Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'91 All-Star Matchup

Since last night was the All-Star game, I thought it'd be fitting to do a post on the 1991 All-Star teams.  Last, night, just as in 1991, the American League won.  Today, however, we'll be assigning a new score to the game: points based on head to head cardboard match ups!  Will the AL come out on top again?  Or will the NL avenge its losses and gain home field advantage for the World Series?

Wait, they didn't award home field advantage for an exhibition game in 1991.  Sorry NL, I guess this is just for "the fans" then.

Instead of listing all the reserves and bullpen All-Stars, we'll stick to the starting lineups for both teams.

Starting Pitchers: Tom Glavine v. Jack Morris
Wow, starting out with a no-doubter.  I'm not sure if there's a card from '91 Fleer that would be considered "beloved" by the cardboard community, but Glavine's is as close as it probably gets.  Not nearly enough cards of pitchers sliding into home.  Morris' card is actually from the Update set, since he was shown as a Tiger in the base set.  Glavine gets the NL on the board in his first of many All-Star games.
NL - 1 / AL - 0

Catchers: Sandy Alomar, Jr. v. Benito Santiago
If you know me, you'll know that I'm a huge Padre fan.  However, on YC, I'm all about objectivity.  While the Santiago card from Wrigley field is a good looking piece, Alomar takes this one, since catchers gear-cards trump just about any other cards.
NL - 1 / AL - 1

First Base: Cecil Fielder v. Will Clark
It might be fitting that a post about the 1991 All-Star Game features a card of Cecil Fielder at the 1990 All-Star Game.  I mean, I'm assuming that that's how a pre-interleague play card was made of a Tiger at Wrigley Field.  I'm guessing this was from the Home Run Derby, since he's not wearing a helmet, but there's no sign of a batting practice cage anywhere, and a catcher's glove in the corner.  Anyways, this beats out The Thrill's card, a strangely centered card of him doing his job at first base.
NL - 1 / AL - 2

Second Base: Ryne Sandberg v. Roberto Alomar
Here's the second card of the post to be featured from the Update set.  Alomar is in the base set as a Padre, but, as we all know, was sent to Toronto in a deal that saw Fred McGriff, Tony Fernandez, and Joe Carter trade uniforms.  Seeing the Wrigley bricks in a Sandberg card is not at all uncommon, but seeing him sans-helmet and the disembodied glove indicates that this was also a shot from the '90 Home Run Derby, one that he won.  You're a winner again, Ryne.
NL - 2 / AL - 2

Third Base: Wade Boggs v. Chris Sabo
What are these two players known most for?  For Sabo, it's definitely the Rec-Specs.  For Boggs, I'm not so sure.  Is it the 3,000 hits?  Always eating chicken before a game?  Ending his career in those slick Devil Rays uniforms?  Either way, the facts here are simple: Sabo swings and misses, Boggs gets a hit, and a tie-breaking one at that.
AL - 3 / NL - 2

Short Stops: Cal Ripken Jr. v. Ozzie Smith
This one is a tough call.  The Ripken card is an "action" shot, with Cal showing the kids how to use two hands for a ground ball.  Not really exciting, but still nicely framed.  The Wizard of Oz is just kinda standing with a bat in his hands.  Sorrie Ozzie.
AL - 4 / NL - 2

Left Field: Rickey Henderson v. Ivan Calderon
Our last matchup featuring an Update card.  Calderon is featured as a White Sock in the base set, but is sporting the powder blue Expos uniform here.  Wonder if he got a boost in voting since the ASG was in Canada?  Anyways, since neither of these photos is particularly intriguing, the matchup comes down to color.  As much as I love the baby blue, I'm not loving it on Calderon, whilst Rickey's green and yellow matches the '91 Fleer color scheme... perfectly?  Advantage Rickey.
AL - 5 / NL - 2

Center Field: Ken Griffey Jr. v. Tony Gwynn 
Gwynn in centerfield?  Since the three outfielders are chosen by the fans, it doesn't always work out that you get a right, left, and center fielder.  Gwynn was moved over to center to start the game.  If that wasn't enough of a change, he also batted leadoff.  Not sure how many times that happened as a Padre, but I can bet that it wasn't many.  Anyways, two awesome players here, but no clear winner.  Griffey looks like he just popped out and his about to toss his bat away, while Gwynn seems to be questioning an umpire's call.  Call it a draw.
AL - 5 / NL - 2

Right Field - Dave Henderson v. Andre Dawson
I can't help but think that the Awesome Dawson card would be better if taken from a different angle, while the "other" Henderson's card is taken at precisely the right moment.  It's also aided by the aforementioned color combination.  The AL is piling it on.
AL - 6 / NL - 2

Designated Hitter: Bobby Bonilla v. Danny Tartabull
I guess the moral of this story is that if you want to win, you either need to be wearing a uniform with some yellow in it, or be hitting in the Home Run Derby.  It seem like Bobby Bo might be doing both in this shot, though the helmet makes it seem like this Wrigley Field shot is from a regular season game.  The grimacing Tartabull continues to grimace as the NL keeps it from being a blowout and adds a "pride" run.
Final Score: AL - 6 / NL - 3

Thanks for playing again, but it seems like the American League has got this one on lockdown.


  1. Love the Home Run Derby cards. I wish card companies used more of those shots back in the day.

  2. Dig the post. I think your objectivity got the better of you, though. The Gwynn card is a clear winner over the usually photogenic Junior.

    1. By the way, gave you a little plug:

    2. I think it might've gotten in the way as well, looking at it a few hours later with fresh eyes. Good call. Thanks for the plug as well!

  3. I agree, Gwynn is the winner of that matchup. And for what its worth, Gwynn started in the leadoff position 113 time in his career, 3rd most behind 3rd (1252) and 2nd (896).