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Photo Essay: Let’s Open, Like, 1700 Baseball Cards

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Part I

At the risk of losing a considerable amount of ‘Net cred, I feel as if I need to make a confession; I haven’t bought a baseball card in about 20 years. There are lots of reasons for this, the main reason being that my friends stopped doing it first. As an adolescent who strove to be accepted, I had no interest in doing anything which my group of friends had no interest. I considered this to be, at the time, a form of self-betterment. I wanted nothing more than to hang on to the small group of friends I had, and therefor the “childish” activity of opening, sorting, and saving baseball cards was done away with.

I am now older and wiser. I understand that having hobbies and interests that are my own within my group of peers is acceptable and healthy. I embrace it. I also am on a different kick of self-improvement, related directly to baseball. As a young baseball fan, I was really only interested in the best players. I did not pay heed to the men I deemed unworthy of my attention. Superstars were it for me. This has led to a considerable knowledge gap when it comes to players of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Too many players have slipped through the cracks – players that weren’t very good or perhaps were good, but I failed to recognize their contributions since I had yet to fully understand player value.

This all being said, I decided to resurrect my baseball card hobby as both a pleasurable exercise, and as a vehicle for reacquainting myself with forgotten players. I therefor decided to purchase a collection of baseball cards from that time. Deploying the services of eBay and my local team’s fan festival, I acquired approximately 1700 baseball cards for what I consider to be a very reasonable price.

I set aside a few cards that caught my attention, and have decided to share them with you, fair NotGraphs reader. I hope you’ll join me in this trip down memory lane. I’m sure many of you remember these cards and players, but, this is about me. It always is. Shall we?

 

Bill Buckner grew replacement mustaches above his eyes, just in case.

Bill Buckner grew replacement mustaches above his eyes, just in case.

 

Speaking of ... Check out that lip caterpillar.

Speaking of … Check out that lip caterpillar.

Remember when Craig Biggio was a catcher?

Remember when Craig Biggio was a catcher?

Interesting find on the '91 Topps Stadium Club. There appears to be a primitive Pitch F/X system featured.

Interesting find on the ’91 Topps Stadium Club. There appears to be a precursor to Pitch F/X involved.

They also applied an early heatmaps system to hitters.

They also applied an early heatmaps system to hitters.

Jose Lind amassed 4.5 fWAR for his whole career.

Jose Lind amassed 4.5 fWAR for his whole career.

What Dan Gladden lacked in slugging ability, he made up for in mullet.

What Dan Gladden lacked in slugging ability, he made up for in mullet.

Holy Hell

Holy Hell

The Donruss '90 set featured dumb fonts, making it hard to read the player's names.

The Donruss ’90 set featured dumb fonts, making it hard to read the player’s names.

This is just cool lookin'...

This is just cool lookin’…

With a face like that, you're gonna want to enshrine it in chalk or whatever that is.

With a face like that, you’re gonna want to enshrine it in chalk or whatever that is.

This is a picture of Fred Lynn, because I love Fred Lynn.

This is a picture of Fred Lynn, because I love Fred Lynn.

That’s all for today. More to come tomorrow. Thanks for taking this trip with me.