Friday, August 7, 2020

The most fascinating rookie card

I'd like to submit the argument that Greg Maddux has the most fascinating rookie cards of any player in baseball history, for the simple fact that none of them look like Greg Maddux.

If you hid the name on this card, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell you who that young Chicago Cub is. I'd probably guess some nameless dude who played three games in 1987. Heck, even with the name, I don't quite believe it's Greg Maddux -- it looks more like someone doing a bad impersonation of Greg Maddux. This guy has long hair and the beginnings of a mustache. He suggests nothing of the bespectacled ace destined for Cooperstown.

Maddux is in that weird middle ground of guys who I've managed to accumulate a decent number of cards of without actively collecting. I am, however, actively trying to acquire all his rookie cards, for reasons I've just listed. And unless there's some unknown oddball lurking out there (which there probably is) I think I have 'em all now. The last piece of the puzzle -- his '87 Donruss Rookies card -- was recently gifted to me by Kerry of "Cards on Cards" fame. Kerry was breaking up his '87 Rookies set, and though he mentioned he was planning on keeping some of the bigger names from it, he generously parted with this Maddux.

It's in my Cubs binder now, looking so way, way out of place next to the Greg Maddux cards that, you know, actually look like Greg Maddux.

Kerry also sent this spectacular Anthony Rizzo insert along with the Greg Maddux impersonator, all retro and shiny and easily the best card I've seen from 2020 Donruss this far.

On a different note, Anthony Rizzo's rookie cards will always be weird to me because they feature him playing for teams (Red Sox and/or Padres) no one'll remember he ever played for.

These came at a good time, since I'm long overdue in showing a separate group of cards Kerry sent me a while ago now.

I can always count on Kerry to help out with some recent needs, and once again he didn't disappoint -- though I'm still wondering why Topps used purplish borders for that '71 Topps tribute(?).

I'm trying my best to get my 2019 Archives needs polished off before 2020 Archives comes out...whenever that may be.

Shiny stuff of dudes I collect -- including a couple Prizm parallels that remind me of something out of a sci-fi movie.

Bless Kerry's heart for letting these go to me -- especially the Utz Bryant, since I've still never even sniffed Utz cards in my neck of the woods.

This package was actually born out of a group break I joined on Kerry's blog -- it centered around something called 2019 Topps of the Class (basically Big League 2.0), a set I'd never even heard of before Kerry mentioned them.

These have the kind of alternate-universe feel I always love on cards -- familiar design, unfamiliar photos -- and given how much I love 2019 Big League anyways, these were a no-brainer.

Between retouched photos and other strange sorcery, Topps does a lot to make our favorite players look like statues these days -- but even with all that Corey Kluber still basically looks like Corey Kluber on his baseball cards, Willson Contreras looks like Willson Contreras, etc.

But no, you'll still never be able to convince me that dude at the top of this post is Greg Maddux, no way.


Elliptical Man said...

Voting for the Larry Doby. Maddux is a good get though.

Mike said...

I look for those Utz cards in every store...tell 'em to put 'em in Utz pretzels next year and I'll get ya covered!

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

This is my first viewing of those Topps of the class.

SumoMenkoMan said...

I vote the 1987 Donruss design as design of the decade. And agree, doesn’t even look like Maddux.

Fuji said...

A. That Archives Doby is fantastic!

B. If you think that Maddux doesn't look like Maddux on his rookie cards, check out this one:

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

The base Donruss Maddux rookie with the mustache is equally un-Maddux like.

Chris said...

I haven't done the research on this like Night Owl and others have, but based on childhood recollection I'd say about a third of all the mid-late 1980s players had at least one card that looked like Maddux here.