Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 34: 1994 Topps #20 Bryan Harvey

Greatness can be found in the most unexpected places.

A few nights ago, I decided to grab a random box of cards from my closet and browse through them, simply for kicks.

I've got tons and tons of overproduction era cards spread across my room, from all sports. I don't think I could bring myself to throw them out just yet, although I am in some need of a "cleansing", if you will.

Even with all the tired poses and no-namers like Jeff Calhoun or Francisco Melendez, a few gems manage to shine through the rubble.

Like this one.

It grabbed my attention the minute I saw it. Although I'd never heard of Bryan Harvey before, I should note that he was a two-time All-Star, also finishing eighth in the 1993 NL Cy Young Award voting after posting a 1.70 ERA with 45 saves that season. (Which probably explains why he received such an awesome card the following year.)

The first thing that peaked my curiosity was the fact that the card is horizontal, something you don't often see from the overproduction era, sadly enough.

But the picture itself is what makes this card a "gem". Few baseball cards have captivated me as much as this one.

I'm still not sure what the heck was going on when Topps snapped this shot.

It looks like they were going for "vapor trail" shot by having Harvey wave his hand around in a circle. Which would probably rank up there as one of the most awkward photo sessions in history, if true.

"Just wave your arm around for a minute. Keep going. Keep going...STOP! Now, smile!" (Hopefully they got it in one take.)

Or maybe this card is haunted by the proverbial "baseball gods". The terrified look on Harvey's face leads me to believe that.

Plus, where exactly was the setting for this photo shoot? The alarmingly dark room looks like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel.

While it may be eerie, this card is certainly different. And my readers probably know how much of a "different" fan I am when it comes to cardboard.

Let's just hope there's not a curse or anything attached to this card.

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