Thursday, February 9, 2012
The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 18: 1989 Score #645 Randy Johnson RC
Few players dominated the game as much as Randy Johnson did in the 1990's and early 2000's.
"The Big Unit" was famous for his serious, sneering personality on the baseball field during his reign of terror. That kind of attitude sharply contrasts the comical powder-blue Expos uniforms of the late-'80s.
A lot of people forget the Johnson began his career in Montreal. The Expos nabbed him in the second round of the '85 draft, but then dealt him to the Mariners in May of 1989 for Mark Langston.
All in all, Johnson would pitch in just 11 games for the Expos between 1988 and '89. (A decent "short term stops" nominee as well.)
Johnson's '89 Score rookie is probably his least-discussed RC, but it's my personal favorite, mainly because it's the only one that features an action shot. Plus, call me crazy, but I kind of like the '89 Score design.
The most famous (and valuable) rookie card of "The Big Unit" is actually his '89 Fleer error, which shows a Marlboro ad in the background. Fleer blacked-out the ad and issued a "corrected" version of the card, which I also own.
One of the upsides to the overproduction era is that you can get rookie cards of some of the greatest players of the era for loose change. Thanks to the craziness that I alluded to in my last post, you can own rookie cards of greats like Maddux, Biggio, and Smoltz for a few quarters.
I'm sure that you can find this card in a quarter box with a little searching.
A rookie card of a 300-game winner? A rookie card of the man who is second on the all-time strikeouts list? A rookie card of a sure-fire Hall of Famer?
All for a quarter?
That's a "gem" if I ever saw one.