Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Gems of Junk Wax Bracketology: Victors from the field of 64 (Pt. 1)
The votes are in.
I am just about ready to reveal the eight cards that will advance to the next round of the "Gems of Junk Wax" tournament.
A few things before I announce the victors, though...
For the remainder of the tournament, I will be using a different polling website to collect your votes. I found Blogger's system to be quite glitchy, as I noticed votes were mysteriously added and subtracted at various points during the week.
Thankfully, none of the glitches had an effect on the overall results. While a couple of the races were neck-and-neck for a while, most of the victors this time around pulled away towards the end.
Just to be safe, though, I'll be conducting the polling for future regions through a different, more reliable system.
Secondly, I'd just like to thank everyone who took the time to vote throughout the week. I hope you keep hitting the polls during the rest of the tournament as well!
So, without further ado, let's take a look at who will be advancing to the "Terrific 32".
I doubt that's what the field of 32 is actually called, but that's what it'll be known as from here on out.
#1 seed -- 1994 Topps #715 Hank Aaron (15 votes)
#16 seed -- 1993 Topps #48 Bert Blyleven (7 votes)
Not much of a surprise here.
The Blyleven is a terrific "sunset" piece, but Aaron's '94 Topps issue does a staggering job of commemorating possibly the most defining moment in baseball history.
Frankly, I was amazed that Mr. Blyleven even received seven votes.
I thought he'd be lucky to get one.
#9 -- 1991 Topps #170 Carlton Fisk (18 votes)
#8 -- 1989 Upper Deck #415 "Oil Can" Boyd (5 votes)
Again, this matchup went pretty much as expected.
However, I was fully expecting this one to be a shutout. I didn't think Boyd had a prayer of receiving a vote.
All in all, it's good to see that "Oil Can" has a bit of a following in this hobby.
But Mr. Fisk rightfully moves on to the next round.
#12 -- 1994 Topps Archives #251 Roberto Clemente (18 votes)
#5 -- 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes #2 Johnny Vander Meer OW (4 votes)
If you go by the seeding, this could be classified as an upset.
However, as I said in the introduction to this tournament, the seeding is fairly meaningless. It's just a good way to keep with the "March Madness" theme.
If I hand-picked the brackets, the Clemente probably would've been one of the four #1 seeds.
The Vander Meer is a fantastic piece of photography, but I was ecstatic to see the "zero-year" Clemente move into the next round.
#13 -- 1994 Topps #180 George Brett (15 votes)
#4 -- 1991 Upper Deck #617 "1917 Revisited" (8 votes)
I'm interested to see how far Mr. Brett goes in this tournament.
If voting was strictly based on photography, there's a good chance that he'd win out. Topps easily produced one of the greatest shots ever to grace the front of a baseball card with that gem.
To think that I found it in a dime box still amazing.
#6 -- 1989 Fleer #616 Billy Ripken "Rick Face" (19 votes)
#11 -- 1989 Score #277 Graig Nettles (4 votes)
In introducing this matchup, I prophesied that the voting would be a "fight to the finish".
Boy, was I wrong about that one.
The profane Ripken defeated Mr. Nettles in what turned out to be the biggest blowout from the region, winning by a whopping 15-vote margin.
Looks like Billy Ripken has a bit of a fan base around the blogs.
#3 -- 1992 Score #888 Craig Biggio "Dream Team" (14 votes)
#14 -- 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes #72 Don Newcombe (8 votes)
I won't always agree with my readers.
As I've learned during my time around here, it's just another part of the blogging experience.
While both cards are fantastic, I personally would've chosen Mr. Newcombe in this matchup. It wouldn't be close, either.
In the end, though, my faithful readers decided that the psychedelic Biggio would be the one to advance.
When all is said and done, that's part of the beauty of this whole tournament setup.
#7 -- 1989 Upper Deck #452 Goose Gossage (14 votes)
#10 -- 1989 Score #652 Wrigley Field HL (7 votes)
To me, this was the biggest shocker of the region.
The Gossage is awesome, but I figured the historic night shot of Wrigley would win by a landslide. After all was said and done, the opposite proved to be true.
Just goes to show what I know.
The "Goose" advances into the next round.
#2 -- 1989 Upper Deck #145 Nolan Ryan (14 votes)
#15 -- 1988 Score #225 Steve Garvey (7 votes)
Good choice, fellow readers.
The first "multiple exposure" shot in the history of the hobby deserves to survive for at least one more round.
Although we won't be dealing with the next round of the brackets for a while, I thought I'd note what the "Terrific 32" matchups will look like for this region.
#1 -- 1994 Topps #715 Hank Aaron vs. #9 -- 1991 Topps #170 Carlton Fisk
#12 -- 1994 Topps Archives #251 Roberto Clemente vs. #13 -- 1994 Topps #180 George Brett
#6 -- 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken ("Rick Face") vs. #3 -- 1992 Score #888 Craig Biggio "Dream Team"
#7 -- 1989 Upper Deck #452 Goose Gossage vs. #2 -- 1989 Upper Deck #145 Nolan Ryan
Those should prove to be quite interesting, to say the least.
The Aaron/Fisk matchup is sure to be a doozy. And the '89 UD pairing couldn't have played out much better.
Tonight, I'll be posting the next batch of matchups from the field of 64, so be on the lookout for those! Lots of awesome "gems" are still to come.
I don't know about you, but I can already feel the madness heating up in this tournament.