Thursday, April 25, 2013
Jim Palmer and Frank Robinson, 2001 Sunoco Dream Team #5
All jokes about design and budget limitations aside, this is a nice concept for a set. There were 12 cards in all, each featuring a pair of retired greats from one team. There were only nine clubs featured, so it's an extra feather in the cap for the O's to make the cut. The others were the Indians (Lou Boudreau/Bob Feller), Mets (Tug McGraw/Gary Carter), Phillies (Mike Schmidt/Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts/Richie Ashburn), Pirates (Willie Stargell/Bill Mazeroski), Red Sox (Luis Tiant/Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn/Jim Rice), Reds (Tony Perez/Joe Morgan), Tigers (Sparky Anderson/Al Kaline), and Yankees (Don Mattingly/Yogi Berra and Roger Maris/Catfish Hunter). I can't quibble much with the checklist, though you're left wondering why they chose a mix of guys who were teammates and players who weren't contemporaries at all. Then there's the inclusion of manager Sparky Anderson on the Tigers card, which is a real curveball. I'll also just note that of the 24 men featured in this set, most are currently in the Hall of Fame, as you might expect with a "Dream Team" set. McGraw, Tiant, Lynn, Mattingly, and Maris are the only five who are on the outside of Cooperstown looking in, and all were very good players.
I'm certain that I've got an extra copy of this card stashed somewhere in my collection, if anyone would like it. First come, first served.