Double Trouble, To Varying Degrees

I’m in the Eastern time zone and I stayed up to watch all of Game 7… So I missed a lot of sleep and didn’t do much last night beyond doing what needed to be done, eating dinner and passing out in front of the TV. I bring this up only to explain that this is going to be a fairly short post.

Not too long ago I discovered a nearly-twenty year old insert set from 1997 Fleer Ultra, one that I took such a liking to that I bought the two cards which fit into my team collections (and will probably go back for a couple of more).

No introduction needed for the two Hall Of Famers on the Orioles version of the card, unless you don’t recognize the faces and can’t read the foil text which lists out the names of Roberto Alomar and Cal Ripken, Jr.
1997-fleer-ultra-double-trouble-alomar-ripken
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… Good combo cards don’t feature two seperate images photoshopped together, they don’t feature action shots, they don’t feature two players talking to each other between pitches. Nope, they feature two or more people who got together and posed for the camera. Such a concept! Sadly, it seems to be an endagered species as long as Topps relies on Getty Images and such.

The Mets version of the card does not including HOFers, to say the least… I still like the card. We’ve got two guys who, in 1997, were viewed as the future of the Mets… Rey Ordonez and Alex Ochoa! (Cue Kermit The Frog waiving his arms and going “YAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!”)
1997-fleer-ultra-double-trouble-ordonez-ochoa
Rey Ordonez was a favorite of mine… He was the Mets’ starting shortstop for a number of years and won three straight Gold Gloves from 1997 to 1999. He’d play 7 years with the Mets, plus put in brief appearances with the Rays and Cubs.

Alex Ochoa was a “Can’t Miss” prospect who… well I won’t say that he missed, but he wasn’t able to maintain a consistently high level of play in the Majors. The Mets got him from the Orioles as part of a 1995 deadline deal package of prospects for Bobby Bonilla.  The Mets would ship Ochoa off to Minnesota after 1997, and he would go on to play for the Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Angels and the Chunichi Dragons. He tried to come back to the U.S. with the Red Sox, but after some games in Pawtucket he went back to Japan and finished his career with the Hiroshima Carp.

As for the 1997 Fleer Ultra Double Trouble set in general… I really like the distinctive and appealing card design, and the theme of the insert set is a natural and not at all gimmicky.  It’s a shame that this was a one-year insert set, but I’m glad that we have the 1997 cards, anyway.

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