As they say, good things come in bunches.
Even after last week's insanely successful show, I was still hungry for some more card show "action".
Since I usually get a nice amount of cash from relatives and such come Christmas time, I thought I'd check Beckett's card show calendar to see when the first post-Xmas show was being held around here. (Incidentally, the "calendar" is one of Beckett's few useful tools.)
In doing so, I stumbled upon a show that I'd never seen before. One that's actually pretty close to where I live.
On top of that, it's a two-day show, which leads me to believe that it might be another "big" one. As far as I can tell, it's not of the monthly variety.
This show is a "one-time" deal.
So, of course, I can't miss it. Although my allotted cardboard budget and finances can get a little thin during the holiday season, I should be able to scrounge up enough funds to be in attendance.
A "bonus" card show?
I'm about as happy as Todd Pratt right now.
Hopefully, the dime cards will be plentiful at this show as well. Some dime box Ruths, Greenbergs, and even Pratts would be an excellent early Christmas gift to myself.
Even though the show is about three weeks away, I'm in the mood to celebrate tonight.
What better way to do so than with another installment of my "Top 100"?
If you missed my first two groupings, you can see them here and here to catch up.
Without further ado, we begin tonight's countdown with card number 80 on my list...
#80 -- 2006 Upper Deck #130 Ken Griffey Jr.
...and with two of the greatest players in baseball history.
"The Kid" has been featured on a ton of great cardboard over the years, but I have a hard time believing any of them could beat this one.
As one of the prime candidates of the "Awesome Players Hanging Out Together" collection, Griffey's 2006 UD issue features him enjoying a moment with '60s and '70s slugger Willie McCovey.
Perhaps better known as "Stretch" to Giants fans.
The two greats featured on this card walloped a combined 1,151 career homers.
McCovey is already a Hall of Famer, and Griffey will no doubt be a first-ballot inductee into Cooperstown.
With all that said, I have one last question.
How could it not make this countdown?
#79 -- 1982 Donruss #74 Carl Yastrzemski
I've already told the tale of how cool this card is.
As it turns out, the photo Donruss used for their '82 issue of "Yaz" most likely came from a ballgame in 1978.
Plus, this is the only card I have that depicts Yazstremski bunting. I'm not sure why anyone would want such a feared slugger to lay one down, but that's beside the point here.
On top of all that, I nabbed it from a member of my trading forum for a penny.
Yes, a card I bought for a single, solitary penny actually made it into my "Top 100".
A true "underdog" story.
#78 -- 2008 Topps Allen and Ginter #76 Jim Thome
In terms of the dictionary definition of the word, it takes a while for something to truly become "iconic".
However, even though this card is less than five years old, I have no problem placing the "iconic" label on it.
In twenty years, I have a feeling that this Thome will become one of the defining images of the current generation of cardboard.
Truthfully, I may have underrated it in this countdown. Perhaps it should be even higher.
For now, though, it takes the 78th slot.
After I scanned this card in preparation for tonight's post, I couldn't help but think, "Now that is a baseball card."
It really is.
#77 -- 1989 Fleer #616 Bill Ripken "Rick Face" ERR
Of all my "Top 100" selections, this one may be the most controversial.
That is, if a blog list of 100 baseball cards can even get "controversial".
People who lived through the whole Ripken fiasco probably have a slight distaste for this one. Judging from the dozens of different variations it has, I can't say I blame them.
Some speculate that Fleer knew about the error and slipped it into the printing presses anyways. Again, from what I know about the craziness of the overproduction era, I wouldn't be surprised at all if that were true.
However, as someone who wasn't even born at the time of its release, I love this card.
I still laugh whenever I see the "F-word" scribbled onto Ripken's bat. Perhaps even more hilarious is the tame "Rick Face" label that appears in Beckett's catalog of cards.
What the heck is a "Rick Face", anyways?
I received the Ripken during my early days of online trading. I gave up a Jose Reyes rookie card to get it.
So, was it worth it?
Giving up a "hot" star rookie card to get a simple chuckle?
Giving up a "hot" star rookie card to get a simple chuckle?
You bet it was.
#76 -- 2007 Upper Deck #381 Endy Chavez
Just like the Thome, I have a feeling that this one will be remembered down the road in this hobby.
Although the design can get in the way at times, 2007 Upper Deck has a ton of great, underrated photography within its checklist.
This is the second appearance the set has made in this countdown (along with David Weathers at #92), and there's still one to go.
