Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mike Flanagan, 1986 Topps #365

Keeping with the "early memories" theme, this is the first Orioles card that I remember owning. I had a small assortment of 1980s Topps cards in my early childhood, though I didn't actively start collecting until I was ten. Those initial cards were probably given to me by my uncle, who was an avid collector at the time. Or maybe my father got them somewhere. I'll have to ask around.

Obviously the bold, colorful design of 1986 Topps would appeal to a child who was learning his colors and words. I even remember playing "Go Fish" with my mother. Instead of matching playing card numbers, you'd match team names. Simple enough. "Got any Cardinals?" "Go fish." It's reminiscent of a simpler time, when baseball cards were traded and handled lovingly, and *gasp* played with...instead of viewed as an investment or a piece of memorabilia to be locked away in a sterile casing. Still, I must admit that the notions of "flipping" cards, or of sticking them between the spokes of your bicycle for auditory pleasure are a little beyond even my comprehension.

I'm generally a sentimental person, but I'll admit that older isn't always better. Let's take a look at Flanny's picture up there. It's a decent action shot of the lefty in mid-windup, back to the camera. But what really leaps out at me is that thick, tri-color elastic waistband. That thing is just an eyesore, and is not exactly flattering to Mike's figure. So you can imagine how it looked on a teammate with a less athletic build, say Floyd Rayford for example. Say what you will about the follies of baseball in the 1990s, the labor strife and the taint of the Steroid Era...at least they came to their senses and started wearing belts and button-down shirts again, like grown men should.

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