Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Roberto Alomar, 1998 Skybox Thunder #77

Wow, there is a lot going on here, and I'm not just talking about the abominable Nestle-Crunch foil font, stacked logos, and background vortex of neon. It's hard to believe that Major League Baseball never filed an injunction against Fleer in the late 1990s, isn't it?

The various accessories that are adorning Roberto Alomar's uniform are actually of greater interest to me. We see two patches stacked on the left sleeve of his jersey: the Oriole bird perches atop a logo commemorating the 200th anniversary of the city of Baltimore. The O's actually wore a third patch in 1997, which you can't see in this photo: the 50th anniversary patch that was worn by all 28 teams in honor of Jackie Robinson's major league debut. That would have been on the right sleeve.

Additionally, Alomar's jersey number (12) is reproduced on his batting gloves and the tongues of his shoes. Fortunately, Fleer included a big red twelve in the bottom right corner of the card in case your eyesight isn't that sharp.

Finally, we've got an orange "24" next to the bird on his helmet. Of course that was the uniform number of outfielder Eric Davis, who spent much of the 1997 season battling colon cancer; he would make an incredible comeback during the stretch drive and postseason. It's my recollection that all of the Orioles wore those modified helmets that year, and some players also inscribed "24" on their caps. You can see Armando Benitez showing his support on this card.

It's interesting how one fairly routine picture can give you so many context clues about the era from which it came.

5 comments:

jacobmrley said...

Wow. I would mock you for having too much time on your hands, but not only was that awesome and kind of informative, I pretty much do the same thing a lot...

Kevin said...

Max - Whew, escaped your wrath. ;)

Orioles Magic said...

Great job breaking down that silly looking card!

Ken said...

Alomar had just 9 stolen bases in 1997 (when the photo was taken).

From 1988-2002 that 1997 season was far and away his fewest total SB.

Could it be the weight of all those patches bogged him down?

Kevin said...

Ryan - I considered doing a whole theme week on ugly 1990s cards. At the very least, I'll be posting a Brady Anderson card that I came across while pulling this one to scan.

Ken - Haha, interesting theory!