Upper Deck managed to capture Endy Chavez's famous "snow cone" catch in Game 7 of the '06 NLCS in all its glory.
I'm pretty much indifferent towards the Mets, but even I couldn't help but celebrate when I saw that grab live.
If this card is any indication, baseball is indeed a "game of inches".
#75 -- 2002 Ultra #146 Darryl Kile
It's hard to "rank" a card like this.
While my list does feature an array of fun or simply "cool" shots, this one stands on its own in a lot of ways.
I still consider Darryl Kile's untimely passing in 2002 as the most somber moment of my life as a baseball fan.
Even ten years later, this card still triggers a lot of emotion whenever I see it in my binders.
On the one hand, it certainly is as "sad" as a baseball card can be. The game of baseball lost a good player on that fateful day in 2002.
More importantly, it lost a good person.
On the other hand, though, it features such a peaceful "baseball" shot, one that any fan of the game can appreciate.
As far as baseball cards go, this is the ultimate "tribute" to the legacy of Darryl Kile.
#74 -- 1994 Ted Williams "Locklear Collection" #LC-17 Honus Wagner
Here's a little "spoiler alert" for you.
This won't be the last "Locklear Collection" insert you'll see on this list.
Even though they're pretty hard to come by, I'll put these up against any other insert set in the history of baseball cards.
The sheer artwork and aesthetics are second-to-none.
Needless to say, this card of "The Flying Dutchman" is one of the most beautiful pieces of my Hall of Fame collection.
Not to mention an integral part of my "Top 100".
#73 -- 2007 UD Masterpieces #13 Brooks Robinson
Brooks Robinson is one of the more "cardogenic" players on record.
I own over 100 different cards of his, and nearly every single one is a head-turner.
As I've come to realize in the last few years, UD Masterpieces just may feature the greatest base set of the last decade or so.
No, it doesn't have the mammoth 990-card checklist like Topps Total, but every single Masterpieces card is...well, a masterpiece.
If you don't believe me, just take a gander at this one.
I've always loved all the suit-and-tied fans that are featured in photos from the '60s and '70s. Plus, the superb colors on this "masterpiece" certainly make it stand out.
On top of all that, though, it perfectly exemplifies why Robinson was known as "The Human Vacuum Cleaner".
#72 -- 1996 Upper Deck "V.J. Lovero Showcase" #VL-12 Randy Johnson
My "Top 100" posts started on November 5th of this year.
I decided that any card I received after that date would be ineligible for this countdown. Having to reshape and reorganize my list from a new "inductee" would just be too much of a headache otherwise.
This card arrived on my doorstep on November 3rd, the Saturday before these posts began.
It's a good thing, too, because I really wanted this one to be a part of my "Top 100".
It's a prominent piece of my collection, and one that allowed me to "put the band back together". (The back of the card is pretty neat as well.)
I'm still considering what a band with "The Big Unit" on the drums would sound like.
I bet it'd attract a lot of mosh pits.
#71 -- 2000 Stadium Club Chrome #29 Greg Maddux
We close out tonight's countdown with a fairly obvious choice for my list.
Going in, I wasn't sure if cards like the "Yaz" or Chavez would make this countdown. I'd always considered them to be terrific cards, but I didn't know if they were actual "Top 100" material.
This one was never in any danger of missing the cut.
I knew it'd be on my list the whole time.
It's easy to see why Stadium Club ditched the whole "chrome" thing pretty quickly. For the most part, it just didn't fit in with their overall look.
Even so, it certainly didn't take away from the outstanding photography that made them famous.
A star position player would be lucky to have such a great shot on the front of their baseball card. Although Greg Maddux is a "star" in every sense of the word, pitchers are rarely shown on the basepaths.
Yet, this card goes a whole lot further than showing the "Mad Dog" on the bases. It shows him in the midst of a ferocious attempt to break up a double play, toppling over a hapless, apparently long-named Pirates middle infielder in the process.
With all that, I think it's easy to see why this was a member of my "Top 100" all along.
The cards just keep on getting more awesome with each coming post.
Each one seems to top the next.
In a way, I guess that's true with any post on my blog. Or any other blogs, for that matter.
I certainly think I've come a long ways since my first posts here. And I like to think that I get the hang of this whole blogging thing a little more every time I write.
Until next time, though, I hope you enjoyed this installment of my "Top 100".
Hopefully, the next one will be even better.