Friday, March 13, 2009

We're done

Hey guess what? We're done with this set, and with this blog. The full 110-card set went by quickly, didn't it?

The good news is that I'm moving right along to my next set, the 1989 Topps Major League Debut set, and we're just getting started over at my new blog, Traded Sets.

See you on the other side!

#110T Orestes Destrade

We complete this set not with a bang, but with a whimper. Destrade was a well-regarded rookie at this time but disappeared from the big leagues after 1988. Disappeared until 1993, that is, when he got a shot with the first-year Marlins and posted a 20-HR season. He fell off considerably in 1994 and that was truly it for him. Destrade had spent 3 of those intervening years (1990-1992) in Japan, where he hit 42, 39, and 41 HR while playing 130 or fewer games each year (the season in Japan is shorter than in MLB.)

I don't see any particularly interesting words on the back, so here are some anagrams for Orestes Destrade:

Retreaded tosses
Dread sore testes
Rotted deer asses

#109T Darrin Jackson

It's a nice action shot of Jackson, but what I find truly interesting is the kneeling ball girl in the background. There's something you don't see every day on a baseball card.

Best phrase on the back is definitely "groin area."

#108T Melido Perez

This is a great action shot of Perez, but what exactly is sitting in the stands on the right? It looks like a huge cartoon giraffe.

There are a few choice words on the back including "supple," "ironies," and "charming."


#107T John Costello

Holy orgasm face! The one on the back ain't much better.

Best phrase on the back is clearly "gold-plated."


Thursday, March 12, 2009

#106T Todd Burns

Here's another great photo showing the back of a player, made OK by the headshot on the back of the card.

Best word on the back is clearly "Oral." You just have to go read the card back now, eh?

#105T Roberto Alomar

Here's the first rubber bat we've seen in a while. On the front, we can also see a guy in a muscle shirt as well as a photographer.

On the back of the card, I feel fairly certain that the hat is airbrushed onto Alomar. It just doesn't look right, especially at the edge where his hair is under the brim of the cap.

Best word on the back is "smashing," used as an adjective and not a present participle.

I also note mention in the space of a couple of sentences of Sandy Alomar Sr., Sandy Alomar Jr., Nolan Ryan, and Tony Gwynn.

#104T Don August

This isn't even close to August's rookie card, as he had on Olympic card in the 1985 Topps set. (See here.)

Speaking of the Olympics, the best word on the back is "thrill."

#103T Craig Biggio

I love Craig Biggio. I mean, I love him as a player.

Pretty quietly, he put together a fantastic career. Start that he managed to stick with one franchise for 20 seasons. And check out these career milestones: 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, nearly 300 homers, and an OPS+ of 111.

In the photo on the front, it looks like Shea Stadium to me, but the Astros appear to be wearing home uniforms. Hmm. Biggio did play 3 games at Shea in 1988.

Check out the photo on the back, however. Look in the background. There's the back, ass, and legs of a young lady. Hmm. It seems fitting, then, that the best word on the back is "eye-popping."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

#102T Walt Weiss

Here's the other rookie of the year from 1988 although his photo on the back makes him look like he should have been your paperboy in 1988.

It says something about your game when the first thing they mention on the back is how good you are defensively and also that you were good enough for your team to trade the pretty sucky Alfredo Griffin.

I guess I'll call out "Pioneer" as the most interesting word on the back.

#101T Tim Belcher

All I have to say is going on with Belcher's eyes on the back of the card? Oh that, adn the fact that the front photo features a nice shot of his grip on the baseball.

I like that phrase--"swiftly amassed"--on the back.

#100T Chris Sabo

Here's the last big card number in the set, even number 100, and they gave it to the 1988 Rookie of the Year, Chris Sabo. That's a fantastic photo on the front, with Sabo fielding a bunt (or swinging bunt.) And of course, a very nice closeup of his trademark glasses on the back.

Best word on the back is definitely "anything-to-win."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

#99T Pat Borders

Wow, this is another great photo, and the kind that works only with the headshot on the back. If there were just the photo on the front, I'd be ragging on Score for not showing Borders' face. But instead, we get a cool body action shot and can still see Pat's smile on the back. Sorta looks like his mom used that helmet as a guide for cutting his hair, though.

