manager for the 2008 Masterpieces give me a call later today with the artist's name. I'll keep you posted.
1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack #202 Yount/Winfield HES
Besides the really tan mutant arm coming from Yount's side and shoulder, this card seems pretty standard, really. At first glance, I didn't really see that it was a double card, not only with regard to its subject, but it's thicker than normal. See, it's not actually a mutant arm, it's Yount ON TOP of Dave Winfield. Pretty tricky, folks. The card unfolds and becomes kind of a book card. Neato.
Still waiting on that phone call from Upper Deck...