Once again I dive into the full 9-card pages sent to me from my wife's grandmother - and I once again wonder at the wide variety of cards in this lot. They are 98% baseball, with a couple football, baseketball, or hockey cards here or there. They are also divided up into teams for the most part (i.e. page of Brewers followed by a page of Mariners).
I also think about whose cards these once were. What young lad put the time into collecting these, organizing them so, and holding onto them. He was clearly a fan of Nolan Ryan, as well as a fan of foil parallels and random "oddball" cards - much like the Robin Yount ones that make up nearly half on my Yount binder (i.e. '92 Tombstone Pizza). Anyways, let's dig in. And once again, thank you Grandma.
1992 O-Pee-Chee #621 Dan Gakeler - Of all the years of card collecting, and for having grown up so close to Canada, I didn't see an OPC card until last year. This '92 version of the Gakeler card stood out right away because of its Topps-ness. It now joins my 1979 OPC Paul Molitor as my only OPC cards.
1987 Fleer #528 Ted Simmons - This is right after he was traded from the Brewers to Atlanta. Simba had quite a scowel last year in the dugout for the Brewers as Ned Yost's bench coach. You could tell the guy was all business, and during every single game last year Brewers TV broadcaster Bill Schroeder (also former Brewers player) would comment on how "old Simba" was all business, nothing could make him smile. I'll bet those hideous jerseys in ATL made him smile. Fleer tells us on the back of the card that he is a "Dead Pull Hitter". Good to know.
1993 UD Grand Slam #25 Cecil Fielder - Before he was squandering all of his son's signing bonus, Cecil was busy hitting grand slams. Up to the '93 season, he had hit a total of 5 grand slams. Who does that? I've had a few grand slams myself, but mine came with a coffee at Denny's. Including this year on my birthday, when Denny's did the free grand slam breakfast for everyone in America. Remember that Super Bowl commercial? Well, the Mrs. thought it'd be a great idea to wait in line for couple hours for a free meal. Ended up being lunch, but hell it was free.
1992 Donruss #614 Danny Cox - The only reason this card is here is beacause of the huge marmot he's wearing on his face. Danny Bradford Cox went to Troy St. And he likes a good mustache.
1994 Topps Finest #224 Fred McGriff - Really cool card, I don't feel that the scan does it justice. It's got brilliant colors, an action photo, three coats of glossy enamel, and a really cheesy mugshot on the back.
1991 Pacific Ryan Inserts #210 - I must have 25 of these Nolan Ryan cards. I didn't have any when I was a kid, but now I have plenty. I scanned this one because it's so straight-forward. "Nolan's Fast Ball Is Just a Blur". On the back, they have a wee testimonial from a one Dale Murphy. "Nolan's the only pitcher you start thinking about two days before the game you face him. He's the bionic man - he's throwing the way he was when I first saw him". Well, his stats certainly do attest to this. In 1991, his 25th season in Major League Baseball, he threw a No-Hitter. Truly one of a kind, this guy.
1993 Score Select #304 Jim Thome - I threw this one in because I know a couple readers (Motherscratcher and Dan) love the Tribe and some Jim Thome action. On the back, a pro scout describes him as having "...what looks like extraordinary instincts". What LOOKS like? How could you not be sure about a player's instincts. It's not like speed, which is truly subjective. Or power, another stat that is subjective. Or how about on base percentage, that is truly subjective, is it not? I guess it's the best testimonial they could come up with for a player nobody knew about. Hell, they also say he was "penciled in as the Indians' regular third baseman before the '92 season. This was before he became "Jim Thome" and no longer fit into a size 32 pant. I love Thome, and truly believe he is one of the true children of the game - no PED's included. I sure hope not.
1991 Post #21 Barry Bonds - Speaking of PEDs, here we have Barry "gonna get off the hook for perjury" Bonds. I'm glad this card is in the condition you see it in. Had it not arrived in this condition, I'd have had some fun with it. These oddball cards really threw me off as a child. I had no concept of trademarks or copyrights, or owning the rights to logos and team names, etc. I had seen the Yount ones and always wondered why they took a picture of him with a blank, blue hat.
1993 Topps #200 Kirby Puckett - I think it's pretty obvious why I included this card of all the ones that were sent to me. Look at those cool socks! They have the Twins logo on it. And not the cool "TC" one, it's the 90's "M" logo that sucked. Also, he's clearly at some ballpark down in Florida during the spring. He looks so happy to have those spiffy socks on, doesn't he? This set is cool because the info on the back doesn't use words like "a" or "the". It's fun to read them with a middle-eastern accent. "Kirby Puckett belted Grand Slam in 15-6 win against Tigers". Ah, thanks Topps. Foreshadowing of their current shitiness.
HOLY CRAP! There's a giant bat in this picture!
My favorite card of 2017
12 hours ago