Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 19: 1991 Topps #530 Roger Clemens

1991 Topps makes their third appearance in this series with this card. 

First, there was this one. And then this one. Both are fantastic cards, especially if you're a fan of catchers.

Since starting the GOJW series, I've started to appreciate the 1991 Topps set a lot more. I'd forgotten how many great shots there were.

The '91 Topps Clemens card you see above was yet another dime box purchase from Saturday's card show. I'm pretty sure it's the first Clemens card I've ever voluntarily welcomed into my collection. Although he was a great pitcher, he's one of my least favorite players in baseball history. (Throwing a broken bat towards Mike Piazza cemented that "honor" in my book.)

However, as I said in my first card show post, I'm starting a new "collection". If I find a card with a great picture in a dime box, I'm buying it, even if I don't collect the player featured on the card. They'd especially be great for future blog posts.

That's exactly what we have here. When I nabbed this card out of the dime box, I didn't just get a great card. I got an idea for a blog post as well.

Clemens was on top of his game in 1990, going 21-6 with an astounding 1.93 ERA. He'd finish second to 27-game winner Bob Welch in the Cy Young voting, however.

As a result, he was rewarded with one of the better "scoreboard" cards I've ever seen. Most people know what the "Green Monster" is, baseball fan or not. 

Whoever thought of this pose is a photography genius. The "strike" and "out" signs obviously hint at the fact that Clemens was arguably the greatest strikeout pitcher of his era.

Most of the time, I'd rather see an action shot over a pose on a baseball card.

Not in this case.


hiflew said...

You know I often think that I prefer action shots to poses, They might be better for the first viewing, but think of most of the iconic cards, I'd say about half of them are posed.

There are many bad poses or overdone poses, but the unique ones are the cards that you tend to remember more than the sliding catch or turning the double play.

thosebackpages said...

Great Set indeed.

Also the "end of an era" as 1991 Topps Baseball Card Packs were the last of the Brands packs to feature wax and gum.

cynicalbuddha said...

I'd say the Santiago is still my favorite photo of the set, but when ever I'm looking through stacks of 91 and I see that Clemens card, I think to myself, "damn that's a nice looking card."