Monday, October 28, 2013

A GUILTY PLEASURE


QUICK, NAME THESE EIGHT CUBS.


We all have guilty pleasures, bad-for-you things like Pop-Tarts pastries and Neil Diamond records.

Mine's 1989 Bowman. 

There, I said it. Stop laughing or I'll cue up something Neil.




MEET THE TWINKEES.



A POSE RIGHT OUT OF THE '50s.


This 484-card oversized set pays tribute to the '53 classic. Measuring 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches, the '89 issue has a hate-hate relationship with most collectors. In fact, my factory set was buried in the darkest reaches of a closet until I finally got around to buying the special eight-pocket pages.

While it's easy to point out what it lacks -- graphics and decent action photography for starters -- here's what's good about '89 Bowman:



SWEET-AUTOGRAPH.




NOT YOUR TYPICAL BASEBALL CARD BACK.



  • Card size. Most despise that extra quarter inch, but when displayed in pages or single-card holders, the cards stand out like none other from the junk wax era. 
  • Facsimile autographs. I've always loved them, especially when you get some interesting variations, like Lou Whitaker's and Bo Diaz's.
  • Print reproduction. Sharp, especially for gray stock.
  • Clever logo. With no other graphics, it serves as a focal point. 
  • Individual statistic breakdowns by team. Like scouting reports on baseball cards.
  • Team organization. There's a distinct yearbook/program feel. However, you really have to know your players or be good at deciphering autographs to know who's who at a glance.
  • An interesting subset. Actually, the only subset consists of cards featuring four baseball fathers and their sons: Sandy Alomar Sr. with Roberto and Sandy Jr., Ken Griffey Sr. with Ken Jr., Cal Ripken Sr. with Cal Jr. and Billy, and Mel Stottlemyre Sr. with Mel Jr. and Todd. The design echoes '55 Bowman, the TV set.  


WHO IS THIS MYSTERY RED?



Next year celebrates 25 years of the Bowman brand rebirth. I'm a big fan of the '48-'55 years, not so much the recent reincarnation with the emphasis on prospect cards. '89 Bowman is a nice bridge between the two eras. Besides, there are worst things for you.



THE EXPOS HAD SOME NEAT SIGNERS.



BAD CROP; INTERESTING SHOT.




THE TV IS SUFFERING A BROWN-OUT.


MISSING THE FAMILY HISTORY.




JR. WAS LOOKING OVER DAD'S SHOULDER IN '89.




THE IRON WILL CAME FROM THE OLD MAN.




PITCHING WAS IN THEIR BLOODLINES.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting take. I suppose they're not the worst set ever. As you say, a little devotion to 8-pocket pages would help me appreciate it more.

    ReplyDelete