Friday, January 15, 2010

1989 Upper Deck Team Checklist, #681

Checklists were always so boooooring before Upper Deck came along and turned them into actual cards.  I'm really not sure why companies included them to begin with, though I guess I'm just young enough to not really know how card collecting used to be before the internet.  Nowadays, checklists in packs are absolutely pointless because their so readily available online.

But back in the day, if you were trying to figure out the missing cards from your Mets team set, you'd need this little guy:

A sketch on top of a sketch of Darryl Strawberry!  It's nice to get a break from the typical Darryl action shot, this one being of him running the bases.  There's nothing exciting at all about the back (other than the complete list of Mets in '89 Upper Deck, obviously)... you get the depicted player's name (some weren't so obvious), the team logo, name, and the list of players.  23 players in all... talk about inclusive.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1989 Upper Deck, #260

Finally, the good stuff!  Short lived as the "good stuff" may be, 1989 Upper Deck caused quite a stir in the industry.  It brought us tamper proof foil packs, counterfeit deterrent hologram stickers, and one of the most iconic cards of the past 30 years.  Even the card stock was a massive improvement over what Topps, Fleer, and Donruss had been using.  Upper Deck was legit.

Not as iconic was card #260, Darryl Strawberry.

It's a nice enough picture, clearly taken during batting practice as you can tell by the BP blue jersey and flapless helmet.  But wait - there's a full color picture on the back, too!

Two non-action shots on a Darryl Strawberry card?  That's gotta be some sort of record.  How is this NOT worth at least as much as the Griffey rookie!?!! Check out all those bats in the background...

This card is the real deal, too.  How do I know this?  Hologram, baby!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1988 Donruss (Orange border) #182

I told ya we were done with the blue, but I bet you weren't anticipating the exact same thing except orange!

Again, no real clue what set this card comes from, but I'm guessing... Opening Day.  I base this on the oddball Donruss look-a-like card from 1986 that happened to be from the Opening Day set.  I could be wrong, and probably am.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

1988 Donruss MVP, #BC-20

This is the last, hideous blue bordered Darryl Strawberry card that I have, and of course it's from a set that I'm unable to identify.  The front looks like a normal issue '88 Donruss:

This picture was clearly taken just after the gates opened because you can count the people in the stands.  Well, almost - I counted approximately 22, but it's too blurry to be very accurate.  But the real question (for me) is where did this card come from? The back also looks like a normal '88 Donruss card, except for the numbering:

At first, I was getting a bit down on myself for not knowing where half of my late '80s Strawberry cards come from.  Not that I base my self-worth on junk wax knowledge (or lack thereof), but it'd be nice to know.  But I got to thinking that perhaps this is why we refer to the late '80s and early to mid '90s as the junk wax era:  cards came from everywhere.

They were in cereal boxes.  They were in cookies.  They were at the bottom of slurpees.  They were made by K-Mart.  Seriously, baseball cards were everywhere you looked, and not in a good way.

Any knowledge you might have about this particular card would be greatly appreciated.  As for me, I'm just ready to put the blue Donruss borders behind us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1988 Donruss All-Star #34

Sticking with 1988 Donruss/Leaf is a card from what appears to be a separate "All-Star" set. Hmmm...

You'd think I'd know a little more about my Darryl Strawberry cards, but the truth is that I obtained so many of these when I was younger that I just can't recall where they came from. I thought this particular card was a part of the regular '88 Donruss set when I first came across it, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

OK, so the front appears to be normal ol' Donruss card, but the back has a different shape around the number: a star instead of a baseball.

Nothing else is unusual about the card. You've got the typical paragraph explaining the early start to what coulda-shoulda been the best career ever, and as usual the card maker makes an awkward attempt to keep the sentences as concise as possible, grammar and punctuation be damned. I say awkward because they never shorten things as much as possible, even if their oversight would've been a better way of wording things. Take the very last line, for example: "...leading all first-year NL players in HR...". They could've simply said "all NL rookies." Boom! 10 characters, gone.

The "1987 Oakland All-Star Game" logo on the bottom right of the card is what makes me think this may have been a limited release set.

Of course, limited by 1988 standards means a hundred thousand sets.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1988 Leaf #220

Quick and easy post today of Strawberry's 1988 Leaf card. No sense in going much in to detail since the card is largely unchanged from the American version, save for the French translations on the back and the "LEAF" logo on the front:

I did stumble in to one curious omission on the back. See where there's just one sentence in English, at the bottom? Well, there are two French sentences!!

Literally translated (at, it says, "one among 8 players of the baseball has to do to mark and has to mark more than 100 points the last annee".

Errrrr... what? A little help from any French speakers out there, please!

And also, it's "runs", not "points." A translation error, I'm sure. Looking at the actual stats on the card, the only two significant numbers in the hundreds are Strawberry's RBI (104) and Runs (108) totals from the 1987 season, so I'm going out on a limb and guessing it has something to do with those two categories. I wonder why the French speakers got this added bit of info???

Who knows.

Friday, September 25, 2009

1988 Donruss #439

Close your eyes, kids, this post is gonna get ugly.

For some reason, when I think of overproduced cards of the late '80s and early '90s, I think of 1988 Donruss. Maybe it's because I have a billion of them laying around even though I don't remember ever opening them when I was a kid, or maybe it's because they're made of the cheapest card stock possible and are nearly impossible to keep in reasonable condition. I don't know. But a Strawberry card is a Strawberry card, so his '88 Donruss #439 must be posted.

