I picked this up at a card exhibition in the local mall this afternoon. I am a big Harold Baines fan, although it's safe to say that Steve is an even bigger fan. This card represents a true intersection of our collecting interests, in fact. As you can see, Harold is pictured in his Orioles uniform, circa 1993 or 1994. However, the text describes his leadership in Baltimore's 1997 AL East Championship run. The card represents a series of curious choices. While Baines was a dependable veteran presence in the O's lineup for much of the 1990s, he had spent much of the 1997 season with the White Sox. He was a late July pickup, and played only 44 games in Charm City (.291-4 HR-15 RBI). He did perform well in the postseason, batting .364 with a couple home runs. But if you're looking for leaders on that 1997 club, you'd probably turn to Rafael Palmeiro (38 HR, 110 RBI) or Roberto Alomar (.333 AVG) first.
Of course, the most curious thing about this card is the jersey swatch. It looks suspiciously like the black pinstripes on white of the South Side Sox, doesn't it? The card back confirms that it's a piece of a Harold Baines game-worn Chicago White Sox jersey. What gives? I'd like to think that Upper Deck had already printed up the Harold Baines Orioles cards, and when they went to their Relic Room they could only find his White Sox jersey. "He played for both teams in '97...it's close enough for government work", the exasperated, no-nonsense foreman said. "I'm gonna go get a beer. Who's with me?"