As often happens during the postseason, I select a participating team and try to find a few cards from that team that I enjoy. It helps me appreciate the teams involved a little more as well as the cards that I own.
I've even done this a time or two for teams that are playing the Dodgers in the postseason. I don't know why. I suppose it's my way of making a peace offering to my foes. And so I started making a list of some of my favorite Brewers of the past in keeping with this year's NLCS.
Then I decided: I'm not doing that.
Oh, I certainly am capable. Here's my favorite outfield right now: Ben Oglivie, Gorman Thomas, Sixto Lezcano. That took me 30 seconds to compile. Simple.
But I'm sick of being nice to the team that's trying to beat my team, especially when it's the team that suddenly finds its bandwagon full. I've dealt with this for three years now. Two years ago, people wanted the Cubs to beat the Dodgers because --- ooooh, it's been sooooo long since the Cubs won a Series. Then last year, people wanted the Astros to win because --- ooooh, they've neevvver won the Series. Now we're supposed to do the same thing for the Brewers because of some other soooooo long thing, plus Bud Selig.
Well, how about rooting for the team who's made it to the postseason six times in a row and still hasn't won? How 'bout them?
It's time to take no prisoners. Time to showcase the 10 worst Brewers cards in my collection. Get ready for a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of Ryan Braun.
10. 1995 Donruss Cal Eldred
It's a good thing I didn't collect during the mid-1990s. I don't know if I could handle that much Brewers uniform. Those mid-decade things were atrocious. The crossed bats through a muddled "MB," the dark blue softball tops, the overload of green. Just eeewww.
9. 1990 Donruss Tom Filer
A recent worldwide poll determined that the dullest baseball card ever made was of somebody named Tom Filer in the 1990 Donruss set. For once, the world is correct.
8. 2009 Upper Deck OPC Corey Hart
I can't figure out this card for the life of me. It's essentially a faceless card of a cross-legged dude. I know this OPC set was supposed to be paying tribute to pictures and sets from the '70s, but not even the '70s did stuff like this.
7. 1976 Topps Rick Austin
To those who weren't collecting right along with me in 1976, they probably see nothing more than a bad-ass '70s pitcher. But that's not the case at all. Austin's ERA is 4.60 for his career on the back of his card. He has minor league stats stretching back to 1968. There was even a detour to Japan. The card I owned of him featured a rip in the top-center that just seemed to fit with this pathetic piece of cardboard. In fact, seeing this card with sharp corners and no rip is still weird for me.
6. 2011 Topps Ryan Braun
Here come the Brauns. This is card No. 1 in the 2011 flagship set. It is a card that drives me to distraction. WHY IS THE M SO HUGE ON HIS HELMET?????? Why? Every time I see this card, I ask the same question.
5. 1973 Topps Don Money
I would never classify many of the airbrushed cards -- and the Brewers have their fair share -- as the "worst," but this one is just dumb. The color blue used for the cap has never been used in anything other than comic books. The Brewers were a long way from wearing pinstripes -- those are Phillies pinstripes that the airbrusher didn't even bother to cover with a stroke of white paint.
4. 1974 Topps Traded Tom Murphy
The upturned collar is baffling. I'm assuming that the collar really existed and wasn't drawn in by the airbrusher, but who plays like that?
3. 1972 Topps Don Pavletich
There are many cards of the 1960s and early 1970s where it is very difficult to determine from the photo that person pictured is an actual ballplayer. This may top the list. There is no visible sign he hits or throws a ball for a living. If I didn't know this was a baseball card, I might think that this is the town grouch who has just stepped out of his apartment in his undershirt only to hear loud music coming from the third floor of the apartment and he is looking toward the source, ready to give them a piece of his mind.
2. 2010 Topps Brew Crew Knockout checklist
In 2010, Topps thought we should be as enamored by the Brewers' choreographed antics as they were. But actually, they became annoying pretty fast and they weren't any more pleasant on baseball cards.
But that didn't stop Topps. Braun and Fielder are not only on this particular checklist in the 2010 set ...
... but they are on this particular checklist, too, because we need a SECOND checklist of these two yokels, don't we?
Oh, WAIT, we've got to get them on yet another card!!!!!
Sheesh. Why in the world did I complete this set? The Braun-Fielder-Weeks Brewers are easily my least favorite Brewers of any era.
1. 2009 Topps Ryan Braun
A sad card of a sad-acting individual. I guess it was appropriate for what was to come.
Truth be told, if the Brewers happen to win this series, I may end up rooting for them to win the World Series, which is actually something difficult for me to do when a team beats my Dodgers.
But I'm not expecting it to come to that. It's time to root for my Dodgers, even if everyone else is rooting for that team that can't decide if it belongs in the American League or the National League.