Friday, January 30, 2015

A Return to Innocence

Do you ever find yourself stumbling upon cards that you had growing up, that you completely forgot about because they were no longer in your collection but when you happen across it again by chance you think to yourself "Why the hell did I get rid of that in the first place?" I was browsing eBay a few weeks ago looking for nothing in particular when I came upon a listing for a 1993 Pinnacle Home Run Club set. I distinctly remember when I first came across this set back in 1993 at my local card shop. Everything about it screamed BUY ME! From the beautifully lined black box, the 48 individual dufex cards, to the certificate of authenticity stating that this is one of only 200,000 sets ever produced! I couldn't get my money out of my wallet fast enough for this set. At home I would spend hours looking at these cards and reading the blurbs on the backs of each one. For example, the back of Ken Griffey Jr's card states, "Ken got an early jump on piling up impressive home run totals as he became the fourth youngest player in history to reach 75 in '92. At the rate he is going, he could easily top 500 home runs before he is through. A disciplined hitter with exceptional hand/eye coordination, Ken can make adjustments at the plate quickly. His talent is awesome." What's not to like about that? This set was awesome! While this set doesn't have any Reds whatsoever, it does have a nice collection of players that made the game great back in the 90s: Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Ryne Sandberg, Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Thomas, Will Clark, Cal Ripken Jr, and Mike Piazza to name a few. Looking at this set today it struck me that I admired a lot of these players for their power at the plate. Unfortunately many of them would be tainted by the steroid era and their prospects for the Hall of Fame appear dim. Regardless, I still love this set because it takes me back to a time prior to leaving, and subsequently rejoining, the hobby. A time before the strike of 1994 when everything seemed right with baseball and when everything had a sense of innocence.

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