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Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

Jose Canseco was on top of the baseball world in 1988, on his way to the first ever 40-40 season. He led the American League in homers, RBI, slugging, and OPS+, along with a .307 batting average. He was practically unstoppable at the plate.

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

In the late 1980s, Canseco was simply the epitome of cool.

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

While 1988 was long before variant chase cards were common, wouldn’t this have been a cool card to pull in a pack?

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Random Awesomeness (part 208)

Random Awesomeness


Purchase Quiet Riot – Live At The US Festival 1983.

#TBT at twjfuncards.tumblr.com

1938

This morning I posted 15 “fun cards” in the style of 1938 Goudey baseball cards that I drew 25 years ago at twjfuncards.tumblr.com. I have posted these here before, but the image links expired long ago, so I decided to re-upload them to tumblr for posterity.

I remember working on these at my desk in my bedroom, and a few nights ago I told my son to go find some index cards and colored pencils for me. But I am hesitant to try again. When I get up the courage to attempt a new drawing, I will post it here for everyone to laugh at. In the meantime, enjoy the 25-year old “fun cards.”

Are the MVPs in the World Series?

Posey

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Buster Posey of the Giants are both in the conversation for their respective league’s Most Valuable Player awards, and they are playing against each other in the World Series. Surely it’s not a rare occurrence for the MVP winners to both appear in the World Series, is it?

Cabrera

Actually, yes. It hasn’t happened since 1988, when Kirk Gibson and his Los Angeles Dodgers faced off against Jose Canseco and the Oakland A’s.

The above “fun cards” originally appeared on the TWJ cards tumblr; new cards are being posted every day.

Gypsy Queen – Jose Canseco

Mario requested a Jose Canseco card via Twitter, and I am happy to oblige. I am squarely against steroids, and do not believe the steroid users should be voted into the Hall of Fame, but I still like Canseco. He’s the only one of the lot that I still like.

Here come the Elephants

Why do the Oakland A’s have an elephant as a part of their logo? I never understood that, and I’m too lazy to look it up right now. But if you know, by all means enlighten me.

The A’s were the latest team considered in the “All-Time NON-HOF by position team” project on Baseball Fever. This was the most difficult team for me so far, because for the first time there were admitted steroid abusers among the statistically elite. I’m taking the same position here that I take with all other Hall of Fame projects: in my opinion, if they used performance enhancing drugs, they should not be included. I know many disagree with me, but I feel it harms the integrity of the records and taints the relationship between the fan and the game. Will there be players that slip through the cracks, against who there is no evidence of foul play? Probably. But we have to use the information we have and make judgments using that information, trying to avoid unnecessary speculation.

With that said…

My picks:
C: Wally Schang
1B: Stuffy McInnis
2B: Danny Murphy
SS: Bert Campaneris
3B: Sal Bando
LF: Bob Johnson
CF: Sam Chapman
RF: Ruben Sierra
sub1: Dave Kingman
sub2: Bing Miller
LHP: Vida Blue
SP: Bobby Shantz
SP: Bob Welch
#4 SP: Eddie Rommel
#5 SP: Dave Stewart

The top picks of the BBF think tank:
C: Wally Schang
1B: Mark McGwire
2B: Max Bishop
SS: Bert Campaneris
3B: Sal Bando
LF: Bob Johnson
CF: Dwayne Murphy
RF: Jose Canseco
P: Vida Blue (L)
P: Eddie Rommel
P: Jack Quinn
P: Bobby Shantz (L)/Dave Stewart
sub1: Danny Murphy
sub 2: Lave Cross/Gene Tenace/Tony Phillips

Two guys were unanimous selections on the 12 ballots cast: LF Bob Johnson and LHP Vida Blue. I believe Johnson should be in Cooperstown, and I would not necessarily oppose Blue’s induction.

I believe I was the only voter to leave McGwire off my ballot, for the reason stated in paragraph 2. For the same reason, Canseco was also passed over. I realize there is some suspicion regarding Sierra, but I am unable to find anything concrete, so for the time being he gets the benefit of doubt.

Now on to the Blue Jays…

Wax Heaven has left the building

Due to personal issues, Mario of Wax Heaven is retiring. Will this be a Michael Jordan-type retirement? Time will tell. But for the time being, Wax Heaven is no more.

Bloggers have been lamenting the silencing of a giant in the baseball card blogging world, and someone even wrote a poem/song parody about this sad day. Whether you agreed with Mario’s opinions or not (and I often did not, but I don’t like to rock the boat so I just kept my mouth shut), the fact is he was a very good writer and did a great job of promoting the hobby that we love.

I thought I would pay tribute to Wax Heaven by making a “fun card” of Mario’s favorite player, Jose Canseco in the style of 2009 Topps. Twice Mario linked to my “fun cards”, so it is only fitting to make a Canseco for him.

Mario, I wish you well and hope that you are able to plug back in at some point in the future.

As promised…

… here is some scanned crap. We’ll start with an “oddball”…

Now this isn’t just the cards cut out of the box. It isn’t even an empty box with the cards preserved. It’s a never-before-opened box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with the cards preserved. That’s right, inside that box is some 20-year old macaroni & cheese. Yum, yum.

