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Cardboard appreciation: the championship

We have reached the end. The pairing is set for the Cardboard Appreciation Vote-Off Finale.

You can feel the excitement in the air. The tension. The anticipation. The heart palpitations. The numbness down the left side of your body. The crushing feeling in your ... Oh, wait, that's a heart attack. Wrong kind of excitement.

In a rousing all-1975 semifinal, Oscar Gamble held off Herb Washington and Boog Powell to claim the spot in the finals. It was interesting to see the voting. Powell jumped out to an early lead, then faded. Washington was steady throughout, made a brief run, but just couldn't catch Gamble, who led the whole way after eclipsing Powell.

Here is the vote tally:

1. Oscar Gamble, 1975 Topps: 21 votes
2. Herb Washington, 1975 Topps: 15 votes
3. Boog Powell, 1975 Topps: 11 votes

That was a close one.

Will the final be as close as the last semifinal? I'm not sure. As you may recall, this is the other finalist:

I'm not betting against the 1991 Carlton Fisk card.

Just to give you a little more to look at before you make your all-important vote, here are the pros and cons of each card:

1975 Topps Oscar Gamble


1. It's from the 1975 set, the best set of all-time
2. The glorious Afro doubling as a set of Mickey Mouse ears
3. The old-style Cleveland "C" on his cap
4. The fact that his mustache is so awesome, but you barely notice it because of the hair.
5. His name. How can I forget his name? Oscar. Gamble. That's a great one.


1. There might be a better Oscar Gamble card, which is also a potential future Cardboard Appreciation subject
2. Some people think the '75 set is too loud. I don't associate with such people, but they're out there.
3. The card might be a bit, shall-we-say, dated for some younger collectors. To some, 1997 is old-school. So it may be tough to relate to this card.
4. Gamble played for the Yankees. You can't underestimate this reason. You know what I say: If you see an opportunity to vote against the Yankees, take it.
5. Gamble willingly wore that mid-1970s White Sox uniform. Fortunately, he arrived in Chicago a year after the team scrapped those horrible shorts.

1991 Topps Carlton Fisk


1. Action! In one of the most actioniest action sets that Topps ever produced, this card could be the most actioniest of all.
2. Big Daddy's large behind. Could this be the real source of all of Prince's rage against his father? This card brings up an important psychological point.
3. The yellow police-tape railings of old Comiskey Park. Those, and the Tiger flagging down Fielder make the whole card for me.
4. It's a horizontal card. Have I mentioned that I want to see an entire set of horizontal cards sometime soon? I have? Have I mentioned it this week?
5. Carlton Fisk once slugged Lou Piniella.


1. The design of the '91 cards is fairly dull. I know that was my reaction to it when the '91 cards first came out. It certainly can't compare to the '75 set.
2. Fisk is almost a secondary player in the photo. I don't like it when it's difficult to figure out who the main guy is.
3. Big Daddy's large behind. Yes, it is a pro and a con. Different strokes for different folks.
4. It's not vintage enough: 1991 was not even 20 years ago. "Old" is impressive in the card world. 1991 t'aint old.
5. Fisk leaving Boston was a sad moment for me. In a way, I'm still not over it.

Perhaps that made your decision even more difficult. Sorry. That wasn't the intent.

The poll has made its way to the sidebar. Amble on over there and cast a ballot. Around this time next week, we will have a Cardboard Appreciation Champeen. As for that other championship going on this week: Give me a couple days and I will have forgotten who college football's national champion is.


Matt Runyon said…
Although the Fisk card is great I gotta go with the '75. :)
Anonymous said…
OSCAR GAMBLE!!!!!!!!!!
Jim said…
Oscar Gamble by a hair. Pun intended.
Doc said…
Although not the primary subject, Fielder is sporting a can of dip in the right rear pocket. Good luck ever finding a tobacco product in a Topps card nowadays.

Fielder, I mean Fisk, by a pinch between the cheeks. Ah double entendres!
Nachos Grande said…
My vote put Fisk ahead by one. We'll see how long that lasts!
Fisk up two. Just an awesome card.
Matt Runyon said…
I think Fisk did TV ads for Copenhagen back in the 70s.
steelehere said…
Gotta go with the 1991 Topps Carlton Fisk mainly because 1975 Topps isn't Oscar's best card (1976 Topps Traded is).

Oscar's 1975 Topps card is kind of like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed". It won him a best director academy award (arguably a lifetime achievement award) but in actuality most people feel his best films are Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas (i.e. Oscar's 1976 Topps Traded).
Anonymous said…
It's gotta be Oscar Gamble! Fisk isn't even the focal point of his own card.
capewood said…
I like the action and I like the 1991 Topps set. I started collecting in 1985, and 1991 was my favorite Topps set up to that time.
Jeremy said…
I love both card, but I'm going with the Fisk card because of the action. It still might have been a better card cropped a little closer to put more focus on him instead of the other two players. It's hard to pick.
jacobmrley said…
I know it is too late to be nominating any cards...and I always prefered the 1976 Topps Traded Gamble to the 1975, though that is a close close second, my favorite card of all time (that I actually own, which I believe is part of the process) is the 1952 Topps Gus Zernial.

30 years after I learned of its existence and 12 years after I finally acquired one, it is still a marvel to behold.
night owl said…
I know the card, JM, although I don't own it.

I will be doing another round of Cardboard Appreciations after this vote-off thing is done. Who knows, maybe I'll acquire that Zernial card, because it deserves its own CA post.

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