Thursday, October 22, 2015

Antique Mall Mystery Pack: Blue Jays

I'm sure most collectors my age subscribed to Beckett as kids. Maybe some of us still do.

For a while, they had a feature where readers would add humorous captions to various baseball cards. Something along the lines of "He's at lunch. Can I take a message?" on one of those call to the bullpen cards.

1994 Score #43 Roberto Alomar
And I always wanted to caption a card like this as "Hurry up and take the picture! I can't hold this pose much longer!"

Comedy gold when you're ten.

Anyway, another one of my Antique Mall Mystery Packs from the Brass Armadillo jogged that particular memory, even though this pack was a bit less interesting than the Mets or Pirates.

1994 Score #427 Paul Molitor
In fact, there was quite a bit of Score product in this pack. I recognize these guys from the 1993 World Series, the last time the Blue Jays were in the postseason. Especially after that Tulowitzki trade, I'm pulling for them this year, but their prospects for advancing are not looking great, as they're down three games to two to the Royals and headed back to Kansas City.

Night Owl wrote a post last week about the prevalence of "hatless" players in some early Topps sets, but a good mix of that and action shots like Alomar's make for a pretty good set. Of course, these dark blue borders are seriously fragile (note the damage on the left edge), but that doesn't stop 1994 Score from being my favorite of their whole run.

1993 Score #602 Tom Henke
1993 wasn't bad either, and I remember getting a pack or two of this product from my dad for a Hanukkah present. The font's a little hard to read, but it is a surprisingly bold design for being so minimal.

I've worn glasses since before I was 5, so seeing a pro ballplayer wearing them was always cool. And I'm not talking about crazy goggles like Alex Cole or Chris Sabo, just plain old nerdy glasses. Greg Maddux wore them from time to time, too.

1994 Topps Gold #511 Devon White
This is totally a trip down memory lane, which is exactly what antique stores are selling, I guess. One-per-pack 1993 and 1994 Topps Gold cards were prized treasures of my early collection, and 1994 Topps was the first factory set I saved up enough to purchase. I've seen this card plenty, though this Gold parallel is a new addition.

Devon White was an important part of the Blue Jays' back-to-back World Series wins, and judging from all that mail, he was quite the fan favorite.

1993 Upper Deck #425 Carlos Delgado
Carlos Delgado had yet to make his mark on the majors the last time the Jays were a contender, and he looks so young in this photo! The back of this card details how he was tearing up the minor leagues in 1992, well on his way to wielding the wooden tools in that bat rack to hit darn near 500 home runs before he retired.

1993 Upper Deck #339 Duane Ward
I don't remember Duane Ward as well as some of these other guys, but it's a perfect example of the legendary awesomeness that is 1993 Upper Deck. Pre-game stretching while on the road? Might as well blow a bubble.

I didn't really have a good appreciation of the closer role (when are we just going to break down and call it a "position"?) until I started playing Fantasy baseball in 2005, let alone an understanding of a "save situation". Still, Ward was good for 45 saves in 1993, and even got the W in the final Game 6, thanks to this next guy.

1994 Score Gold Rush #73 Joe Carter
One can hardly say a word about the Blue Jays, especially this time of year, without mentioning Joe Carter. His home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series was only the second time anyone won the whole darn championship in walkoff home run fashion, other than the (in)famous Bill Mazeroski. There have been plenty of walkoff home runs in World Series history, names you're sure to recognize, like Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, and Derek Jeter. But only Carter and Mazeroski got to raise the trophy immediately after rounding the bases.

It's a tall order for the Blue Jays at this point, but if there was ever a team to add to that list, its the 2015 Jays and their stacked lineup.

Up next, the Houston Astros, which will be the last Mystery Pack of a 2015 Postseason team.


  1. You're not talking about the Brass Armadillo in Des Moines, are you? I didn't realize they carried cards. What card shop do youfrequent in Des Moines?

    1. No, actually the one in Denver. But I'm sure you'll be able to dig up a few at your Des Moines location!

  2. 1994 was a good year for cards. All the major manufacturers had really nice designs.