Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1985 Topps #278


We've seen the light, and now we're at the end of the tunnel... the 1985 Topps tunnel, that is.

We end it with #270, Strawberry's #1 Draft Pick card, which I always thought should've come after his regular issue. From the back of the card:

"Darryl was chosen by the New York Mets as the first selection in the 1980 Draft. He graduated from Crenshaw High School, Los Angeles, California, in 1980, starring in baseball and basketball. Darryl batted .371 with 4 Home Runs in his junior season and .400 with 5 Homers during senior campaign, attracting national recognition. He helped Crenshaw capture a city championship in baseketball. Darryl delivered a Single to centerfield in his first pro At-Bat for Kingston of Appalachian League in 1980."

First off, we've got all sorts of strange punctuation going on here. Lots of odd capitalizations, especially, unless statistical categories are proper nouns? I never considered "Single" to be all that formal, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

The colors are certainly better on Darryl's draft pick card than those on his regular issue. The centering is much better, too. But the red font on green background on the rear of the card? Appropriate enough for the holiday season, I suppose, but come January - no thanks.

The national attention seems a bit unwarranted; are seasons of four and five home runs really that impressive? And while his average his high, .371 seems low for the uber-prospect Strawberry was. I mean, the scouts were obviously right in their evaluation of Strawberry as a major league talent, but they certainly saw something that didn't show up "on paper."

And why are they highlighting that he was the 1980 #1 Draft Pick in 1985?! Seems a little late, especially considering he already had cards issued in 1983 and '84. A sign of the times, I suppose. We'd have Bowman cards of Strawberry as a high school outfielder if he'd come around 15 years later. Better to be safe and wait a few years to make sure the guy lives up to expectations before they got all crazy with subsets of Straw.

Lastly, the mention of his city basketball championship seems horribly out of place. It's kind of like, "Darryl was an awesome high school baseball player! High average, good power... oh, and he played basketball, too! Led his team to a city championship, even! Wait... where were we? Darryl who? Oh, right... yeah, Strawberry hit a single once in the minors. He's pretty good."

I own five of these cards.

1 comment:

Jeffrey FX said...

I also have this card that was done as part of some "enhanced" set printed on better quality paper with a sharper photo, more gloss, and a clearer back side. I have these for his Topps cards in '87 too. I don't remember what the story was though.