Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is how we do it
A couple of weeks ago, during my previous vacation, I made a trip to a couple of antique/collectibles shops where my folks live. It's always an hour well-spent, even if sometimes I leave without a thing.
There are plenty of interesting items, but of course, I care only about baseball cards.
The cards this time -- at both places -- were strictly junk wax. I could've had all the rack packs of 1990 Score and 1989 Donruss that I wanted. If I wanted them. There were other non-baseball and non-sports cards from that same period. A set of tennis cards. If they made one of those today, I'd snap it up instantly.
But I couldn't justify spending any money until I saw a box filled with the complete Series 1 of 1995 Score.
I know that's borderline junk, but I had officially checked out of the hobby in 1995 and anything from that year now is interesting to me. I think '95 Score is the last decent Score set until it devolved into cheapy kiddy stuff that bores me thoroughly.
And 3 bucks for 330 cards cannot be beat, especially when I needed some Dodgers in the set.
Aside from ditching my childhood hobby, 1995 was an odd time for me. I made my first trip to Florida. I spent the the fall covering a quarterback named Donovan McNabb. The Dodgers sucked in their return to the postseason. I lived above an idiot corrections officer who would alternate screaming at his girlfriend with getting amorous with his girlfriend. And, yes, we could hear it all.
So, come join me during a time when you could hear Gangsta's Paradise through any car window, except for where I lived. We heard Any Man of Mine instead. Sometimes I wonder if I really live in the Northeast.
Anyway this is what I missed out on collecting in 1995, Score-style:
This is how we do it: Remember when all we knew about these guys is that they could pulverize the ball into powder? We knew the "what" but not the "how." And we're still trying to figure out the "why."
You gotta be: I feel funny putting the Bonds and Gonzalez cards together. But the first thing I think of with both is "look how skinny they are!" I'm pretty sure I know how Bonds filled out. Gonzalez leaves me scratching my head. But there were a lot of players then who felt that they "gotta be."
Runaround: This set has a lot of interesting photos. Upper Deck's early 1990s influence is all over sets like this. Companies discarded the stereotypical baseball poses and action shots and sought out more interesting photos. To a degree, that's still in effect today.
Fantasy: In 1995, I was continuing under the assumption that I could succeed in fantasy baseball. Each of the four cards above are of players who were key parts of my fantasy teams. I had no idea what I was doing. None.
Boombastic: The mullet. What the hell were people thinking?
Ants marching: I think the 1990s set a record for cards that showed players signing for fans. I think it was in response to the 1994 strike. This kind of photo is everywhere. If you remove your cynical side, it's a good thing.
Take a bow: As card companies know by now, incorporating horizontal shots in your set is a good idea. Score lumped their horizontal cards together, which is a little odd. But there are some great shots in there, the Rijo and Carr ones especially. And getting Randy Johnson on a horizontal card is not easy.
I'll be there for you: Awww. Isn't that cute? I hope Beck didn't fall on him. And, yes, I watched Friends in 1995. You did, too. Don't try to act cool.
You oughta know: This is the reason that you should ALWAYS appear in your uniform while on a baseball field. This is just unfortunate.
Creep: Strawberry seems embarrassed to be in his Giants uniform. That's OK, Darryl. We understand.
When I come around: Another guy who I couldn't wait to be good. Little did I know that the Dodgers would land him one day. I was absolutely thrilled the day the Dodgers traded for him.
Hook: I lumped all these unrelated cards together with a song that has no connection to them, only because I want to show the cards (they're cool), and link the song (the coolest song of 1995).
I don't plan to try to complete this set. I'm sure most will go out in trades (if anyone wants them), until I'm left with the usual: Pirates, A's and Giants.
Hope you enjoyed the trip through 1995 and a decent little set by Score. Neither were as bad as I thought they were.
And I got through the whole post without mentioning Boyz II Men or Hootie and the Blowfish.