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..