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Monday, May 26, 2008

Card Of the Week 5/26/08

It's amazing the stuff you find when you're not looking for it. One time I got dragged by my mother and grandmother to a bunch of antique stores and I ended up finding an old Cadaco baseball game with a complete set of player discs. My mom was amazed how I could end up finding baseball stuff at stuffy antique shops. Thanks to eBay I don't have to go out to antique stores for weird oddball stuff, I've got the equivalent of a thousand of them in my house.

I was killing time looking for lord knows what when I came across this strange little set. I'd never heard of it before but I had to have it. It contains the greatest card this hobby has ever known. I'll get to that card in a moment, but first let me explain this set. In 1993 the Florida Department of Agriculture put out two 8 card sets of baseball cards to promote Florida grown fruit and vegetables. They did one set of Braves, which I will be featuring all this week, and a set of Marlins which Mario can find and put on his own site because I hate the Marlins. They won't get out of first place! The BRAVES are supposed to be in first place, not the Marlins! You can't be in first place when Katie Couric makes more money than the whole team! It's just not right. They just won't stop winning, just tonight they beat the Mets 7-3! Well ok, right now I love the Marlins, but in a week when they are playing the Braves I will once again hate them with the fury of a thousand suns. Beating up on the Mets and Phillies is fine I suppose. Anyway, the Braves half of the set is awesome and contains this week's Card of the Week which is the best card ever in the history of anything.

For some reason almost all small oddball sets find it necessary to waste one of the few cards they have available on a header card to explain why the card set exists when everyone knows that baseball cards exist simply because they exist. Cards are very zen that way. This header card at least has a nice Braves flag to counter Bob Crawford's blithering on about fruit and health and stuff on the back. The front of the cards have a sort of a blue sideways pinstripey thing going on with red zig zaggy teeth chomping down on the card from the sides and a wavy green thing at the bottom with the player's name. The top left corner of each player card also has a Fresh 2 U logo with a baseball diamond, a gold stripe, bats and some sort of fruit or veggie all mixed up into a mess that probably sounded good in the design committee but looks dorky on the card. I'll bet the Agriculture Commissioner's wife insisted on the gold stripe and the marketing director thought using "2 U" would be "hip" and "rad" and would really appeal to "the kids". The whole thing looks like one of those cards they inserted in Topps Magazine that was designed by a 7 year old who won a contest. Ah, but you haven't heard the best part. The core theme of this set is "Ballplayers Doing Silly Things With Fruit". Combine that with the blatant ridiculousness of the design and you have a set of epic proportions.

Here's the back of the card with Bob Crawford's words of wisdom for the ages. Or more likely Bob's press secretary's words. Or rather, Bob's press secretary's spring semester intern's girlfriend at Florida State who is working on an English degree's words is the most likely bet. Speaking of Zen Cards, check out this mind bender:

"What do the Atlanta Braves have in common with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services?"

This is my new Zen Koan to ponder while meditating, and I'm not even Buddhist. Forget about one hand clapping or trees falling in the woods, this is something to think about. What do the Atlanta Braves have in common with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services? The answer on the card makes no damn sense so there must be something deeper to it. Nutrition is important to spirituality, right? I often say "make me one with everything" and the guy puts veggies on the hot dog right? Relish is too a veggie! Some of those veggies are probably from Florida. It's all connected somehow.

One thing bugs me about this set - I didn't realize there was a board game that goes along with it when I bought it. It says right there on the back, "enjoy playing the board game". Now I want to find another set that has the board game so I can see what kind of weird game needs pictures of ballplayers happily munching on veggies to play it. The backs of the card do have some kind of game device, as each has a baseball with either a hit or an out written on it. There are only 8 cards in the set though and five of them have either a hit or a walk as their play so there would be some high scoring games with players hitting .571 with a .625 on base percentage. I'm not a big enough stat geek to figure out OPS, you'll have to do that on your own. You could also cheat and play your card with Bob's speech every time and hit nothing but home runs. I don't think this set ever came with a game board though because instead of having the set torn along the perforations it looks like it was professionally cut. Or at least carefully cut. The edges are kinda straight. Oh you know what I mean. I'm going off the rails here so enough of this nonsense, Let's get to the thing you've all been waiting for. This week's Card of the Week:



No commentary, just enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Awesome in so many ways...

capewood said...

Do you think he has a whole orange in his mouth? Or maybe a grapefruit?

Dinged Corners said...

Wow. I thought maybe you were exaggerating or somethin' when you said this is the greatest card ever in the known universe. But you weren't.