Monday, November 30, 2020

John Kruk: 1994 SP Holoview F/X

Technology in baseball cards really started taking off in the mid-1990s. Such an example is this 1994 SP Holoview card. This one, in particular, is a F/X card. It feels like lenticular cards such as Sportflics and earlier than than Kellogg's, paved the way for holographic images to be a thing on baseball cards. I'm probably wrong about this, for all I know holographic images were available back in the 50s. But when they reached baseball cards, the game seems to have changed. But ultimately, it feels too very much like a fad. 

The Holoview is a 38 card set.  There is also a Special F/X set, also 38 cards, but I've never seen the Kruk version. Not that I've looked, either.

The card highlights Kruk's awesome 1993 season with a .430 OBP, scoring more than 100 runs, and walking 111 times. Definitely a force. Kruk finished 1993 tied for 16th in the MVP voting and was well behind Darren Daulton and Lenny Dykstra who each received more votes. The highest Kruk finished for MVP was 14th in 1992. 

After buying this card and writing this post, I realized that Kerry from Cards on Cards sent me this card back in 2018

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1994 Panini Stickers

Darryl Strawberry was issued a 1994 Panini Sticker, pictured below. He is depicted in a LA Dodgers away uniform which is the team he started that season with. He was released on May 26th and signed with the  San Francisco Giants nearly a month later on June 19th. Strawberry was transient, though, as he was released by the Giants within a year's turning.  

The pennant design with the logo and player name is sharp. I wish they had tucked in a position abbreviation to the right of the name.

Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe. Be well. 

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Monday, November 23, 2020

John Kruk: 1994 SP Die Cut

I think this is my only Die Cut card. It's the 1994 SP die cut card. So, just the same as the base, but cut in such as way so that it kind of looks like Yoda's head. 

Are you a die hard die cut collector? Do you think they are cool? Overrated? I think I lean towards overrated. 

I'm NOT a fan of one season of stats on the back. And I'm really, really not a fan of "Best Season". Particularly because in this case it just duplicates the stats beneath it. And I looked up another player in the 200 card set to see what it handled another "best season". I selected Orel Hershiser because I knew it wouldn't be 1993. And sure enough it lists his "Best Season" stats...but doesn't tell you what year it was. Honestly, what's the point? I'd be more willing to accept the stat if the year was given and if if it wasn't the same as the previous year. 

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Match the song title: (What's the Story) Morning Glory

Night Owl's recent post "Match the song title: No Need to Argue" got me thinking about one of my favorite albums by the Cranberries. Listened to it in the car the other day, too. So good. 

And then I started thinking about what is possibly my favorite album of all time: (What's the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis, which came out the year after the Cranberries record Greg featured. Both were sophomore albums. Both were improvements on already terrific debuts. 

I've had to modify from Greg's card focused post because I decided to go with just about the first thing that popped in my head and some of them are cards, some of them are my photos, and some are pilfered. Some are game experiences I've watched on TV, seen in person, or read or thought about. 

Note: tracks 6 and 11 are brief excerpted instrumentals and I've skipped them.

Track 1: Hello

Opening Day. The day when it all starts. I guess pitchers and catchers reporting could have been selected, too. But let's be real. Spring Training is fun, but it's not meaningful. Spring Training is your first eighth grade kiss with just a hint of wet tongue. Opening Day is renting a hotel room and losing your virginity. 

Track 2: Roll With It 

Bill Buckner. It's the most famous roll in baseball, isn't it? 

Track 3: Wonderwall


Boston's Green Monster came to my mind. The 30 or more games I saw there from 2001 to 2018 was always a wonderful experience. Even when the Red Sox won. I even got to sit near the wall one game...I routinely sit in different seats as I really enjoy the different sight lines they afford. But, Fenway Park's Green Monster truly is a wonderwall. 

Track 4: Don't Look Back in Anger

2020 Dodgers

Track 5: Hey Now

This song seems to be about fame, memory, nostalgia, and perhaps a simpler life. So as that goes, I'm thinking about a time when baseball and life seemed simpler, and that's back in the 1950s. I mean, they painted baseball cards back then! I might be wrong because of course life and times for those folks had their own complications, but baseball seems to have been more pure back then. It's flawed and faulty logic, but what can you do?

Track 7: Some Might Say

Probably could be the Cubs anthem for a long time "Some might say we will find a brighter day". But I guess it could apply to the Orioles or the Pirates or any other team that really isn't very good right now. 

Track 8: Cast No Shadow

"As they took he soul they stole his pride" I think might be a refrain for the Steroid guys who had, in many cases, all the talent in the world but somehow still managed to make exceedingly bad decisions.

Track 9: She's Electric 

August 8, 1988: Wrigley Field gets lights!

Track 10: Morning Glory

11 am games at Nationals Park which means grabbing at beer at 9:30 as soon as the gates opened. This photo is from 2014 and was taken at 10:14 am. I know that Fenway Park has been having 11 am games for a while on Patriots Day but it's often atrocious weather. 11 am on July 4th in DC? Optimal time to start a baseball game. 

Track 12: Champagne Supernova

No, not for a walk off on May 19th. No, not your Wild Card berth assurance. Only World Series clinching games. 

Thanks for the neat idea, Greg!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1994 Innovative Confections Discs

This is a weird one. This is something called Innovative Confections and it was issued in 1994. This is the "First Annual Collectors Edition". It was also the only annual issue. Oops.

It was a 20 disc set and tried to feature the biggest names in baseball. But they whiffed on a few. 

