This pack signals the end of my Troll Goodies for this blog. *sniffle* That isn't to say that I don't have more packs to open, just that they aren't packs that are new to this site, so I'll open them on my own time. For example, some 1995 Bazooka packs that I received will lead to a contest on my blog one of these days, so keep a look out for that. Until then, however, I hope you will all be happy with these 1988 Topps UK Minis (EDIT: I now realize a pack of these were posted before as 1988 Topps American Baseball, but I'm still posting these...more the merrier, right?)
Ah minis. Not the small thin kind that was once famous and has recently been revisited in several Topps offerings (sorry JD!), but the kind that flooded our bad wax era cards, ending around 1992 with the Panini stickers that I love. They remind me of a time when things were simpler, and minis weren't so mini. And these are the UK variation, so that's pretty cool right?
Anyways, here's the front of the back, in all its no nonsense-ness:
Picture Cards, Bubble Gum. For the record, that would be a fantastic name for a baseball card blog. Please credit me if you steal it for that purpose hahaha.
I actually tossed the gum right away...it wasn't even pink anymore, so I wasn't going to let it touch my scanner! Luckily it didn't stain any of the cards though, all 5 of which were really great!
#12 Joe Carter - Here's your average front to the UK Minis. Nice little photo in the center, wacky stars in the upper right, and a well placed team name in the top left. Nice design!
And here's a back. Busy, and I don't love trying to read black or red. But it gets a lot of info across in a small space - section for the stats, section for a cartoon, section for "Talkin' Baseball" (designed for the kids I suppose), and a section for the vital stats with a facsimile signature. Now those vital stats are almost impossible to read given the shadows on the ball, so the back is not executed as well as the front. And Hank Aaron and Joe Carter are both white in the cartoon (but then everyone was in baseball card card toons). But I still like these backs, especially with the weird continuation of the star theme with the card number in the upper left corner.
#80 Fernando Valenzuela - Now I wasn't around when Fernando Mania hit the streets, but did people sing Abba a lot when they thought about Valenzuela? Just curious, because that's where my mind always goes when I see a card of his. The back talks about how a strike called by the umpire "due to one of 7 factors." I get what they're saying, as in there are seven different ways for a strike to occur, but their wording sounded funny/interesting to me.
#42 Mark Langston - Langston actually had a DAMN good career - he had arguably the second best career of anyone in this pack, which is impressive (Carter had the worst WAR/career, the best is yet to come). Of course, the man he was traded for in 1989 (Randy Johnson) ended up doing a bit better, but Langston was still pretty great for the Angels in the 90's for a while.
#81 Andy Van Slyke - Van Slyke is a weird guy, in that I never totally knew who he was but always figured he was pretty damn good. The stats agree that he was good, actually very good, which is cool. I always just thought his name was cool.
#47 Mark McGwire - Last card of the pack is a Big Mac Attack! This card is notable for being one of the more valuable cards in the set (it's one of 6 cards with a book value above $1 according to COMC) and for letting me know that Big Mac once played 3B. I didn't believe it, so I had to check Baseball Reference to make sure. Turns out the card was right, and that McGwire also played some RF as well. Thing is, his 24 career games at 3B were all in 1986 and 1987, and those 4 games in RF were all in 1987 and 1988. McGwire had 9 errors in those 24 3B games, and so he moved to 1B permanently following the 1988 season. Probably a good call!
And that'll do it for my Troll Goodies! Thanks again Troll, and I'll see you all again on APTBNL when I have more packs to post!