Skip to main content

Cardboard appreciation: 1989 Topps Steve Avery

(Good news everyone. According to the always useful holidayinsights.com website, today, May 11th, is "Eat What You Want Day." If that isn't a day to appreciate, I don't know what is. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 30th in a series):

I'm tired, and a long work week lies ahead, so I'll keep this short.

When card companies began placing high school and college players in their flagship sets in the late 1980s, I was instantly disgusted. I paid good money for cards of major league players. What did I want with a picture of a high school kid?

Little did I know that this was the beginning of a whole new segment of card collecting, producing a card of a top prospect as early as possible to take advantage of the growing legions of collectors who wanted players' "rookie cards." I had only begun to hear about rookie cards in the early 1980s, and had made sure to hang on to a few key ones, like the '75 George Brett and the '80 Rickey Henderson.

But a high school kid? That didn't interest me in the least.

Still, for some reason, I have always liked this card. Yes, Steve Avery is wearing his John F. Kennedy High School uniform. There is no doubting that. But a smile and a carefree toss of a baseball can melt a cynical heart. It made me forget that I was supposed to dislike this card.

It still makes me forget. To this day, it's about the only card of a high school kid that I can appreciate.

Comments

Ben said…
For obvious reasons, I love that card. I prefer his '89 Bowman card because it at least shows him in a Braves uniform.

But for the most part I agree with you. College pictures I can accept. High school? Maybe, but only if he's a nationally recognized prospect and drafted in the first round, I don't want to see some seventeen year old kid who was drafted as the 357th overall pick though.

I will stop buying cards the day I get a picture of sperm labled as the 2046 Washington Nationals.
steveisjewish said…
This is my favorite card from this set - hands down - an I HATE the Braves
Andy said…
Greg--you mentioned having some junk wax available for trade--I'm actually interested in trading for some. Can I email you about that? I just pulled a 2009 Dodgers jersey card I'd make the centerpiece of the trade.
Dubbs said…
I agree, favorite card from the '89 topps set. Hands down. I have always loved this card, ever since the day I pulled it from a wax pack as a kid.

Popular posts from this blog

Stuck in traffic with Series 2

In the whirlwind that has been my life this month, I found myself going absolutely nowhere for a portion of Thursday afternoon. I was in the middle of yet another road trip, the third one this week. This one was for work, and because it was job-related, it became quickly apparent that it would be a waste of time. The only thing that could save it was a side visit to the nearby Walmart to see if I could spot some Topps Series 2. I found it right away, which was shocking as I was pretty much in the middle of the country, where SUVs share the road with tractors and buggies. Who knew that the Amish wanted Series 2, too? The problem was getting back into civilization to open the contents of the 72-card hanger box I bought. The neighboring village is undergoing a summer construction project smack in the middle of downtown. It's not much of a downtown, but the main road happens to be the main artery in the entire county. Everyone -- and by everyone I mean every tractor trailer ha

Heading upstate

  Back in 1999, Sports Illustrated published an edition at the end of the year rating the top 50 athletes of the century for every state.   As a lifelong Upstate New Yorker, I braced for a list of New York State athletes that consisted almost entirely of downstate natives, that is, folks from the greater NYC area and Long Island.   We Upstaters are used to New York City trampling all over the rest of the state. They have the most people, the loudest voices. It happens all the time. It's a phenomenon unique to this state. Heck, there are still people out there who, when you tell them you're from New York, automatically think you're from NYC. They don't think of cows and chickens when they think of New York. But trust me, there are a lot of cows and chickens in New York State. Especially cows.   So, anyway, when I counted up the baseball players that SI listed as the greatest from New York State, six of the nine were from New York City or Long Island. I was surprised all

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 30-21

  I often call this current period of the television sports calendar the black hole of sports programming. The time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of televised Spring Training baseball games is an empty void when I'm looking for something to watch on traditional television. I don't watch the NBA and I find the NHL on TV holds my interest for maybe a period. College basketball I can't watch until the tournament. This didn't used to be as much of a problem back when I could turn instead to my favorite sitcoms in February. Do you remember when February was "sweeps month"? (Maybe it still is, I don't know). Networks would make sure that every top show aired original episodes that month, no reruns. So you'd always have something to view during the week even when the sports scene was boring. (I know, people have multiple streaming viewing options now. But I find myself going weeks sometimes before I see something I want to view on Netfli