As I dashed into Target last week to pick up a few food items that needed restocking, I swung by the display for the trading cards on my way to the checkout line. If there’s not going to be a baseball season, I reasoned, I need some baseball cards by which to remember it.
I grabbed a pack of 34 Topps cards for $4.99, wryly noting that we’re long past the days when you’d get a pack of five cards and a stick of gum for a nickel. 1963 this is not.
Even at my north-of-60 age, it’s always a thrill to open that first pack of the season. Since my schoolboy days in Cleveland, I’m always hoping to find at least one member of the Indians, and I was happy to spot Mike Clevinger and Carlos Santana. As I thumbed through, I found more good news: Christian Yelich of the Brewers and a psuedo-illustrated card of the Giants’ Buster Posey, featured in a series of “Prominent Base Ball Players.”
But five Dodgers and the LA team card? For someone who spent a quarter of his life in Northern California, rooting for the Giants, I thought that was excessive. I can only handle so much Clayton Kershaw.
I’ll give Topps credit. The photos in this season’s set are terrific, sharp and clear from edge to edge. It’s been a few years since I’ve bought cards, and I’m a bit puzzled at a couple in the pack with white (Luis Severino) and black (George Springer) borders and a silver medallion denoting a 35th anniversary, evidently of the 1985 card design.
I couldn’t find an explanation in a Google search, but I did find a reference to Topps celebrating the 35th anniversary of Garbage Pail Kids. You don’t suppose there’s some kind of tie-in to the Houston Astros, do you?