There's a lot of it on this card.
This is Steve Garvey's final card. Interestingly, it was produced by Score, a company that was in its first year of producing baseball cards.
One of the most remembered figures of the 1970's had his final card produced by Score. Not Topps, not Donruss, not Fleer. Score.
That just doesn't seem right.
Score was the first major card company to receive a license to produce baseball cards after Fleer and Donruss joined the ranks in 1981. Upper Deck would follow in '89, followed by what must have seemed like hundreds of other companies within the next few years.
Score's initial offering in 1988 actually isn't that bad of a set, in my opinion. In fact, I think it's one of the better base sets in Score's history, although I'm not sure how much that really says.
I'm always a fan of colorful borders. Plus, most of the shots for the '88 Score set are in-action pictures, and the front of the card does a great job of showcasing them. (Although I wish they would've scrapped that little white square inside the picture frame. It serves no purpose.)
I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but Score did a great job in capturing a shot of Garvey at Wrigley Field. After all, arguably his finest moment came against the Cubs in Game 4 the 1984 NLCS, when he hit a two-run, walk-off homer to extend the series.
Although he only played five seasons in San Diego, it cemented his place in Padres lore.
Another great example of juxtaposition.
However, it's easy to see why Garvey had just one card in 1988. He played in just 27 games the year before, hitting a paltry .211 in his final season.
While it wasn't a great way to go out on the field, Score chose a great way to send Garvey off on his final piece of cardboard. This action shot captures the precise moment that a Cubs pitch met Garvey's bat, although it looks like Garvey got under it a bit.
Some of the greatest players in baseball history had less-than-flattering swan songs in terms of their baseball cards.
However, the same cannot be said about Steve Garvey.
He got a proper send-off.