Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wild Things, I Think I Like You

When I started this blog almost six (!) years ago, I envisioned baseball-centric content primarily focusing on the 1960's and 70's test and limited issues and various pack inserts.  The baseball theme has been largely abandoned in favor of an all encompassing millieu and the time frame has stretched back to the 19th century and occasionally forward to the 21st.  Today's subject, 2014 Topps Archives Baseball, is easily the most modern set I have opined upon, mainly due to some good retro-design work by the current creative team at Topps.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a huge fan of the modern retro sets' doodads and geegaws, even if the base sets are well done and appealing.  The fake shortprints, chase cards and autograph inserts generally leave me cold. But it seems like once or twice a year now, Topps comes up with a nice subset that speaks to me.

Today, that subset is Major League. Honoring the amusing, if slightly hackneyed movie in its silver anniversary year, Topps used their 1989 baseball set as a template.  There are four cards in the main subset, which is an insert and I'll start with Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernson), the star third baseman who is reluctant to field ground balls:

Eddie Harris (Chelcie Ross) is devout, a journeyman junkballer:

Then there is Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger), an aging catcher:

And last (in the base insert set), but not least, the Wild Thing himself, Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen):

There are chase cards and autograph inserts as well, which you can read about here. However, the autograph inserts include a fifth subject from the movie, the evil owner Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitten):

There are some other inserts in the series as well, including a 1969 Deckle-ish one but the Major League cards are the real stars.  It's just too bad Topps could not manage to have cards of actual players who appeared in the movie such as Pete Vuckovich, Steve Yeager and especially Bob Uecker.

This is not the first time Topps created a card to salute a movie.  In 1984 they issued a special card #801 of Daryl Palmer (Michael O'Keefe) in The Slugger's Wife. This card appears to have been a prop in the movie and there may also be promo versions (ed. 7/17/23-it's doubtful they were promos):

Kid looks like he needs some steroids!

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