Jan 28, 2011

Card Spotlight: 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Quartet Card (Griffey, Clemente, Guerrero, DiMaggio)

Here is the header on th rear of the card:  Ken Griffey Jr/Roberto Clemente/Vladimir Guerrero/Joe Dimaggio-a quartet of dazzling outfield defenders.   The only other information on the back was that Griffey and Clemente won a lot of Gold Gloves, Guerrero has a cannon for an arm, and DiMaggio is the standard for outfield defense by which all others should be measured. (I'm paraphrasing a bit here.)

Despite the players involved on this card, I don't really like the card. If I had any one of these players' cards standing alone with that information (and more), I wouldn't even think twice about the banality of the facts on the back of the card. But this set and this card were to represent "Heroes" in a baseball sense. Players and/or performances that transcended the seasonal grind to be ingrained in the subconscious.

That's not really waht I dislike about the card; I think I just wanted to use the word "transcended" in a blog post (I hope it was the first time)

It's actually simple why this card is unappealing. There are aesthetic and conceptual issues governing this piece.

Aesthetically, there is too much tan/brown/beige oer the whole of the card.  By itself, this isn't a bad thing.  However, the majority of the space that has been used has been by player name and team logo.  For a dazzling quartet shown here, that sure isn't elegant.  The team logo is especially egregious because it obscures the player head shots (no, they can't even be called images).

Interestingly enough, the players' head shots can all be characterized differently:  Griffey (happy), Clemente (bemused), Guerrero (chillin'), DiMaggio (stoic)

Conceptually, the card falls flat because it doesn't lead to a smooth finish.  In a personality driven card such as this one, give mental images which would lead to their fielding excellence.  Maybe a dual sided card with two images on each side, showcasing what made each of them a worthy fielder in the eyes of the baseball fanbase. 

Imagine a card with Griffey scaling a fence scraping the heavens with the juxtaposition of Guerrero coiling up to sling a ball at unimaginable speeds on side.  On the other side, you can have DiMaggio gliding under a flyball deep in the gap and Clemente exhibiting grace with a fielding move that defies convention.  I would like that card.

On a completely related note, except for league leaders, rookies, and team cards, I'm not a fan of multi-player cards.   There has to be better themes out there then what we've seen.  I did enjoy Passing the Torch from Donruss Elite and 2001 Topps Combos.  But the combo cards in Topps Update and Upper Deck Ballpark Collection are not for me.    Anyone else have an opinion on how to improve multi-player cards or make them more or less relevant (depending on your preference)?

1 comment:

BA Benny said...

I am a fan of the 08 Heroes set and the multi player cards don't bother me. I do agree with you on the too much beige thing but the different color parallels look 10 times better.