Monday, March 30, 2009

1987 O-Pee-Chee #379



Got a short (but sweet?) entry for you tonight: the 1987 O-Pee-Chee "version" of the '87 Strawberry Topps card. The fronts of the two versions are identical. My only question: What does Darryl have in his back pocket?? Is it a THIRD batting glove? Did he keep the third glove in the packaging? It looks uncomfortable...

The back, in typical O-Pee-Chee fashion, features French translations of the English facts:



The only discernable difference, other than the O-Pee-Chee logos replacing the Topps logos, are the whiter card backs. Make no mistake - the card is not a glossy replica - it appears to just be slighty higher grade card stock.

I own three of these cards, no doubt acquired via ebay since I don't think I've ever lived in an area where O-Pee-Chee cards were sold.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1987 Topps #460


Woah.

It's been a while since I last posted an entry on the site. Usually when that happens it's because I'm writing on my other site, Bad Baseball. Just some extra time killing material, if you're interested.

So back to Darryl...

Next up is 1987 Topps, number 460. If you've been reading this blog for a while, I've already written about the back of the card in the entry for the Topps Archive Reserve version of it. One thing that stands out now - that couldn't be found on the Topps Archive copy - is the game winning RBI stat. Darryl had 15 of them in 1986, and 42 in his career up to that point.

Quick aside about the "GWRBI": An official statistic from 1980 - 1988, it's the only statistic to ever have been officially abolished by Major League Baseball.

Back to the card.

I LOVE 1987 Topps. It certainly isn't heralded as the greatest set of all time, and it carries very little actual value. But this was the first set of cards I actually collected, the first packs I vividly remember opening.

This set has sentimental value to me, too. I knew that every time my dad picked me up from pre-school in Maine we were stopping at Grand City and picking up a couple packs. I probably didn't know a single player I was pulling at the time, because this would've been before I even started playing baseball.

I've always liked the "wood" borders, similar to 1962 Topps. I liked the team logo in the corner, the team colored box around the player's name, and even the font for the names themselves. The card backs were loaded with info: stats, a tidbit about the player, and an "ON THIS DATE" feature that gave you an obscure bit of useless trivia.

The packs these cards came in were also my first exposure to gum (if you could call it that). These days, a card grader would freak at the stains the gum usually left on the cards, but I loved it. A card that smelled like bubble gum?? Yes, please!

They should still make them like that today. A year or so ago I gave my nephew a pack of Topps Opening Day, and I was appalled to see a plastic wrapped piece of gum on top. It was (gasp) fresh! You could bend it without it snapping! You could chew it without shattering your teeth. Gross.

I own too many '87 Topps Strawberry cards to count.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1986 Donruss #197


From the back of the card: Had 2 HR and 7 RBI in 1 game 7/20 last year vs. Braves... Missed 6 weeks of last season with torn thumb ligaments... NL Rookie of Year in '83... Led Mets in HR and RBI in '84, ranking 4th in NL in HR, 4th in RBI and 8th in slugging (.467)... MVP of Texas League in '82 when he hit 34 HR and had 97 RBI for Jackson.

Next up in my collection is the card from 1986 Donruss. It's a relatively sharp picture of Strawberry putting a ball in play. Compared to some players of today (Manny Ramirez comes to mind), Darryl's uniform is incredibly tight. Not "tight" as in "cool", tight as in it's a couple sizes too small. It's always amusing to me, too, that all of Strawberry's accessories - wrist bands, gloves, etc. - are team issued. No corporate branding, no NIKE swooshes, nothing. Just a Mets logo.

As for the card design itself, I'm not a fan. I don't like the dark blue/light blue stripes or the purple/yellow design around the player name. Maybe it seems worse because of Strawberry's blue jersey, but it all seems like a bit too much... blue. Even the card back is blue.

This is the first card of his, I think, that elaborates - albeit slightly - on Strawberry's contract. The back mentions that he's "...signed to a 5-year contract thru 1989 with opt for 1990."

This is the only '86 Donruss Strawberry I own.