Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And people say the '70s were awkward

What is your least favorite early 1990s trend/moment/personality?

Urkel? Tori Spelling? Rico Suave?

An overabundance of flannel? An overproduction of baseball cards? An overbearing boss? (Oops, sorry, that last one was for night owl only).

There was a lot of awkwardness in the early '90s. But for me, the worst trend, without a doubt, is featuring ballplayers in their street clothes on baseball cards. It didn't help that early '90s fashion sucked with a capital 90210, especially for the guys.

Why card companies wanted to feature players in printed shirts and cardigan sweaters puzzles me to this day. I could display a number of those horrifying cards here, but frankly they're too painful for me to track down and scan. If I'm going to use the 14 minutes of free time I have each day, I want it to be doing something I like.

Instead, I'll just call out the worst offenders of this practice.

Bowman was totally offensive in this area. I cringe over some of its cards to this day. Stadium Club had a number of horrifying examples. I'll never get over the cards of Orel Hershiser and Todd Hollandsworth from this period.

Then there were the 1992 Topps draft pick cards. They are useless in a way that makes me feel like a high school girl who was just dumped by her boyfriend and rips up the senior photo that he gave her, except it's NOT A SENIOR PHOTO, IT'S A BASEBALL CARD!

And that brings me to the disturbing dreaminess at the top of the post.

I have mocked/railed against these Ultra Pro cards previously. Apparently these "cards" came with Ultra Pro pages and were rare, in the way that "limited to 100,000" could be rare in the early '90s.

Rarity means nothing to me if I'm freaked out by the card. And I am freaked out.

I am trying to get into the head of whoever thought up the idea for these cards. The only thing I can think of is they were making some sort of attempt to market sports card pages to teenage girls. It's the only group of people I can think of who would be interested in cards that look like this. And we all know that teenage girls buy pages by the truckload. So either that wasn't the intent or this might be the worst marketing idea ever.

Here is what it says on the card back. You might want to send the young ones out of the room:

"The 25 year old Eric Karros is another shining example of L.A.'s trend towards younger players. Along with his buddy and teammate, Dave Hansen, these guys feel more at home in their regular duds: torn jeans, sneakers and T-shirts. But there's nothing regular about these two players. When the opportunity presents itself, Eric and Dave are ready, willing and able to fill the void."

OK, there are about eight things utterly disturbing about that paragraph, but I can't list them all because I am in the process of throwing up.

Unfortunately, I will be forced to put this atrocity in my binder. Thank God I double-bag my pages so I'll never have to read the back of that card again (and yes, I never plan to re-read this post again).

I received this card with a bunch of other Dodgers from Tim at The Real DFG. He's been kind enough to show the cards that I sent him recently. And in response I have just trashed one of the cards he sent me.

I'm such a nice guy.

But to show you I've got some semblance of a heart, here are a few of the cards that he sent that shows  what was good about the early 1990s:

A 1993 Score card commemorating the ONLY no-hitter of 1992, thrown by a Dodger. Now that's a shining early 1990s moment.

A quartet of 1992 Fleer Ultra Dodgers that I needed. There's nothing bad anyone can say about early '90s Fleer Ultra.

A 1994 Score card of Jose Offerman. Although any card featuring Offerman with a bat/weapon makes me wince these days, I do like blue-bordered cards. And '94 Score was all about the blue border.

A '93 Fleer Dodger I didn't have. I get cocky about '93 Fleer and think I don't need any of them anymore. It turns out I need several (yes, that's a subliminal message to check my want lists).

Here is another one I needed. Pedro and Ramon together. Another positive about the early 1990s.

Finally, a random 1993 Upper Deck card. But it's one of the final nine cards that I needed for the set. Now it's a final eight.

1993 Upper Deck is probably one of the best examples of what was good about the early '90s.

And I'm always pleased to be able to knock off a few wants from the junk wax era, even if it's a couple of dudes in tuxedos waiting to "fill the void."


  1. I actually kind of like the tuxedo cards. There are a lot of them in hockey sets. Most of which were taken at the various award ceremonies at the end of the year.

    That's a good idea for a post...guys in tuxedos...hmmmm?

  2. I'm thinking we'll see some yearbook photos from Upper Deck...

  3. That tuxedo card might be better than the early 90's Bowman cards.


  4. I'm so disturbed....I can't write any thing else.