Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 41: 1991 Upper Deck #617 "1917 Revisited"

Sometimes I have to take a step back to realize just how far I've come with this whole blogging thing.

I honestly can't believe I just typed "The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 41" into the title of this post. Forty-one different posts on this topic already?

I remember putting the finishing touches on the first one like it was yesterday.

Out of all the past "gems", this is arguably my favorite one. It's an education in baseball history, a bunch of throwbacks, and a whole lot of fun rolled up into one simple baseball card.

In fact, this particular card marks the first time the now-popular "throwbacks" were ever used in a big league game.

It was "Turn Back the Clock" day at the old Comiskey Park on July 11, 1990, and the White Sox donned the famous 1917 White Sox uniforms to commemorate the event in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. (My all-time favorite throwback jerseys, no doubt.)

General admission tickets stayed true to the era as well, as the Sox set the price at just fifty cents a piece. All other tickets were half-price at a quarter each. (Or "two bits", as they'd say back in the day.)

The PA man announced each team's lineups via megaphone, and a special manual scoreboard was used during the game. Bags of popcorn were just five cents each.

I wish I was around back in 1990. I definitely would've gone to this game.

While the contest itself was a bit of a disappointment (the Sox lost 12-9 in 13 innings after blowing a 9-3 lead), that's beside the point in recognizing how great something like this was.

I'm always interested to see a game featuring the throwbacks, even if I don't necessarily have any emotional ties to the teams that are playing.

It's my little way of being able to go "back in time" through the history of baseball.

Surprisingly, I've found that I don't know nearly as many members of the early '90s White Sox as I thought. I can spot Lance Johnson in the middle of the front row. I'm pretty sure that's a young Sammy Sosa right above him. Fan favorite Ron Karkovice is a few players to the left of Sosa. (I can't seem to find Carlton Fisk anywhere in this photo.)

Nevertheless, Upper Deck managed to do a great job of bringing that idea to cardboard, as they successfully "revisited" 1917 with this spectacular group photo of the Sox.

It's a true "gem" if I've ever seen one.

I can't wait to see what the next forty-one posts on this topic have in store.


hiflew said...

My only issue with the card is the sideways logo at the top. It's a shame that such a great card is marred with that eyesore.

BTW, two bits doesn't mean half was slang for a quarter. Shave and a haircut, two bits (ie 25 cents).

P-town Tom said...

I think Fisk is the 4th player from right in the back row. Check out those 'staches on the far left. Those are fit perfectly with the retro uniforms!

JediJeff said...

Nah - that's not Fisk. Correct on One Dog in the front row with a pre-steroid Sosa over his shoulder. Over his other shoulder is Ozzie Guillen. The killer beard on the right of Karko is Ivan Calderon, and the left of Karko is Melido Perez. The twig to the right of Sosa (no 'stache) is Black Jack McDowell I do believe. If you count from the right on the back row, I believe face 6 with the bat on his shoulder is Ron Kittle. And I know face 7 from the right is Psycho Steve Lyons.

This is interesting - check out this setup for that picture:

If you look far left, between the glove and the bat holders, you can see two players, one is Fisk and the other is Robin Ventura. They are NOT in the card picture though. There is a card in that same UD set that has just Fisk and Ventura "talking" about the construction of new Comiskey while wearing the throwbacks.

Michael J Buchanan said...

34 players in the picture from the link above. 33 players on the card. Fisk is missing. Ventura, however is not. He is over the right should of Ozzie.

Chubby Amigo said...

I always liked this card.