2017 Topps Heritage is a month or so away, and as I’m sure most of you are aware, this year’s set is based on the burlap-y 1968 Topps design. Another set (of sorts) which had been based on the 1968 Topps set was a series of cards which had been inserts in 1993 issues of Baseball Cards (and later “Sports Cards”) magazine.
These are not unlike the cards which come in Sports Illustrated For Kids; they came in a single sheet inserted into the magazine and are on similar thin cardstock. One thing you’ll notice is that most of them – and all of the ones in this post – use speckles instead of a burlap pattern, but if you don’t look all that closely you don’t really notice.
For whatever it’s worth, all of my cards are still in sheet form; I just cropped the images into individual cards for this post.
Since I don’t know what to say about these other than “Hey, lookit!” I’ll share a little bit about where each player was in 1993.
Eddie Murray was, at the time, a 37-year-old first baseman whose All-Star days were behind him, but he was still a productive player for the Mets. He was also 10 years away from being inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
1993 was the first of two consecutive MVP seasons for Frank Thomas. Interestingly enough, despite his MVP and a Silver Slugger award, the only thing he lead the league in is putouts.
1993 was George Brett’s final season, which he spent as a 40-year-old DH. I like the photo used for this card.
Manny Ramirez was still a prospect and made his MLB debut when rosters expended in September, 1993.
I’d forgotten about this: in 1994, Manny finished second in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting to… drum roll please… Kansas City’s Bob Hamelin.
Ryno was in his final All-Star season and a year away from his first retirement. He’d come back from retirement and play in 1996 and 1997.
I think this Travis Fryman card has the most Topps-like photo of the bunch. Fryman was a 24-year-old all-star with the Tigers. I’d forgotten that he had been a 5-time all-star.
His transaction lines also threw me for a loop; I saw that in 1997 the Tigers traded him to Arizona for three players… and about 10 seconds later the light bulb flickered on and I said “Wait a minute, when was Travis Fryman with the Diamondbacks???” The answer to that is “For about two weeks in November”. The initial trade happened the day of the expansion draft, and the three players sent to Detroit had been part of the draft. Fryman was later traded to the Indians, for whom he actually would play.
I don’t know what to say about Cal in 1993…. Still in his streak, still playing short… second season playing in Camden Yards.
Here’s something of mild interest: 1993 was the only year that Cal was part of a double-play combo with Harold Reynolds.
Billy Ashley put up big numbers in the minors, but never put it together in the Majors. Mike Piazza was the 1993 N.L. Rookie Of The Year.
FYI, Mike Piazza also had a stand-alone card in this same set, but I wanted to include one of the “Rookie Stars” cards.
That’s it for now… If there is enough demand, maybe I’ll share more of these.