Back in October I posted about a potential new series where I celebrate cards that received a common, ordinary number that is meant for common, ordinary commons.
Admittedly, this series is based on the somewhat old practice of rewarding star players a card number that ends in a "0" or "5."
That doesn't happen as much anymore. I was reminded of that fact when I pulled the card of Yordan Alvarez in 2021 Topps. Alvarez is card number 300. Alvarez has done some impressive things in his short career, but he's also never played a full season, being a major leaguer for not even three years. A player like this would be laughed at back in the '70s and '80s if he was suggested as a "double zero" card number candidate.
I looked at the other players with double zeroes in their card numbers in Series 1. They are the more sensible Christian Yelich (100) and Jacob deGrom (200). But it's still pretty obvious that Topps is playing fast and loose with who gets the so-called hero numbers and has been much less strict since the mid-1990s. For example, in 2021, the Tigers team card is at No. 70, someone named Dalton Varsho is at No. 10 and Brandon Workman is at No. 160. Meanwhile, Blake Snell, who did just a few things in 2020, gets card No. 261.
Still, I'm pressing on with this series for at least one more time.
The premise is I will find 10 interesting cards in my collection at a certain card number (I've cut it down from the 12 I compiled the last time). Then I will find five other interesting cards at that card number that I don't have, but wish I did.
The card number I am choosing this time is in honor of the player I pulled out of my 2021 Topps blaster FOUR TIMES.
Francisco Lindor is a star player -- at least the Mets hope he still is. But Topps gave him card No. 309 -- the number of a common player in years gone by.
So let's see whatever cool cards I can find at No. 309 in my collection.
Here we go.
DH-C-1B" into that tiny baseball.
2. Jose Lind, 1993 Upper Deck: Upper Deck didn't fool around with hero numbers for the most part, which is why you'll see a lot of '93 UD in this series if I continue running it. The Jose Lind card is one of my favorites. I wonder what a full set of players shot while the photographer lies on the ground would look like? I bet it'd be pretty darn cool.
OK, now for five No. 309 cards I wish I had (and maybe someday I will):
1. Hurlers Beware, 1967 Topps: If I hope to complete this set someday, I need to grab this card. The combo cards in this set are tremendous (2016 Heritage paid tribute to it with a couple Phillies high-fiving at home plate at No. 309, which doesn't exactly have the same effect).
2. Sal Maglie, 1959 Topps: I had no idea that Maglie pitched for the Cardinals until I saw this card while researching the card number. He appeared in 10 games for St. Louis to close out his career in 1958.
3. Walt Williams, 1969 Topps: I think I might've had this card once. It's totally unacceptable that I let it go.
4. Scott Servais, 1996 Stadium Club: What is going on in this photo? It's either the weirdest baseball play ever or aliens are landing at the ballpark.
5. Bob Cluck, 1981 TCMA Minor League: NEED IT! Not only does Bob look Clucking fantastic in those wonderful Toros '70s uniforms but I once interviewed him when he was the pitching coach for the Houston Astros. So I absolutely have to have this card!
All right, so that's plenty of mileage for card number 309. Please treat this "common" card number with respect in the future.