Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Purple haze

Grimace would like to remind you that there is only one day left to vote for which set blog you would like me to start come the first of the year.

It's a dead-heat between 1971 Topps and 1985 Topps right now. I have vowed to create the blog that receives the most votes in the poll on the right. No number of bribes, threats, groupies, medicinal beverages, orange-pineapple ice cream, or even baseball cards will get me to waver from what the poll determines. I'm a newspaper guy. We like our objectivity. So find whatever ballot stuffers that are available and get to stuffing.

By the way, I just realized Grimace was invented in 1971. That was totally unintentional. I really have no preference. But if you screw up and end this in a tie, then I'll become as biased as a mother watching her kid sit on the bench. You don't want that.

But back to the purple blob.

Not to get all early Seinfeld on you, but what's the deal with Grimace? Has there ever been a less creative character presented before the public in history? How many seconds did it take to create this being? Unnamed artist scrawls a purple gumdrop with arms, legs and a happy face. Done.

The reason I thought of Grimace -- one of the lovable characters of my youth (I was too young for the initial "Evil Grimace") -- is because of these cards:

These were sent to me from Josh at Royals and Randoms. I get very confused by the different kinds of early '90s Classic cards, but I saw all that purple and I KNEW I didn't have those yet. It really stands OUT.

Hmmm. A slight resemblance. Too bad a Tommy Lasorda Classic card doesn't exist. That'd be a dead-on match. If I had the time, I would create a '91 Classic Grimace card and put everyone on purple overload.

There really aren't a ton of purple baseball cards. Lots of purple refractors and parallels, but not many sets that use purple as a theme. It's popped up as an available color in Topps sets like 1966 and 1975 and 1988 Score, but mostly it's an "oh wow" option to dazzle the collector occasionally.

It parallels the sports world. Except for the Vikings and the Lakers, there aren't a lot of professional teams that stay with purple for a long time. The Rockies are still trying to stick with purple, which makes them so gosh darn pathetic. The Diamondbacks scrapped the color and I like the current scheme better, even though I've been on record on how weird it is that they changed colors so quickly.

I really don't have any problem with the color. It's scared me just a couple of times. My fifth grade picture is of me wearing a purple shirt and purple plaid pants (god love my mother). Then there were the Barney the Dinosaur years when my daughter was a tiny tyke.

But that's pretty much where purple belongs -- it can exist in playlands, princess wallpaper, on ponies, and in decades when people can't figure out how to dress.

So, with that in mind, here are some NON-PURPLE cards that Josh sent:

Blue. See, that is a proper color for a card and for a sports team. The perfect color, I might add.

Black. The bad-ass color (or lack of color). It's been used a few too many times, but it still works.

Red. This color could be used on a few more card sets. It really stands out.

Speaking of which:

I know this might be sacrilege for some Red Sox fans, but I really would like to see the red helmets and uniforms return. This is what they wore when I first became aware of the Red Sox. It still makes the most sense to me.

A few cards from some sets that let the photos provide the color for them. They're OK, I guess. Not quite as memorable.

I guess purple cards aren't all that bad after all.

But keep the color away from the sports teams.

I'll send Grimace after you.

And he won't be carrying no shakes.


  1. Why so much hate on purple? Lol. Historically, purple is the color of kings and also my favorite otter pop.
    And even though I don't think they're uniform is actually purple, I think the late 70's Topps cards have forever mentally associated purple with the Brewers.

  2. I have always detested grape pop. It makes me barf. That's probably a factor.

  3. I love me a good Welch's grape pop. I used to get that at the swimming pool when I was 5.

    For more reminiscing about my youth, see my post about your half of the trade:

    -Josh :-)