Thursday, July 29, 2010
Letting bygones be bygones
I am not sure what to do with this card.
This card commemorates the disgusting moment in which Eric Gagne, at the height of his invincibility in 2003, gave up a game-winning home run in the eighth inning to Hank Blalock that led to the American League's 7-6 victory.
I was at work during this game. I was totally enraged and appalled at the same time. And then I had to write a happy little "A.L. wins weeeeeee!!!!" headline, even though my brain kept screaming: "Hank Who? Hank WHO? HANK WHO??????"
Not good times.
From that point, I decided I would not work when the All-Star Game was scheduled. It took a couple of years for that plan to come together, but for the last four or five years, I have been on vacation during the All-Star Game, and that works so much better.
But back to the card.
My Dodger binders are happy little places. They are filled with warm memories and awesome athletes. Even though players like Delino DeShields and Anduw Jones make appearances in the Dodger binder, I treat them as one because they all wore Dodger blue.
Still, I don't know if I can get around putting this card in my Dodger binder. It is a card that goes out of its way to recognize a Dodger FAIL. I don't like that.
There are other cards of regrettable Dodger moments in my binder: memories of the 1952 World Series, the 1975 Topps '74 World Series retrospective, etc. I am OK with those cards because at least the Dodgers were in the Series and there was some good mixed in with the terrible, terrible, evil badness.
But this card features a lone player stupidly trying to overpower a batter with his fastball because he apparently thinks he's still facing the 2003 San Diego Padres lineup. In fact, I even said at the TV screen that fateful night: "Eric, he's an All-Star. You can't try to blow the ball passs .... oh, no."
That's all I think of when I see this card.
I'll probably end up putting it in the binder anyway. I never thought I'd have to activate my defense mechanisms while looking through my Dodgers, but I guess Upper Deck's got to be that way. Always stirring up stuff that should remain hidden, buried and surrounded by boobytraps. UD just can't let bygones be bygones.
Anyway, this card was sent to me by madding at Cards on Cards. I saw it on his blog and I knew I was going to be blessed with it. Lucky me.
Fortunately, madding sent some friendlier Dodger cards as well. Time to take a lookie:
A 1985 Donruss need, featuring Bill Russell. Two things about this card:
1. Russell is featured in almost the same manner on Donruss cards for 1983, 1984 and 1985. Not the same photo session, but not terribly creative by the Donruss dudes either.
2. Is that the most frightening example of a farmer's tan that you have ever seen? Take a look at Russell's very pink face and neck, and then move your eyes to his right shoulder. See where the pink transitions to flesh color? Damn, unless that is some sort of lighting issue, that is one alarming sunburn, son.
This is Shawn Green on something called "Fleer Inscribed." I've never heard of this before, and I don't know how madding turns up sets like this. But Green's shoes really stand out.