I’ve always enjoyed flipping through baseball media guides. In the days of Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com and MLB.com’s own player information pages, paper reference books seem kind of quaint. But before the Internet and even during its early days, media guides were one of the few places you could look for information about teams and players.
After more than a decade of Topps Heritage sets, not to mention various other vintage-themed sets, baseball cards featuring current ballplayers on classic designs almost seems overdone.
In 1984, it was a novelty. Baseball Cards Magazine included a Dale Murphy card in the style of Topps’ classic 1953 set with its August issue that year, starting a trend that continued through 1993.
I say “baseball card,” but the “repli-cards” you got in the magazine weren’t exactly the same as the cards you’d find inside a wax pack made by Topps, Donruss or Fleer. Instead of the poly-bagged promo cards you might find bundled with some current magazines, Baseball Cards Magazine included an insert stapled (or glued) into the spine that was printed on thin cardboard. If you wanted your new collectibles to look like baseball cards, you had to be pretty good with the scissors when you cut them out from the panel.
The New York Mets inducted John Franco into the team’s Hall of Fame last night, then went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1. They’re now in a three-way tie for first place, percentage points behind the Washington Nationals.
Thanks to ESPN and my own stubborn desire to stay for the last out if at all possible, I’m very tired this morning.
(By the way, is it just me, or is John Franco’s plaque not really the best likeness?)