Typical shot of Straw waiting to turn on a fastball. Half of Straw's cards from the '80s show this same pose, so I'm not knocking Donruss for doing what everyone else was doing. What I don't like is the border. Could it be any more uninspired? Black... blue... red... repeat.

The back:

Like the front, nothing to get excited about, but I always get a kick out of arbitrary abbreviations. If I didn't know any better, I'd think the writers texted in their blurbs for publication. "No. 1 choice in 6/80 am. draft." First off, to be less confusing, it should at least say 06/80, especially since they're referring to an event eight years prior to the printing of this card. It's not exactly fresh in everyone's mind. Sure, I figured out what they meant fairly quickly, but they could've squeezed in another character. Although for some reason my mind still processes the line as 6/80 morning draft because of the "am". Six o'clock in the morning?! That's awfully early for a draft that isn't televised, anyway!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1988 Fleer #637

First off, I want to give a truly sincere apology for not keeping up with posting to Darryl Strawberry Fields. I've been busy (as has everybody else in the world), and planned ahead with my other site, The Priceless Pursuit, but not so much this one. I'm sure nobody out there even cares all that much, but I just wanted to let you all know that DSF is back!

And what better card to get things started again than 1988 Fleer #637, Crunch Time: Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis!

'88 Fleer is still one of my favorite designs from the late '80s. That's not saying a whole lot since most cards in that time period were absolutely hideous, but white backgrounds are timeless. And could there be two hotter '80s prospects to feature on one card?? I've always liked cards with more than one player on them - it's a nice little bonus, some added bang for the buck. Straw and Davis were absolute studs, so pulling this card in 1988 was truly a thrill.

Of course, I've pulled the card about 30 times since then, but that's just a testament to the absurd overproduction of cards two decades ago. Can't blame Straw for that.

If digital cameras had been around in 1988, the photographer surely would've taken at least one more picture of the two. Davis looks serious enough, but Darryl's moth is hanging open as if he's telling the cameraman to hold on a second, he's not ready. Both players are wearing road gray pants, so it must've been during Spring Training.

This card reminds me of a t-shirt I once had, featuring the two players as teammates on the Dodgers. On the front was Darry Strawberry, on the back was Davis. Through the middle of the shirt (essentially connecting the front pic to the back) it read, "Bat 2 Bat". Like back to back, like in the batting order. Get it?

As for the back of the card (see what I did there?), the card highlights how both players went from mere prospects to superstars and mentions the crazy 1987 seasons both players had, even by today's standards: Davis hit .293 with 37 homers and 50 stolen bases, Strawberry hit 39 homers and stole 36 bases. Remember, this was 1987! Those numbers were prodigious back then and would be MVP caliber in 2009.

It's good to be back! Darryl Strawberry fields is much more niche than my broader site, but I enjoy it just as much, and I hope you do, too. I've scanned enough cards ahead of time to ensure I don't fall too far behind again, even if I do post a bit less frequently than I do over at The Priceless Pursuit..

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The site's not going anywhere, but I am. The wife and I just purchased our new home and have been absolutely slammed with packing, cleaning, painting, moving, and now unpacking. I've been a bit negligent when it comes to keeping this site updated, but rest assured that I'm aware of that and will be back to posting Darryl Strawberry cards with some semblance of regularity very soon!

I planned well enough with my other site, The Priceless Pursuit, and wrote lots of entries in advance, so visit it for more regular updates!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Duo-tang-ks a lot!

OK, if you found your way here from the link I posted at The Priceless Pursuit, you can see that I'm double dipping on the posts today. Perhaps the two sites have different readers, and I'd hate for a gift like the one I recently received to go unrecognized.

Duo-tang-ks... thanks... get it? No?? I think it's fairly creative, and I'm nothing if not a sucker for horrible plays on words, so I'm gonna force this one down your throat. You may be wondering why I'm showing you a 1989 Topps card of Darryl Strawberry. Couple reasons: Darryl is my absolute favorite player (obviously) and also because Dave at Tribe Cards sent me a different "version" of this card, except much better.

Stay with me.

I want to give a big "duo-tang-ks" (now it's growing on you, right?!) to Dave, the king of crazy giveaways and easily one of the most generous bloggers out there. Check out his site and make it part of your regular reading if you're unfamiliar with it. Introduce yourself to him and sign up for a giveaway or two - you won't regret it!

If you're not in the know, you're no doubt wondering, "Why does he keep saying 'duo-tang-ks'?" (one more shot... is it funny yet?) Well, 20 years ago or so, a company by the name of Duo-Tang released a series of pocket folders that were actually blown-up versions of Topps cards, accurately depicting both the front and backs. Dave actually sent me two of them:

I have no idea how these were distributed, but I can only assume it was a regional deal. Pocket folders were always on my school supply list, and my mom always let me pick out my own folders, but I never had any Darryls. I distinctly remember an Eddie Murray from his days with the Orioles, and at the time our family was living in northern Virginia. I don't know why I'd pick out an Orioles folder for a reason other than this.

Thanks again, Dave! The wife and I are in the final stages of the home buying process, so we now have a safe place to keep all of our documents. After that's over with (IF it's ever over with - it sometimes feels like a never ending process), little Joseph III will some day have the coolest pocket folders in his class.