Chris, over at On Card Autos
, is having a contest. Actually, it ends this evening. He wants to see your player collections. He told me that only a few other collectors have entered. I figured I could slip in and have a decent shot. Then I looked at the comments and saw who some of the collectors are. I don't have a shot. Really, I don't.
I collect Orel Hershiser cards. Mainly Orel Hershiser cards. Some Bill Wade football cards, some Earl Wilson and Carl Erskine baseball cards. I like cards of Negro League players and I've started a small collection of Baseball Hall of Fame relic / game used / autograph cards. If they're cheap.
I have over 400 Orel Hershiser cards. I think that's less than half of all of them that have been produced. And as I was creating the master list of OH cards (I can't just call him Orel) I noticed that many of the cards produced in the last few years are 1 of 1's. Or numbered to 5. I'm not going after those. I really don't care about them. If I was given one? Sure, but I'm not going to drop the price of a Yugo on one. Okay, bad example.
I only have one OH auto card. And it is on a sticker. I figured that I shouldn't show it for this contest. I've got three or four jersey cards, but they're nothing to write home about. I've got a few numbered cards, but again, not really stellar.
So, where does that leave me with regards to this contest? In the gutter. But, I figured, why not enter? Maybe the other contestants will have their email service dropped and I'll win by default.
I decided to select three cards that I really like.
1989 Upper Deck, 1988 N.L.C.S. MVP (card #665)
I like this card for a few reasons. First, it commemorates his work in the NLCS over the Mets. His scoreless pitching streak ended. He started 3 games that series, picking up 1 win and 1 save, with an ERA of 1.09 over 24.2 innings. He went on to win the World Series MVP just eight days later. Second, what a face. It really looks like he's having fun out there. And this was Upper Deck's first year doing baseball cards. They promoted themselves as being a better card and they were right. At least then they were.
1991 Score, Orel Herhsier (card #550)
I've always been a fan of the 1991 Score set. Nice framing, nice colors, nice photos. I'm drawn to OH's face again. That face says, "Bulldog." The purplish-blue goes nice with the Dodgers' blue. I guess they couldn't find any pink that year.
1989 Score, World Series (card #582)
This might be an odd one to be featured as part of a player collection. Dave Stewart, Jose Canseco, Kirk Gibson, and Orel Hershiser. Two great pitchers, three great batters. What? Three? Yes, OH, in the WS, went 3 for 3, with an RBI and a double. He also scored a run. His BA for the regular season? .129. Not terrible for a pitcher, but he really came through when he needed to. This card, to me, is a nice slice of the series.
Why do I collect Orel Hershiser cards? I had just gotten back into watching baseball in 1988. The 1985 work stoppage left a bitter taste in my mouth. I liked what I saw in OH. I saw a player who was giving it his all. Was a decent man. Who looked a bit goofy. Who won.
That's why I started to collect him. Why do I still collect him? Good question. For what he was. I'm not really keen on his poker playing days. I'm sad that he and his wife split up. And no, I don't know why, nor do I really care. I thought that he did a decent job as pitching coach in Texas. I enjoy listening to him when he comments on baseball games on television. I like it when he's on Baseball Tonight.
I'll probably never complete this player collection, or if I do, it will be many years in the making. I'm happy that I do collect his cards. Now, if I can just organize them.