Friday, May 6, 2011
Before you jump on me for the post title, let me say that I heart this card with all of my might, and will never say anything nasty about it.
It came to me from the Community Gum Fleer break. In my view, it was one of the better hits of the break.
I know that probably made some people laugh. And that's the problem.
For some reason, Eric Gagne relics or autos are considered "junk hits," by some people. I don't know why entirely, because it's not like he ever wore an Astros uniform. But I have my suspicions:
He has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and his career pretty much crumbled after he left the Dodgers. That's a deadly combination for collectors. I think the career plunge clinches it, because I don't hear people snickering over pulling hits of Clemens or Sheffield or Tejada or Pettitte.
But I happen to like my hit cards of Gagne. All of them.
First, he was a Dodger.
Second, he was the single most dominant closer I have ever seen in my life. No one was better for a three-year period.
Third, he has an interesting back story. A French-Canadian native who came to the U.S. to play baseball and learned English watching "Slapshot" and sitcoms in Oklahoma.
Fourth, I have interviewed him and he was pleasant and accommodating.
Fifth, several of his family members live in my area. I once visited his aunt and uncle's home and they were down-to-earth and quite nice.
Sixth, this autographed card of Gagne means I have finished off a trifecta of Gagne (rookie, relic and autograph), which is my 16th Dodger trifecta!
Junk hit, my ass.
The rest of the cards I received from the break was a bounty of early '00s Fleer. A Fleer Fiesta for the New Millennium you might say.
A double dipping of Classic Clippings.
Two Shuper Showcases.
A Splendid foursome.
Four times the shiny.
A Platinum quartet.
An Authentic quartet (well, two of them anyway).
These Avant cards are absolutely phenomenal. This should have been a 792-card set.
And Campy ... plus some other guy.
There were a few more cards, but you get the idea. This group break was a whole lot of fun. I needed most of the cards and was able to land a hit. Which I still like a whole bunch.
You will never catch me disparaging the name of Gagne or his cards.
But then I'm not a Red Sox or Brewers fan either.