Saturday, March 31, 2012
The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 27: 1992 Topps #261 Tom Lasorda
If there's one thing in the hobby that doesn't have a whole lot of excitement, it's manager cards.
After all, there's not a lot of different shots possible. Most of the time, we just get a simple pose on the dugout steps or out on the field. Card companies never really went the extra mile with photographing managers.
That is, until 1992 Topps. The overall design of the set isn't the greatest, but I'll always be partial to it because it was released the year I was born.
1992 Topps boasts two of the greatest cards of the overproduction era. The above Tom Lasorda card and this beauty.
I'm still deciding which one I like better. The Ripken is a pretty serious card, foreshadowing his eventual capture of one of the most hallowed baseball records ever.
However, this one is simply fun. At the time this card was released, Lasorda was 65 years old. Yet he's still keeping up with the likes of Orel Hershiser, Gary Carter, and Kevin Gross, partaking in a morning jog with them with a smile. (Thanks to Night Owl and hiflew, I now know who the guy above Lasorda is. John Candelaria.)
That's what sets this one apart from all other manager cards. Most of the skippers we see on cardboard have serious looks on their faces. It doesn't look like they're enjoying it very much.
1992 Topps showed us that managing can actually be fun.