Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mark McLemore, 1994 Score #415

I should have gotten around to this sooner, but I was probably saving it for a rough day, and today's third straight ridiculously heartbreaking loss by the Ravens was nothing if not rough. I've complained about the interminable length of the baseball season before, but when you've got 162 games to play (or watch), at least the really bad losses aren't fraught with so much significance. Football games are draining and agonizing in a way that baseball games rarely are. But enough blather.

Last month, the bloggers par excellence at Dinged Corners proposed the Six-Cards-in-30-Seconds Binder Test, or simply Six-in-30. To put it succinctly, grab a binder and pick out six cards that grab your attention in some way. You have thirty seconds. You might think it boring to do this test with several cards from the same set, but I hope that's not the case. I chose the binder that houses my unfinished 1994 Score set. This is one of several really appealing sets from my early collecting years that just fell by the wayside long before I could complete it. I blame my own short attention span - I also bought bunches of 1994 Collector's Choice and 1994 Topps that year - and the August players' strike, which cooled my desire to buy baseball cards for a while.

So why do I like this set so much? Besides the simple navy blue borders and team-colored bars for the players' names on the front, there's the completeness of the card backs: full career stats, two-paragraph biographies, and full-color photos. The busy backs manage to not look cluttered while nicely complementing the minimalist fronts.But best of all are the high-quality photos, which I'd never previously seen as a strong suit for Score. There's a lot of character in these shots, from the goofy posed pictures like Mark McLemore's GQ shoot above, to...

The candid close-up portraits, such as Paul Molitor's...

The preservation of memorable moments in baseball history, like Chris Bosio's no-no...

The preservation of infamous moments as well, most notably Jose Canseco's ruinous pitching debut...
Lots of great action shots of catchers, including Erik Pappas chasing a pop-up...

More action shots in the infield, like Greg Gagne trying to turn two as Harold Reynolds bears down on him...

Finally, photos celebrating the team aspect of baseball, as seen here: Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Kenny Lofton congratulating Carlos Baerga on a job well done. You can also see some strong interplay of sun and shadows here, as well as in the other cards I posted. Traditionally, cards with daytime photos were either washed-out or cloaked in oppressive shadows, but Score did a great job with this set when it came to making you feel like you were at a sun-drenched afternoon game.

This was a lot of fun, as well as a good reminder that I need to put forth an effort to finish the 1994 Score set...and 1994 Collector's Choice...and 1995 Stadium Club...and 1996 Score...and 2008 Topps and Topps Heritage and maybe Goudey...and 2009 Topps and O-Pee-Chee...and 1982 Topps...ugh. Never mind.

P. S.: If you counted seven cards, allow me to clarify. My Orioles are sorted and stored separately, so I didn't count Mac in my Six-in-30 tally.

4 comments:

Mandie Reed said...
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HandyAndy said...

I can't believe a girl who takes photos of herself in various states of undress in what appears to be a public bathroom reads about sports, but hey, join the crowd!!!

Seriously I agree there are some great shots in this set. How cool is the one of Bosio after his no hitter; between his goofy smile, cheekful of tobaccy and the Big Unit's epic early to mid 90's mullet in the background it looks like the boys have just finished a hard weeks' work at the junkyard and they're off home to relax in the backyard in their wifebeaters and crack open a Bud or 10.

Kevin said...

Andy - Haha, it's almost as if she was just spamming the post or something, huh?

It's hard to believe that 15 years after this set was released, the Big Unit is still plugging along, as are a few others: Griffey (also pictured on that card), Vizquel, Manny, Thome, Wakefield, Moyer, possibly Smoltz...long may they all live.

Big D said...

I loved Mark Mc! One of the best.