But I have plenty of material to keep going, though perhaps not at the frenzied pace of others in the Cardsphere.
|1994 Triple Play #91 Moises Alou|
Alou was one of the key members of that 1994 Expos team, but didn't get his chance to shine in the postseason until he joined the Marlins for their 1997 World Series championship. And I'm sure if you're a Cubs fan, all I have to do is say Moises Alou's name to trigger some unhappy memories. He did end up with his ring, though some other players from that team never did.
This might be the first time that I used the same set to end one post and begin the next. 1994 Triple Play must look a bit familiar by now, as the impact of those big cutout letters can't be missed.
Also, is it just me, or does the Expos logo look like a "JB"? A kid in my third grade class used to wear an Expos hat, and I spent months wondering what the heck JB stood for. I finally did see the puffy-looking "M" in that logo, but I don't remember who finally clued me in, whether it was my classmate, my dad, or someone else entirely.
|1994 Triple Play #289 Cliff Floyd|
|1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond #19 Michael Jordan|
|1993 Ultra #420 John Wetteland|
I am guessing that this photo from 1993 (not 1992!) Fleer Ultra was taken at Wrigley Field. The slope of that foul territory wall looks about right, and it's definitely a day game, still a common thing in Chicago. Plus Fleer shot a ton of photos in Wrigley Field. Go check 1991 Fleer Ultra to see what I mean.
|1993 Topps #69 John Vander Wal|
Flip this card over and you'll see a strong influence from Leaf's Studio brand, as we get John's player data, complete professional stats, and fun facts like how he studied Civil War History, and enjoys snowmobiling and RC cars and airplanes in his free time.
If that's not a complete ripoff of 1991-1993 Studio, I don't know what is.
Topps has consistently been my favorite card brand, and honestly, if someone besides them had the exclusive MLB license right now I might be less interested in the hobby, but you have to admire all the competition and one-upmanship that was going on back then. Sure, they all printed billions of cards that are now pretty much worthless, but there was a firestorm of new ideas that hit the hobby in the space of a very few years. Pictures on the back and white card stock from Score in 1988, holograms from UD in 1989, right through the first relics and serial numbered cards in the mid 1990s.
Compared to that, new sparkly patterns and border colors don't really capture the imagination in the same way as seeing competitors push the limits of innovation. Or even blatantly rip off each other's ideas.
|1993 Topps #89 Eric Anthony|
Though their team colors are quite different, and they played home games about two thousand miles apart, "Astros" and "Expos" sound enough alike to be confused from time to time. As I recall, my dad often mixed the two up, so whoever put this pack together had the same thought process. But I still have to pause when considering whether the Astros are playing an interleague game or not.
|1991 Score #210 Tim Wallach|
|1993 Upper Deck #635 Kent Bottenfield|
Turns out a decent number of these Expos guys made it to Denver at some point in their careers. And we're not done yet!
|1994 Collector's Choice Silver Signature #293 Rondell White|
The image on this Silver Signature card was probably taken during his rookie year of 1993. He's just a righty, but it looks like he's wearing a switch-hitter's helmet with ear flaps on both sides. But if you look really closely, you'll notice that he's using Tim Wallach's bat!
I'm actually starting to have a bit of an affinity for this Wallach fellow. He's turning up everywhere. That's the third time he's turned up in this post alone.
|1993 Score #488 B.J. Wallace|
At least Greg Reynolds, picked second overall by the Rockies in 2006 ahead of Kershaw, Scherzer, and others, made it to the Majors. To snag B.J. Wallace, the Expos passed on Jason Kendall, Charles Johnson, Johnny Damon, Preston Wilson, Jeffrey Hammonds, and, most notably, Derek Jeter.
Oops. Clearly the best in the business get it wrong pretty often.
|1993 Topps Black Gold #7 Marquis Grissom|
A guy like Marquis Grissom was much more reachable, and like many Expos players of this era, he did go on to win a World Series after the strike. In fact, he did so the very next year with the Braves, the only time Atlanta won a World Series during their decade-plus of dominating the NL East.
|1993 Topps Black Gold #22 Larry Walker|
If I had a time machine, or at least an alternate-universe machine, I'd want to see what would have happened in 1994. And I bet Larry Walker would too.