I do like a nice disc card. I'd rather see his logo, though, even if it is the interlocking L A one over the original blue & orange N Y one. 

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Monday, November 16, 2020

John Kruk: 1993 Score

In the spring I bought a lot of cards I needed for my John Kruk and Darryl Strawberry collections. Most of them were relatively inexpensive: under .50 cents. Some of the cards I didn't think I needed, but did, were like this 1993 Score card. I thought I had gotten all the base issues for the "major" card producers at the time. But, clearly, I was was wrong. This card I got in March and scanned on the 27th of that month. All the cards I've been showing off since then date from the early days of the strange year that is 2020. 

I like this card design and Score maintained its rather snark-tastic player bio text in what today would be called "body shaming".  In reality, however, the naturalness of Kruk's body makes him way more attractive that Arnold ever was. 

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Friday, November 13, 2020

John Kruk: 1993 Panini Stickers

John Kruk's 1993 Panini Sticker captures the big fella about to smash-annihilate-destroy a single. Maybe. 

Is it me or are there more Christmas commercials already? Or are there just the same number but it just feels weird because, well, we're in a weird time?  Are there any Baseball card related things that you're asking for from Santa?

Ladies and gentlemen: Please be safe. Be smart. 

This article posted recently. It's on the increase in baseball card collecting during these strange times. My favorite line is "the value of certain cards is skyrocketing."  it's still really cheap to collect quasi-good players. There are three reasons given for the rise in collecting: nostalgia; art; and investment. Do any of these three reasons explain your collecting habits?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Darry Strawberry: 2020 Topps Decades Best

Well, how about a 2020 Darryl Strawberry card for a change! Those early to mid 1990s cards that I've been highlight start to grate on my patience after awhile because of his uniform. But this one, this one brings back happier memories as a Mets player when he was amongst the most feared and fearsome hitters in the Northern Hemisphere.

This is a Topps 2020 card from the 1980s Decades Best insert. 

Do you think Strawberry was an appropriate selection for the Decades' Best?

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1994 Collectors Choice Silver Signature

This is the 1994 Collectors Choice Silver Signature card. I didn't know this set existed as by the time they were out I was out of the hobby. I find this one, and Ultra, and numerous others to be confusing because they are made by Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss, Topps, etc., but they aren't classified as Upper Deck Collectors Choice or Topps Stadium Club, or Fleer Ultra...they appear under Stadium Club, Ultra, and what not. Does that confuse anyone else? 

Strawberry had such bad years before the mid 1990s I wonder why they even bothered printing cards for him!  I'm asking this of fans and particularly Dodgers Strawberry's contract with the team one of the worst in their long history? I'd put Carl Crawford up there, too. But I hope D.S. isn't in the top spot.

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Friday, November 6, 2020

John Kruk: 1993 Kenner Starting Lineup Portrait

This card is John Kruk's 1993 Kenner Starting Lineup card. In some respects it feels like a Panini Sticker. I adore Kruk's signature on the back. A nice touch to take up all that white space. 

Did you collect Starting Lineup? I had a couple, I'm sure. I know I had a Strawberry. And a Dominique Wilkins which I sent off to someone a year or more ago. Not sure I have the figurines at all anymore though. Just the cards. I don't think I have all the Kruk cards yet from this maker. I might have all the Strawberrys, but I'd have to check.

Here are my picks for the baseball awards being announced next week. How do they stack up against your guesses???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

NL MVP: Freeman
NL Cy Young: Bauer (exclusively for his 2 CGs)
NL ROY: Bohm
NL Manager: Mattingly

AL MVP: LeMahieu
AL Cy Young: Bieber
AL ROY: Lewis
AL Manager: Renteria

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Cards from Night Owl

Greg---who I think is a Dodgers fan(?)---recently sent me some cards. But I'm only going to highlight two of them here because I know you care so much about Darryl Strawberry. Blogger loaded them in reverse order, and I don't feel like screwing with the HTML to get them fixed. 

So, first up is this 2014 Allen & Ginter mini card. 

And then second up is a Dodgers card, one of two team-oriented Greg sacrificed to my collection. This is the 1991 Topps Magazine card. One of the closer approximations of an artistic rendering of the actual human, but still very much lacking what I consider a superior medium for baseball cards: the photograph. 

Thank you very much Greg! I'm so grateful!

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PS: Look. I've been accused of being a tease before. So, out of courtesy, I'll tell you that the other Dodgers card Greg gave to me is the 1967 Topps card for the Hall of Fame manager Walt Alston. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1993 Upper Deck Gold Holograms

Rather than drag out three cards into three posts like I did last week, this week I decided to post all three samey-samey cards in one post. You're welcome. 

These are the 1993 Upper Deck Gold Hologram cards featuring, primarily, Darryl Strawberry, but then also co-featuring his childhood friend Eric Davis. I wonder if they are still friends? I have two friends from childhood, only, I think: my brother and my sister and they don't really have any choice in the matter. Otherwise, I think I can count on one hand the number of friends I have. 

I'm pretty certain that the Dodgers tried to load up on talent like Strawberry and Davis to build a winning team. In better circumstances, they might have been as good as the current iteration of the team that recently won the World Series. They finished second in the West in 1991 behind an eastern team: Atlanta. In 1992, with Davis now on the team, though, they were last in the NL West. In 1993, with Davis gone to Detroit at the trade deadline, they were an even 81-81 and in fourth place. 

Didn't work. Just like the bottom art card doesn't work. It's awful. Terrible. Heinous. 

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