It’s Not Really A “Challenge” If You Pick And Chose: Wrapping Up The 30-Day Challenge

Guilty as charged.  Tony over at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards went to the trouble of setting up a 30-Day Challenge, and I’m just doing the topics I want to do.  It’s a cop-out, but I have no regrets.

Today I’m going to run down five days worth of topics, and after that it’s on to other things.

Day 3: A card from the first set you tried to complete
This topic gives me an excuse to feature a card I’d scanned and uploaded back in 2012 – good gravy, five years ago!  It’s certainly time to use this one.

I love this card because it’s a cool action shot… because Thurman Munson is the player sliding into home while Healy waits for the throw… and because Fran Healy would be the backup to Thurman Munson in 1976 and 1977.

Unrelated Fran Healy facts: Fran Healy’s middle name is Xavier, he was the 56th pick in the 1968 expansion draft and he is the lead singer and songwriter for the Scottish band Travis. Oh, wait, that’s a different Fran Healy.

Day 5: A certified autograph of one of your favorite players

The key phrase is “one of your favorite players”. I have lots of favorite players. Stubby Clapp is one of them.

Day 18: A card of a player who became manager of your favorite team.
I don’t think that many of you are going to look at Frank Howard and think “Mets Manager”… unless there’s a question mark at the end.

The Mets manager at the beginning of 1983 was George Bamberger, but he quit that June and was replaced by his first base coach, Frank Howard. “Hondo” managed the Mets to a 52-64 record the rest of the way, and at the end of the season he got a pat on the back, a hearty “Well done!” and was told he wouldn’t be the manager in 1984. The Mets instead went out and hired Davey Johnson, who still has the most managerial wins in Mets history.

Day 19: A card from a country other than the United States
This is another card I’ve been meaning to feature for quite a while, and I don’t think I ever have.

It’s not about the card (1991 BBM, from Japan), it’s not about Makoto Shimada (outfielder for the Daiei Hawks), it’s about that Hawks batting helmet.  If you’re reading on a phone or other small screen and can’t quite make it out, the batting helmet’s graphic are meant to evoke the head of a hawk…  You’ve got an orange beak on the helmet’s bill, a white area on top and eyes on the side of the front.  I don’t normally go for “gimmicky” uniform elements… but I love this.

One last note: Shimada played 14 seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters, but this card shows his final 16 game appearance with the Hawks in 1991… a Japanese Short-term Stop!

Day 20: Your favorite parallel card based on the parallel, not the player
I’m not really a “parallel guy”, so I almost skipped this category. For the most part parallels falls into the category of “I’ve already got this card, why would I want another one just because it has a chartreuse border.”

But every so often I get a card like this one… the scan does it no justice, but this is a (takes deep breath) 2015 Topps Chrome Mega Box Rookie Sensations card of Jacob deGrom.

This is just a nice card in general, but the “Mega Box” aspect to it made it sparkle and I just said “Yeah, baby, yeah-HEAH!” when I saw it. I also thought that it was a nice-enough design that I didn’t necessarily need the Mega Box versions.

…So I thought…

I got another card from this insert set, only it was a base one. A dull, lifeless (by comparison) base card. And I was greatly disappointed.

At that moment, the parallel became the cards I would seek… not in addition to the base cards, but instead of. Fortunately, the Mega Box cards would eventually prove to not be tremendously rare or expensive

…And that’s a wrap!  Thanks again, Tony!  I know I’m not the only one that enjoyed doing (part of) the 30 Day Challenge!

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