Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cardboard appreciation: 1990 Donruss Bart Giamatti

(It's about time I got back into the Cardboard Appreciation rhythm of things. Did you know I haven't done one of these things in three weeks? Did you know that these things are habitually the most read features that I do? What's wrong with me? It's high time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 95th in a series):

There seems to be a bias against non-ballplayers in baseball card sets. Maybe it goes back to childhood when you reacted with disgust when you pulled a manager card. But I still know people who collect that way. They'll take all the player cards, and discard the rest.

I always liked a good manager card. And I don't mind the occasional card of someone who might not wear a uniform, but is connected to baseball. This card of A. Bartlett Giamatti, issued after his untimely death in September of 1989, was kind of a special-case situation, but it illustrated what I'd like to see.

Instead of throwing cards of microwave ovens and circus animals into sets, and instead of issuing 10 different cards of Albert Pujols in a single set, why not create a subset, or an insert set consisting of baseball personalities?

Think of it. You could have a card of Bud Selig to pulverize. You could have a card of Frank and Jamie McCourt. Or, um, at least separate cards of Frank and Jamie McCourt. You could have a card of Theo Epstein and Vin Scully and whoever that female public address announcer is at Giants games who annoys the crap out of people.

I know the old Fan Favorites cards threw in some announcers, and Opening Day features mascots. But why not a whole subset of the mildly famous figures surrounding baseball? I would even allow baseball scouts in the set (hee-hee). You could throw in everyone from the general manager to the ballgirl, as long as they were well-known in their city. You could even add (*gulp*) a few sportswriters.

I don't need my sets to contain players from front to back. Sure, if you're going to issue a relic or an autograph, I'll take the player always, thank you very much. But I'm all for a set or subset that recognizes the people who love the sport so much that their job description includes the word "baseball." And nobody loved it more than Mr. Giamatti.


  1. I don't mind non-baseball players in sets that are geared that way like Ginter. I don't even mind manager cards...they are an integral part of the game after all. Do I want to see those guys in a 200 card see...maybe not, but then again, I'd rather not see any sets that small. What I'd really like to see is a Topps Total product that is just that...all the players, managers, coaches...even the GMs. I think a subset like the one you mention would be cool in a Flagship product. Maybe we could go just one year witout rehashing photos of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and do something like that. Maybe one per team or something like that.

  2. Like that. I just didn't say it enough in the previouse comment so I wanted to end it. Like that.

    *sigh*...it's late.

  3. Her voice screaming "RICH AURILIA" gives me nightmares.

  4. I really like the idea. Another great thought from the smartest baseball card blogger around.