Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 35: 1989 Upper Deck #755 Jim Abbott RC
It's easy to throw around the term "favorite" a bit too often.
I know I've done it from time to time on the blog. "This is one of my 'favorite' cards." "He's one of my 'favorite' players."
When someone asks me what my favorite baseball card is, I'll sometimes say, "All of them."
While that's partly true, there are certainly a few that hold a special place in my collection. I've never attempted a "Top 100 baseball cards" list or anything (I don't know that I could ever pick a definitive "favorite card"), but I know some cards would at least make the countdown.
This Jim Abbott rookie is definitely somewhere in my "Top 100".
I've already featured this card in a post dedicated to Abbott's career, but it's worth showing again.
If you haven't already read the "Glory of Their Time" post I did on Abbott, I'll summarize it by saying this:
I'm a huge fan of his.
To pitch in the majors at all is hard enough. Abbott did it for over a decade, and he was born without a right hand. And he even tossed a no-hitter.
In the previous post I did on Abbott, I mentioned that his '89 UD rookie may very well be the greatest rookie card ever produced.
I've had some time to think about it since I wrote that, and I can definitively say that it is indeed the best rookie card out there, in my opinion.
Most players would be lucky to have any card half as good as this one, and this was Abbott's rookie card.
I wasn't around in '89, but I imagine there was a good deal of hype over Abbott's arrival in the majors. He was one of the handful of players to jump straight to the majors without ever playing a game in the minor leagues, which could be part of the reason he was granted such an awesome rookie card.
As far as I know, Upper Deck is the only card company to ever utilize the double-image photography, as seen on this card. I'd like to see it make a comeback.
I have eleven different rookie cards of Abbott in my collection, but all of them combined couldn't come close to matching how much I love his initial Upper Deck issue.
This card is not only a "gem" from the six or seven-year overproduction era, it's one of the treasures of the hallowed history of baseball cards as a whole.