I have heard some collectors complain about Topps' Cyberstats series from 1995. One even said it was "awful."
That threw me because I always thought they were cool. Sure, all the stats are fake. Not real at all. And I'm someone that likes reality. But mathematically projecting someone's stats is good, clean fun. We all like to see what "might have happened."
I think it was particularly important during this time. A lot of people were mad at baseball in 1995. The strike had just wiped out the last third of the season and the World Series. Frank Thomas, Matt Williams and the Montreal Expos got screwed. (Often forgotten is that the Dodgers could've made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons that year). Everyone was disgusted.
A lot of people quit collecting baseball cards. For a long time. I was one of those people, although not really because of the work stoppage.
So, Topps decided to have a little fun. On both its Cyberstats parallels and Stadium Club Virtual Reality parallels, it extrapolated a player's season to give fans some "closure" with some fake final stats. The stats didn't replace the actual stats. You could still get a player's base card with the real live stats. This was something extra. Something fun. And with what was going on in baseball then, who couldn't use a little fun?
I like the parallels a lot.
With this Candiotti one, I'm down to needing two more of the Dodgers. These are all that are left:
#48 - Ismael Valdez
#239 - Omar Daal
See what you can do.
The Candiotti card came from Charlie at Lifetime Topps. He sent me a boatload of needs off my want list, including a whole bunch of parallels like the Candiotti card.
Some other parallels from 1995.
Personally, I would've made the base set silver and the parallel set blue, instead of what SP actually did that year. But we all know how important silver and gold was to card companies in the 1990s.
Parallels from the year before.
And just to show you that parallels will never die, here are three of the many, many parallels from 2012 product.
And one more from this year's Goodwin. My first card of the man that owned the Dodgers during the early 20th century.
I've seen horrible versions of these black border cards coming out of boxes chipped everywhere. This one is actually chip free.
But Lifetime Topps didn't just stick to parallels.
He practically cleaned out my wants in the 2005 SPx team set. I had never seen a card from this set until this package arrived.
An early Russell Martin card. Martin is currently shopping his services, hoping no one will notice his continuing decline and that he won't be hitting in a bandbox ballpark next season.
It's been a long time since I've received a Orel Hershiser card that I've needed. Keep them coming.
Here are two of Hershiser's '94 SP friends.
And, finally, the face of the current Dodgers ownership that is going to buy and sell everything in MLB about 90 times over when it's all said and done.
Isn't it grand?
And while I'm on the Dodgers' greatness. Happy 85th birthday, Vin.
I don't suppose I have any chance of getting this card:
But I will settle for this one: