|1995 Fleer #529 John Vander Wal|
Vander Wal was a pretty solid utility player and pinch hitter. He put together a good year at the plate in 1995, and I always enjoyed seeing him come to bat, especially when he hit a home run in the Rockies epic 16-15 win over the Dodgers on June 30th, 1996, a legendary game in Rockies history.
The NL West design of 1995 Fleer forced the player's vital stats (height, weight, age, etc...) onto the front of the card, a very unusual spot. That still didn't clear much room off the back of the card, as most of Vander Wal's minor league clubs are abbreviated as "W. Palm B.", "Indianap." and "Jacksonv."
It might go down as the busiest card design in history.
But I still like it.
|1994 Topps #49 Armando Reynoso|
|1994 Score #643 Eric Wedge|
His managerial career was quite a bit more successful, as he won the Manager of the Year award in 2007, though he hasn't really been involved in professional baseball since his stroke in 2013. Fortunately he seems to have recovered well.
|1993 Triple Play #22 Darren Holmes|
Incidentally, he was the first ballplayer I ever met in person. He did an autograph signing at a local mall, and he signed a couple cards, a ball, and my hat. I remember the day quite vividly, in fact. I'm pretty sure my dad bought a pair of sneakers at that mall anchor store, my sister was there as well, and we saw a white limousine as we left the mall.
Forgive my channeling Rain Man right there. But I can't remember what my lunch plans were on Sunday. Go figure.
|1993 Triple Play #237 Joe Girardi|
|1999 Fleer Tradition #327 Brian Bohanon|
Bohanon wrapped up his career in Colorado, coming close to a .500 record over three seasons, though with a rather elevated ERA of close to 6.00. The Rockies didn't have much going on during those years besides the emergence of Todd Helton, but I do remember seeing him pitch a few games on TV (before it went to cable, but that's a whole other story).
|2013 Topps Heritage #329 Drew Pomeranz|
|2015 Topps Allen & Ginter #226 Nolan Arenado|
|2015 Topps Gypsy Queen #116 Nolan Arenado|
|2015 Topps Chrome #11 Carlos Gonzalez|
|1995 Topps Cyberstats #57 Charlie Hayes|
I'm a fan of most of the 1995 brands, and the torn edge look of the border goes well with the type of streaking they use for the background. It's similar to some parts of 1995 Fleer's NL West design. To me, it looks a lot like The Void that Frodo enters when he puts on the ring in Lord of the Rings. But relax, this is only Wrigley Field.
|2007 Artifacts MLB Apparel # MLB-AT Garrett Atkins /199 (MEM)|
I might need to dig up a magnifying glass to fully appreciate the cards I've been getting lately. Stamp collectors use them; why not us?
Thank you Brad, and enjoy your new home!