Monday, May 27, 2013
Gems of Junk Wax Bracketology: Victors from the Terrific 32 (Pt. 4)
We have a very special "Gems of Junk Wax Bracketology" day on our hands.
For one thing, we'll be revealing the final group of victors from the "Terrific 32" this afternoon. And, tonight, I'll present the first pair of matchups from the "Sweet 16".
But, more than that, today is a special Memorial Day edition of this tournament. A very extended thanks goes out to all members of this nation's military, past and present.
On that note, let's see who this region will be sending into the "Sweet 16".
#8 seed -- 1987 Topps #653 Kevin Mitchell RC (21 votes)
#1 seed -- 1988 Topps #18 Al Leiter RC ERR (10 votes)
There are no #1 seeds left in this tournament. Mr. Leiter was the last of the bunch.
But, remember, the seeding doesn't much matter in this thing. And, besides, I think the voters got this one right. As great as the Leiter "player swap" error is, the Mitchell is one of the more memorable cards of the entire era.
It's well-deserving of a "Sweet 16" nomination.
#5 -- 1992 Topps #40 Cal Ripken Jr. (22 votes)
#4 -- 1994 UD All-Time Heroes #1 Ted Williams OW (10 votes)
My favorite matchup of the region didn't prove to be much of a contest.
As has become the norm in this tournament, the Ripken family pulled out yet another comfortable victory. In fact, three of the remaining 16 cards in this tournament are Ripken-related.
While I would've been inclined to go with "The Splendid Splinter" in this matchup, I can certainly see why "The Iron Man" advanced.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a collector who doesn't like Ripken's '92 Topps issue.
#14 -- 1992 Stadium Club #520 Wade Boggs (17 votes)
#11 -- 1993 Topps #200 Kirby Puckett (15 votes)
This proved to be the closest matchup from the entire "Terrific 32".
For a while, I thought we were going to have another tie on our hands. In the end, though, Mr. Boggs managed to escape with a narrow two-vote margin of victory.
Puckett put up a good fight, but even he couldn't take down one of the best celebration shots in cardboard history.
#2 -- 1989 Upper Deck #755 Jim Abbott RC (22 votes)
#7 -- 1991 Ultra #296 Ozzie Smith (10 votes)
As it turns out, "The Wizard of Oz" just couldn't work his magic for a second time.
The Ultra brand's only entry into this tournament lost pretty handily to Jim Abbott's magnificent '89 UD "multiple-exposure" piece.
Given my long time fandom of Mr. Abbott, I couldn't be happier.
The Ozzie Smith is a fantastic card, don't get me wrong. In the end, though, I personally think my voters got this one right.
I'm excited to see how far Abbott can advance.
Tonight, I'm excited to say, we'll take our first foray into the first two "Sweet 16" matchups of the tournament.
I should warn you, though.
The voting only gets tougher from here on out.