Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sam Horn, 1993 Topps #109
The list of January 25th baseball birthdays is pretty weak; former Oriole phenom Wally Bunker might be the best of the lot and he has very few non-vintage cards. The only other ex-O's are reliever Richie Lewis (four games, 12.71 ERA) and first baseman Francisco Melendez (nine games, .273 AVG). So instead I went with a card from 1993 Topps, one of Ryan's favorite sets of all time. The design might not be so hot, but I've got the kind of affection for it that can only be achieved by building your first set at age 11, and doing it the hard way: pack-by-pack, from now-obsolete places like Revco and McCrory's. (I suddenly sound incredibly old for someone under age 30.) The photography is also better than you'd expect at a glance. This is one of my favorite Orioles cards in the set, with the hulking Sam Horn sitting in pregame repose with his hands and chin resting on the knob of a heavily pine-tarred bat. Meanwhile, a female fan leans against the rail behind him, wearing some spiffy neon sunglasses and clutching a baseball in her hand. It's time to play ball.