Jun 6, 2015

More 2012 Leaf Memories: Autographs and Airbrushing

Irrationality is a fun little way to conduct operations.  Why do we like certain cards or sets?  Why do we become obsessed in pursuit?  It is a good thing that I can't afford to buy all the sets that I want. Otherwise, all that would be seen is a hand flailing under a flood of cards like those cartoons of characters sinking into lava reaching for the air.....

As time passes, I realize that my card collecting is not so much as a steady trickle of cards as a series of floods punctuated by obsessions.  2012 Leaf Memories was one such of these obsessions.  For some reason, the design sparked an innate urge to get them all.....spoiler, I failed at that.

The reason is because Puig Fever swept the nation, and the price skyrocketed to the point where this became infeasible.  The "additional" base cards, numbered 529 and above were split between rookies and retired players, with all of them numbered to 99.  Prospect names that still resonate three years later include Addison Russell, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, Joey Gallo, and, of course, Yasiel Puig.

The retired players portion of the checklist was much easier to track down. Notice that there are blank uniforms and varying pictures of era and tone.
Bob Gibson pitching in what looks like to be against Boston, which may mean this is a photo from the 1967 World Series.
Albert Pujols is modeling his new Angels duds for the first year of his career transition.

Reggie Jackson  during his postseason mashing prime.

Jim Bunning going with the Tigers uniform of his youth.
Whitey Ford with a knowing look that the batter has no chance on this one.

There were also two principal auto types in the set; one was essentially reprints of these high numbered cards, usually with a sticker auto and numbered to 25, and the other was buybacks from the 1990 Leaf set, which were then signed on-card and numbered to the player's uniform number in most cases.  I tried to snag a few and successfully pulled out a couple of Hall of Famers.
Dennis Eckersley is strangely not throwing sidearm in this card from his playing days.  This was from his peak of his powers when the A's were riding high after winning the World Series and sporting a crazy 55:3 K:BB ratio.
Red Schoendienst was both a HOF second baseman and a pennant-winning manager with the Cardinals.    He won two World Series as a player....and this was a surprise for me, with the Milwaukee Braves.  It's appropriate that he has this 1990 designed card since his last managing stint was as an interim manager after replacing Whitey Herzog in the 1990 season.

2012 Leaf Memories is a set that surprisingly maintains a hold on me still even though I have very few actual 1990 Leaf cards....the collecting mind is funny sometimes.

1 comment:

Pulp Ephemera said...

Very thought-provoking musings. As we all know, so much of it seems rooted in nostalgia; of course, the card companies themselves often play into that. In fact, this set tries to tap into nostalgia for more than one era. After all, as your post shows, these 2012 Leaf Memories card fronts precisely copy the 1990 set in that clean, simple design and palate w/ the silver, white, & black. (I don't mean the buyback ones, since I realize those actually are the very same cards--w/ a foil stamp.) And the b&w photos of older players of course work well w/ both the nostalgia and simply the layout. Also, I know you say you had very few of the '90 Leafs, but that lack can sometimes leave an even stronger "hold." (I know it did for me and some sets.) Then again, maybe it's also that card design/layout; it's a pretty attractive one on these, and it eschews the gaudy pitfalls of many more contemporary sets.... In any case, I can definitely see the appeal of these. Love the Gibson card!
P.S. I'm still trying to absorb all of the wonderful cards you sent--too much fun!