Most interesting words on the back are "two-run triple", given that Borders ended up with just 12 career triples over 17 seasons.

#98T Luis Alicea

This card features slanted photos on both the front and the back. The one one the front is particularly cool. I like cards with shadows as long as the shadow doesn't overlap the player too much. Here, Alicea and his shadow aren't even touching! This guy is a coach for the Red Sox these days.

My favorite word on the back is "pivot."

#97T Al Leiter

Leiter's got some nice flying gold chain action on the front of the card. On the back, there's an odd white spot in the orange border around his head shot. I wonder if that's a misprint on this particular card or if they were all like that.

The back of this card is one of the cheesiest in this set, and the oddest word is quite clearly "elan."

Monday, March 9, 2009

#96T Nelson Santovenia

The back of the card would seem to contain an egregious error. It says that Santovenia and Rafael Palmeiro were the only Cuban-born players in the majors at the time. Right off the top of my head, I came up with Jose Canseco, who was born in Havana and was certainly in the majors in 1988. Checking out this list, we also see Orestes Destrade, who has a rookie card coming up in this set, as well as Tony Fossas and Barbaro Garbey.

Best word on the back is "smarts."

#95T Jay Buhner

Nice yellow wristband that Bone is rocking. The photo on the back is odd--looks like everything around Buhner was blacked out for some reason.

Most interesting word on the back? I guess "bulldog", narrowly beating out "Community College."

#94T Jeff Pico

Some serious chunks of dirt flying there! Nice!

Here is a list of shutouts in first career start, coming for the Cubs. The back of the card refers to only the first start in a career, not the first start for the Cubs, which is why they ignore Cardwell. That list goes back only to 1956.

Best word on the back? "Auspicious."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

#93T Sil Campusano

Usher on the front, sweet chain around his neck on the back. What more could you want?

There's a small oopsie on the back with the justification of the number "9" for his doubles in 1985.

I'll go with "wheels" as the most interesting word on the back. brought to you by Tom Henke.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

#92T Don Gordon

Gordon was a strange choice to include in this set. He wasn't a rookie, having pitched in the bigs in 1986 and 1987, as you can see on the back. I guess Score didn't give him a card in the regular 1988 set (unlike Topps, which did.) It's also strange that they tucked him in the back of this update set, along with true rookies all around him.

At least they used a nice photo.

All kinds of unusual words on the back, including "Commercial Education", "Retail Management", and "Gamecocks."

Friday, March 6, 2009

#91T Mike Schooler

Not much to say about this card except for how sweaty he is on the back of the card.

For strangest word, I'm going with two uses of the word "Venezuelan" for a guy not born in that particular country.

#90T Todd Stottlemyre

The orange color scheme distracts a bit from a great photo here. Lots of blue for the Blue Jays, ball captured mid-flight, and Stottlemyre's arm and fingers all extended. Nice stuff.

Best word on the back is either "sizzling" or "meteoric."

#89T Dave Gallagher

Gallagher's bat looks about 4 feet long! It also looks like there might be a bit of a puff of dirt to the left, so maybe he just hit a grounder.

Who's in the background? If that's a White Sox player wearing a warmup jersey, then it's Greg Walker.

Weirdest word on the back is probably "gloveman."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

#88T John Dopson

And the honor of card #88 in 1988 goes to John Dopson, who appeared in the bigs in 1985 and yet gets a rookie card in 1988.

Anybody know who coached first base for the Cubs in 1988? That guy is probably in the background.

The best words on the back are the phrase "14-hit shutout." Here are the most hits allowed in a complete-game shutout.

Orioles photos

In case you don't read Kevin's Orioles Card O the Day blog, you need to see his latest post with some simply incredible photos his aunt took in 1979.

#87T Bryan Harvey

Here's yet another squinter. What the hell is up with this? The photographs in this set have been uniformly excellent until the last few cards.

Most surprising word on the back? Clearly "Furniture" although I liked "downtown" too.

#86T Rob Dibble

Check out Dibble's arm fat rippling all over the place! Wow!

Best word on the back? "Sizzling." Why sizzle fat when you can Sizzlean?

(If you are over the age of 30 and don't find that commercial hilarious, then something's wrong with you.)