Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dime Box Heroes: Knowledge is power

1996 Bazooka #114 Bret Saberhagen

Over the years, I've learned a lot about the game of baseball.

Baseball cards are to thank for a large part of that. There's always something to be learned from a seemingly innocent piece of cardboard.

One of my areas of "expertise" with these seemingly useless baseball factoids is being able to name all the teams well-traveled players suited up for. (Like Kenny Lofton.)

However, every now and then, I'll come across a card of a guy in a uniform I never knew he wore, well-traveled or not. Most of the time, cards of this sort come courtesy of dime boxes.

At one of last year's shows, I came across a dime box filled with mid '90s cards. As I've said before on this blog, I love digging through mid '90s stuff because I've found that they're surprisingly difficult to find. I usually have no trouble finding newer cards, '80s cards, or vintage, but cards from the '90s seem to slip through the cracks for whatever reason. 

Anyways, I came across a big stack of these 1996 Bazooka cards in this particular dime box, which intrigued me because I didn't even know Bazooka issued cards in the '90s. (Apparently, they were around in '95 as well before making a comeback in 2003.)

One of the crown jewels of the stack of Bazookas was the above Bret Saberhagen card. I knew Saberhagen had played for the Royals, Mets, and Red Sox at various points in his career.

But I never knew he was once a member of the Colorado Rockies.

I did some research once I got back home from the show, and I found out that Saberhagen had pitched in nine games with the Rockies at the end of the 1995 season, after being dealt to Colorado at the trading deadline that year. 

Thanks to baseball cards, I can now proudly say that Bret Saberhagen was a member of the Royals, Mets, Red Sox, and Rockies in his baseball career.

Just another chink in my armor of seemingly useless baseball facts.

By the way, I thought the Bazooka card backs were worth showing off, although I couldn't really tie it in with the first part of this post.

It's got to be the single loudest card back ever made. There's so much going on that I lost track. 

For one, I guess there's a game that's meant to be played with these, judging from the "Bazooka Joe Steals Third, Draw 3 Cards" in the top-right corner. (I have no idea what the "7 Effect" at the top of the card means. Perhaps it's another part of the game that I bet no one played.)

Then we have the random "Metal Dude" words in the center of the card, for no apparent reason. With everything going on, it took me a while to find the card number (bottom-center). 

Plus, there's a random fact at the bottom of the card, which is upside down for some reason. (Well, the little factoid could've tied in to the first part of the post.)

The backs of these cards are so crazy that I actually kind of like them. Does that make me crazy for liking Bazooka?

I hope not.

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