Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 49: 1991 Topps #455 Walt Weiss

It snowed here last night.

Snow is actually on the ground as I type this.

Cold, blustery nights like those usually lead me to a fairly depressing realization.

Baseball is a long, long ways away.

Still, I've always got the offseason news to cheer me up. That's what the MLB Network is for, right?

Plus, the blogosphere will always be around. That's definitely something to take comfort in, at least.

Although this is my first full offseason as a blogger, I probably won't address much of the "Hot Stove" or general offseason goings-on in the baseball world on this blog. Besides, other, more team-centered blogs do most of the work in that department.

Sometimes, though, a card I post just happens to coincide with a big event from the offseason, which is exactly what we have here.

I've been planning to write about this one for a while now. Seeing as how Walt Weiss was recently given the Rockies' managerial job, I figured now was as good a time as ever to showcase this "gem".

Personally, I've never paid much attention to the Rockies. Again, there's a few other bloggers who feed me all the Rockies knowledge I need. I've seen more Rockies cards during my time as a blogger than I had in the last six years overall.

From what I hear, Weiss coached his son's high school baseball team last year. He's never coached professionally. I'll be interested to see how this move plays out in Colorado.

Maybe a "fresh face" is just what the Rockies need.

Although he's not in my "binders" at the moment, Weiss was a pretty good player during his time, winning AL Rookie of the Year in 1988.

It's hard to say when his career "peaked". Maybe it was during that AL ROY campaign in '88. Perhaps it came during his lone All-Star season in '98, although he was nearing the end of his time in the big leagues by then. (He'd play his last game in 2000.)

I don't claim to be an expert on cards of Walt Weiss, but I can't imagine there'd much doubt as to what his "peak year" of cardboard is.

It's got to be 1991 Topps.

Before I became a blogger, I used to write off '91 Topps as just another overproduction era set. However, I've gained more and more respect for it during my time in the blogosphere.

The set has already had three of the finest "gems" in this theme. (You can see them here, here, and here.)

Mr. Weiss is the fourth 1991 Topps "inductee", and for good reason.

Double-play cards are rarely not awesome. I think most of us can agree on that.

Still, this one takes it to a whole other level. In one of the more "action-filled" baseball cards I've ever seen, Weiss is getting some sweet air while an Indians player slides into him, attempting to break up the double play.

It's almost like he's jumping out of the frame, right into your living room. Or wherever you look at your baseball cards.

Plus, this one is a rare example of a landscape shot from the early part of the overproduction era. From what a few fellow bloggers have had to say, 1991 Topps did indeed mark the "rebirth" of horizontal baseball cards. They began to pop up with more regularity in the years following.

Wow. All that from one, single card.

I guess I don't stop and think about it that often, but I really do love talking about these little rectangular pieces of cardboard.

Maybe the baseball season isn't all that far away.

As long as I have my baseball cards, it's always within reach.


hiflew said...

I have wrote about my feelings on the Weiss managerial situation, but I'm going to keep it light here.

I don't think Weiss had so much of a peak year, as he had a plateau career. What I mean by that is that he was very consistent from beginning to end without any major outlying years.

As far as the landscape cards go, 1991 was the first year of their return (for regular base cards) since 1974. It wasn't just the overproduction era, it went a lot further back.

Ryan said...

Great selection!

W-Squared definitely had his page or two in my "Stars" binders during my childhood collecting days. Since the Yanks could never hang tough into the post-season, I was a big fan of the A's during the Bash Brother years and Weiss was definitely a major component of that success. I hope he can provide some cohesiveness to the tremendous talent that exists in CO. A few missing pieces and I think the Rocks will be in the thick of things.

This post makes me want to re-discover my old junk wax sets!

night owl said...

1993 Upper Deck has a ton of landscape cards. That's one of the things that makes it great.


Ana Lu said...

You are right. Almost every collector likes to have a double play card. But I like it even more if there is dust! Put it all over the place and it rings all possible bells to me.

Home plate plays are very good too. But more rare to find I think.