Here we are.
The "Sweet 16".
I have a feeling the coming matchups are going to be pretty tough for some of my fellow readers. The decisions won't be easy. I'd sure have a heck of a time choosing between most of these pairings.
But, hey, that's the fun of this thing. Right?
Before I introduce our initial "Sweet 16" matchups, I should note that voting will close this Thursday, May 30th, at 11:59 PM. Be sure to get your votes in before then!
No matter how tough of a choice it may be.
So, without further ado, here's the first pair of "Sweet 16" matchups.
#9 -- 1991 Topps #170 Carlton Fisk
#13 -- 1994 Topps #180 George Brett
Neither of these masterpieces faced much of a challenge in the previous rounds.
As a couple of the more iconic cards of the entire overproduction era, though, that's about what I was expecting.
The masterful Fisk is one of three '91 Topps cards still remaining in this tournament. The Brett, as I've said before, is arguably the greatest "sunset" card ever produced.
Now, much to my pleasure, these two treasured pieces of cardboard are facing off against each other.
I don't think either will go down without a fight.
#2 -- 1989 Upper Deck #145 Nolan Ryan
#6 -- 1989 Fleer #616 Billy Ripken "Rick Face"
At this point in the tournament, I'm seriously running out of things to say about the remaining contestants.
Once again, the Ryan is the first-ever "multiple-exposure" shot in hobby history. And a pretty bad-ass night shot, to boot.
The Ripken, of course, is famous for the obscenity written on the bat handle. I feel bad for anyone who tried tracking down all the different variations of that one.
Whether the flub was intentional or not on Fleer's part is still debated. (I happen to think they knew full well what they were doing by putting it onto the market.)
Either way, it's grown to become one of the faces of the overproduction era.
Well, there's your first "Sweet 16" matchups.
As you can probably see, I wasn't lying when I said they'd be tough.