Got a quickie post today before I drive up to Philadelphia to meet up with some friends. I need a card that stands on its own and says something, and what it says is, "What?". Albert Belle was one hell of a hitter, but ten years into his career it was a stretch to mention him as a challenger to Hank Aaron's home run throne. The back of the cards projects him to play until he's 42, averaging 44 longballs a season. He had kept up that pace for the previous four seasons, which in a situation like this is a pretty small sample size. At age 31 with 321 career homers, he was still 434 away from Hammerin' Hank. Of course, the worst-case scenario occurred, with Albert clouting 60 more round-trippers in his first two years in Baltimore before an arthritic hip condition hobbled him and forced him to retire. He failed to reach 400 HR, much less 755. Whoops.
Have you seen many baseball cards with a more surreal image than the juxtaposition of classy, reserved Hank Aaron and explosive, violent Albert Belle? Thanks for the trip to Bizarro World, Topps.