Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cal Ripken, Jr., 1989 Topps Box Bottoms #J

With no other posts in mind today and a pressing need to rush out the door for the inspection of my new home, I decided to dip into my bag of tricks and show you another one of my Cal Ripken, Jr. oddballs. This particular card was cut from the bottom of a cardboard box full of wax packs (otherwise known as a wax box, of course) of 1989 Topps. It came to me in a trade; whoever did the cutting has much steadier hands than I do. Back in the day, Topps used to print bonus cards on the box bottoms in panels of four; the cards would highlight star players and noteworthy achievements for the previous year.

In 1989, the major difference between the box bottoms and the regular cards was a light blue gradient around the border of the box bottoms, as you can see above. The photos also differed from the players' regular issue cards. In this case, Cal has a close-up portrait, whereas his base set card features a full-body action shot at bat. You wouldn't think that anything about the 1988 Orioles (54-107) was worth commemorating, but in fact the O's shortstop had just reached 1,000 consecutive games played. No one, especially Topps, had any way of knowing that Ripken would play over 1,600 more games in a row before finally sitting down a full decade later. Now that's a milestone worth celebrating!

4 comments:

deal said...

congrats on the new home - hope all went well!

FreeTheBirds said...

When I used to collect these box bottoms cards I'd do it two ways. I'd get the whole set of cards twice. For the first set I'd cut each card individually using a paper cutter at school. For the second set I wouldn't cut out the individual cards. I'd cut out all four keeping them together, not going anywhere near the borders. There was also the added task of finding cards that weren't scuffed, since these boxes often sat on shelves and got moved around a lot. The cards on the bottoms would get scratched.

Topps was really smart to play up us anal retentive children.

Kevin said...

deal - So far, so good. No major repairs needed at present!

FTB - The paper cutter is a good idea, actually...

Freddy said...

That is a very very young looking Cal Ripken Jr.