The National Baseball Hall of Fame is expected to announce the 2011 induction class in the next hour or so. I think it's fairly obvious that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be inducted this summer.
Instead of raging over who did not get chosen and projecting all of my issues with authority figures onto the folks who select the Hall of Famers, or fuming over people who rage at voters like I did last year, I'm going to avoid all of that. It's starting to get cliche.
Instead, this a simple happy post about my favorite cards.
I present to you my three favorite Alomar cards and my three favorite Blyleven cards among the ones that I have in my collection.
First, the Blyleven cards, because I like him better:
No. 3, 1979 Topps: The background looks almost antiseptic, but Blyleven balances that out with a tremendous tribute to 1970s fashion. Square cap, fat golden pinstripes. You could not play for the 1970s Pirates with anything less.
2. 1971 Topps: Shockingly, I have every Topps Blyleven card except for the 1990 card. 1990! How did that slip through?! I thought about skipping his rookie card here because everyone will select this one when he's announced, but it's a great card. Look at his signature. It looks like it was signed by an 80-year-old man!
1. 1975 Topps: My brain can't process everything that is great about this card. This is the baseball card version of "whistling in the graveyard." Blyleven should be voted into the Hall simply based on this card.
Here are my favorite Alomar cards:
3. 2000 Topps: Unlike Blyleven, I don't have a lot of Alomar cards because his career spanned a good chunk of time when I wasn't collecting. At any rate, I equate Alomar more than anything with the head-first slide. The first thing many people think of when they hear Alomar's name is the spitting incident. I think of the head-first slide. Alomar was a stubborn, stubborn proponent of the head-first slide. I think he would fight you to the death over his right to slide head-first.
By the way, Alomar and Blyleven both played for the Indians. So Cleveland fans should be quite pleased.
2. 1991 Topps Traded: This is one of the first cards of Alomar as a Blue Jay. I think of Alomar as a Blue Jay and I'm assuming he'll go into the Hall as a Blue Jay. I love the Orioles wearing blaze orange in the background.
1. 1993 Upper Deck: Ah, another head-first shot. But here you see the greatness of '93 Upper Deck. Is Alomar safe or out? I don't know. But don't you dare tell him he would have been safe if he slid feet first.
Anybody who wears that in the batting cage is not playing around.
Congrats to the new Hall of Famers. Looking forward to your speeches in July.
Hell, I'm just looking forward to July.
(Edit: They're in!)