Friday, July 19, 2013

The Gems of Junk Wax, Pt. 58: 1991 Topps #461 Robin Ventura

We kick off the next batch of "Gems of Junk Wax" inductees with one of my most prized possessions.

If I were a betting man (and if I found a bookie who wanted action on it), I would've wagered on the legendary '91 Topps Carlton Fisk winning my recent GOJW tourney.

As it turns out, I would've lost. "Pudge" was defeated by the eventual champion '87 Topps Bo Jackson rookie in the "Final Four".

So, while my hopes of a champion Fisk were dashed, I couldn't help but think how neat it would be to induct another fellow '91 Topps White Sox comrade into the theme.

That's where this afternoon's post begins. This '91 Topps masterpiece of current South Side skipper Robin Ventura has been in my hands for a while now.

As you can see, my copy is a bit weathered, the result of my pre-teen collecting days. And, because of my obsession with "throwback" shots, I've had a few other bloggers send over nearly-pristine versions of it over the past year or so.

But, while "upgrades" are a welcome sight for many other cards in my binders, I couldn't bring myself to do it with Mr. Ventura. While I've kept the other copies around, the battered version you see above is the one in my White Sox binder as we speak.

Due to the success of the first-ever "Turn Back the Clock" contest held between the Sox and Brewers at Comiskey Park in 1990, shots from that game showed up on a lot of cardboard the following year.

Topps, Upper Deck, and even a couple otherwise-atrocious '91 Donruss cards featured the first throwback shots ever seen in the hobby.

None of them, however, are better than Robin Ventura's 1991 Topps issue, if you ask me. I love the kind of calm action Topps featured, as the former "Rookie Cup" third sacker appears to be ready for a shot at the hot corner.

Personally, those old Sox jerseys are my absolute favorites from the "turn back the clock" realm. Few, if any, cards shine them in a better light than this masterpiece.

Frankly, I'm not sure why I haven't featured Mr. Ventura in this theme yet.

He's deserved his moment in the sun for a while now.


petethan said...

A gem, no doubt. The Pale Hose unquestionably have to be the kings of baseball uniform history, both good and bad. I love the classic consistency of the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, etc. But for impossible-to-ignore variety, it's all White Sox.

beefman said...

I agree, that is one awesome piece of cardboard there.

I'd love to pile together all of the 1991 cards which have photos from this game - there's quite a few of them across all 3 brands you mentioned, Nick.

Another mini-project I have to do... :-)

Nick J