Saturday, April 25, 2009

At one time this was a pretty cool card . . and then . .

Do you remember these cards? The Bat Around Quad Game Used Bat Cards were typically found as a redemption in Upper Deck's 2002 Diamond Connection.

What made the product unique at the time is that for the first time ever, a players game-used card was included and numbered as part of the base set.

Looking back, the production of this set might easily be considered the turning point in the modern collecting era, as rampant production of plain, single color jersey swatches have since watered down the concept of what was once a very cool innovation.
The design is pretty cool also, in that the bat pieces are inlaid as triangles allowing the long edge to be used as the border of the base paths on the pictured diamond.

This card features an interesting combination of players and and in retrospect a strange dichotomy. This is card BA SGPM and showcases Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Rafael Palmeiro, and Fred McGriff.

Collectively these guys hit well over 2,200 home runs.

Sosa and Griffey Jr. are only a handful of guys to hit over 600 HRs

Sosa and Palmeiro will forever have their legacies tainted by ties to steroids

Griffey at one point in his career, was heralded as the eventual All-Time HR King and the first player to have a legit shot at 800 HR's. That year he suffered a season ending injury after only 70 games and saw him with the lowest single season home run total of his career with 8. In the next 2 seasons he only suffered injury. In that 3 year stretch, from 2003-2004, Griffey appeared in just 206 games, subsequently killing any chance he had of capturing the All-Time HR crown OR reach 700

In a year that saw Fred McGriff hit 30 HR's, putting him only 22 away as a shoe-in for joining an exclusive club of players. Little did we know that in the next two season he would only 15, finishing his career just 7 shy at 493.

After 2002 it was all downhill in more ways than one, for the hobby, and for each of these guys.

Oh what might have been.


Lonestarr Lives! said...

I still love that card. Two Cubs, Griffey, whom I collect, and Palmeiro, well... I'm officially over giving a s*** about steroids and performance enhancing drugs in baseball.

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