Saturday, July 11, 2020

some new final tributes for my collection

the hall of fame induction ceremony was postponed for 2020, but i figured i would go ahead and share some relevant final tributes that i added to my collection earlier this year after the ballots were counted.

first up is a trio of ted simmons career capping cards from 1989 - fleer
with almost all of his yearly stats on the back
which has become the sneaky late-80's go to for final tributes (steve garvey, phil niekro, don sutton, mario soto, etc). and they came through with all of the yearly stat lines on the back!
upper deck
with just five years of stats, but a huge card number.
in fact, simmons looks like he's annoyed by the card number. that was one of the tenets of upper deck's design, as one of the guys who started the card company was tired of looking at little numbers on the backs of cards.

the other hall of fame inductee that i didn't already have in my final tribute collection is larry walker. derek jeter's 2015 topps card has been in my ft binder since it was released. as for walker, i did have a pc of him back in the 90's, but i pretty much abandoned those in 2002 so i had to go through some boxes to see if i had any of his 2006 cards.  turns out, i did not. thanks to sportlots, however, i do now.  here's his 2006 upper deck first pitch card
which features most of his yearly stats on the back
here's his topps card from 2006
which provides a subtle broken bat photo on the front, and all of his stats on the back
the cartoon gives us the joy of the word "hose". i worked with a guy back in the early 1990's who was from lebanon and thought that the word hose, in some of its other uses, was just the best. he used that word as often as he could.

anyway, congrats to jeets and simmons and walker. it will be interesting to see if anyone joins them in 2021 as the first ballot crop is not strong. could it be the year for barry bonds, roger clemens, or curt schilling? i kind of hope so (for two of those guys anyway), although all three are already in my final tribute collection.

i've also added a couple more players to my final tribute collection. this is in parallel with some additions to my hall of famer collection. when i was a young fan and followed baseball religiously (especially national league baseball), i considered dale murphy and dave parker (along with steve garvey) to be locks for the hall of fame. so, i've added those three to my hall of famer collection.

garvey was already in my final tribute collection (thank you 1988 score!), but i've now added dave parker's lone final tribute card, found in the 1992 upper deck set
with his career totals but only five years worth of stat lines on the back:
it looks like the cobra returned to the donut bat weight after using a sledgehammer in the on-deck circle earlier in the 1991 season with the angels as documented on his 1991 upper deck high number card.

dale murphy tragically does not have any cards from 1994 that would fully document his two-time mvp winning career, but i did add another of my favorite players from that era to the final tribute collection. that would be my first favorite non-dodger, don baylor.  baylor received cards from upper deck,
and topps
with topps being the clear winner by showing baylor's entire year-by-year stats on the back. that is how you do a final tribute! topps didn't put stolen bases on the backs of the 1978 set, so i don't recall when it was that i discovered that baylor had stolen 52 bases in 1976. i thought of him as a slugger not a speedster, so it was cool to find out that he had been close to the 30-30 level a couple of times.

so far this year, topps has given us an ichiro final tribute (although it was a photo variation short print in series 1 and again in series 2) and a cc sabathia card in heritage. curtis granderson got a card in big league although it was an award winner and not a regular card with stats on the back. i am still not convinced that there will be a 2020 season, so i wonder if there are players who finished their careers in 2019 without necessarily realizing it at the time. albert pujols comes to mind, but he is signed through 2021, so he probably returns to the field at some point. time will tell, and in the meantime, i am really hoping for that 1974 design willie mays card to be a part of this year's archives release!


  1. Score did an amazing job on their card backs from 1988... until the mid 90's (possibly further). Like Wax Pack Wonders... I love seeing full career stats.

  2. Yeah Baylor was awesome! I am partial to his Fleer final tribute, what with the Bat Rack and all. Just grabbed a copy of that one myself.

    Topps wasn't going to miss out on a final Jeter Tribute, they never stopped making cards of him!

    I wonder about Ryan Zimmerman and Buster Posey who have opted out of this season. I know they both have said that they intend to come back for 2021, but you never know...

  3. Wow, I've never seen that '06 Topps Walker before! Hits two collections of mine -- final tributes & broken bats.