I’ve made it through 4 boxes so far, mostly football and basketball cards. There were a couple of surprises in the football boxes…

I had no idea I possessed either of these cards. I realize that neither will pay for the college education of my children, just as Will Clark’s empty eighties promises never paid for mine. But it’s cool to have the rookie cards of a couple of the game’s current greats.

Speaking of the greats of the game, remember this guy?

Or this USC standout?

They both bombed pretty hard. I have found twelve Marinovich cards so far. I’m saving them. Because you never know, you know?

One more football card…

This is the oldest Bengals card that I own (so far). I do have at least one older football card, a 1955 Pete Pihos card. But Reggie Williams is the oldest Bengals card in my collection. That will change…perhaps as soon as this weekend. It all depends on what I find at the card show.

Now on to basketball…after going through hundreds and hundreds of cards, some severely damaged, some in pristine condition (but worthless all the same), I uncovered a few beauts.

Former Indiana University legend and current New Mexico coach Steve Alford…

Remember how big a deal Danny Ferry was? Whatever happened to him?

Surprisingly, Ferry lasted more than a decade in the NBA. Of course, he was guaranteed 10 years by the Cavs. The Spurs took him on after that contract expired, and he collected a championship with them in 2003. I had no idea.

One of my favorite players growing up, thanks to WGN, was B.J. Armstrong…

Of course, Jordan ruled the world. But I didn’t like Pippen. And the Bulls were always on TV. So I had to pick a 2nd favorite. It was down to Paxson and Armstrong, and Armstrong won out. I don’t remember what my 8th grade logic for that was.

I also stumbled upon this card…

Whaaat? Nique played for the Celtics? When did that happen? It just didn’t seem right. I flipped the card over to see what the stat lines revealed, and saw this…

Ahhhh! My eyes! It’s bad enough seeing Nique in a Boston uni, but the Clippers too? What has this world come to? I refuse to accept that this travesty ever happened, and will instead remember Dominique Wilkins forever in the way that he should be remembered…

And now for something completely different…

Alas, these are not from my childhood. The cards were produced during my childhood, but I didn’t own them until about 6 or 7 years ago when I bought them in Illinois. I got a few packs, a few doubles, but these are without a doubt the best of the bunch.

Now, for something that was from my childhood (if you consider mid-teens childhood, which as a father I am now forced to do because they’re not allowed growing up that fast)…

So there you have it. I scanned some crap and posted it.

Max, Jose, and A-Rod

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usDon’t call Jose Canseco a liar yet. Don’t assume Alex Rodriguez is the golden boy everyone is claiming him to be. At the same time, don’t count on “Max” being a real person.

For all the craziness that has been baseball over the past few years, Canseco has yet to be proven wrong. He has been teammates with some of the biggest names and alleged steroid users in the game…McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens. All of whom are now wondering whether Cooperstown will actually call. Jose was also a teammate of A-Rod, who, according to Jose, asked where one could get steroids.

Did Canseco indeed introduce one of the (supposedly) greatest natural talents of our time to a dealer? I believe he did. Did Alex follow-through with a purchase and a push of the needle? That remains to be seen.

For those who are coming to Rodriguez’s defense, be cautious. Don’t let your heart be too broken when and if Canseco’s claims are shown to be accurate. By the same token, Canseco’s backers should be aware that the book needed a big name like A-Rod in order to move it off the shelves. If it was filled with names of benchwarmers, no one would care.

Is the time right?

Back in the late 1980s, a business man and baseball fanatic got the fantastic idea to put Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins, Clint Hurdle, and a host of other former major league baseball players back on the field in what was called the Senior Professional Baseball Association. After two years, though, the league folded.

I can’t help but wonder if such a venture would not be more successful today? With several former ballplayers still in excellent shape, it could turn out to be an interesting and competitive league. Think of it: Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, and Barry Bonds in the outfield; Mike Piazza at first base; Barry Larkin at shortstop…these are big draws! Much bigger than Vida Blue was in the late 1980s.

Another problem that I saw with the league of nearly two decades ago was that all the games were played in Florida. They never traveled to baseball-starved cities. It could be a “barnstorming” league, traveling across the country and playing for communities that may have some minor league teams, but missed out on the big superstars in their primes.

What really got me to thinking about this was Mario’s recent sighting of Ozzie Canseco on a softball field. You can read about that here and see a video here.

For those who are not familiar with the SPBA, the minimum age for players was 35 (with the exception of catchers at 32). They had about eight teams I think, and while they did get a couple of future Hall of Famers to sign up, it was mostly filled with utility players and regional stars (like Clint Hurdle, Jim Morrison, and Joaquín Andújar).

However, I believe that the nostalgia of people of my generation (born in the 1970s) would propel a new league on to success if it were organized correctly with a good smattering of former stars. (What’s Wade Boggs up to nowadays? Dave Stewart? Hey, Ryne Sandberg, wanna play 2B?)

If such a league were formed, who would you like to see play? Obviously, Pete Rose and Johnny Bench are probably a little too old to go for it, but what about some of the players who started in the 1980s?

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