Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cal Ripken, Jr., 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #16

I bought a blaster box of Baseball Heroes last October, but it wasn't anything I was interested in collecting. I'm not sure what the point is in producing a set called "Baseball Heroes", and stuffing it with rookies and young players. For every Cal Ripken, Jr. card commemorating an MVP season, there would be a card celebrating Daric Barton having two hits in a game. Be still, my heart!

The devil is in the details, as they say, and it's pretty annoying that a card meant to highlight Cal Ripken's great 1991 season would feature a photo that had to have been taken no later than 1988. That was the last season that Baltimore wore the tri-color cartoon bird hat. There is a detail in that photo that amuses me, though. Look closely (click on the picture to zoom in if you must) and you'll see the name "RIPKEN" written in big black letters on Cal's glove. You don't often think of major leaguers as needing hand-labeled equipment, but perhaps an Oriole teammate had a similar glove and they were always getting them mixed up. A player's glove is a highly personal thing, and who knows how many more errors Cal would have made if he was unwittingly using Ray Knight's glove. Of course, nowadays he would probably have a locker full of custom-crafted and personalized gloves from the manufacturer of his choice.

The bold ink on Junior's glove also serves as an interesting callback to a much more notorious card featuring a Ripken. But more on that later...I'm just waiting for the right day.


Bay Rat North West said...

The best part about this card is it says Ripken "EARNS" his MVP. You can mess with dayf because Chipper was "AWARDED" his.

Kevin said...

Bay Rat - Haha, good catch! I was watching the Ravens game with my family Sunday night and one of my uncles complained about Jim Nantz saying they were "awarded" a first down. It's all in the wording.

SacBunt said...

Bring back the cartoon bird! What say you?


Kevin said...

Chris - I like the cartoon bird much more than I used to, but I think the new bird has its place. Even if they did bring the old one back, I would want it on a solid black crown and orange bill, not the 1980s tri-color treatment.