Saturday, March 29, 2014

Complete: 1989 Bowman Toronto Blue Jays

Ernie Whitt (photo courtesy of eBay)
Well, I am not even close to done sorting out the 5000-card box that I recently received in trade, but I am making slow progress.  One thing that is done is my 1989 Bowman Toronto Blue Jays team set.  Of course this is kind of cheating.  Thanks to the non-standard height of these cards, I was able to easily pluck them out of one of the rows.  Turns out the entire team set was there, so the Jimmy Key and Tom Lawless that I already had are now available for trade.

This is an interesting set to me.  I've always liked the cards -- partially because of their non-standard size -- but always hesitated to try to collect them individually.  Entirely because of their non-standard size.  Once upon a time I owned a factory set, but never took it out of the box to put into binders because the only pages I'm aware of that can hold them would require every card to be sideways.  Of course now I'm going to have to do that anyway just to be able to "binder" this team set with the rest of my cards.  C'est la vie...

The photos in this set obviously don't have the gloss to compete with their Upper Deck counterpart, but I actually like the kinda 'flat' photos.  If you don't try to compare them and simply look at the photos for what's in them, they're quite good, in my opinion.  There's a decent variety of poses, but they are all very simple.  I mentioned in an earlier post, that I like cards that show an action shot with the fans and the field/stadium in the background.  This set has that going for it.  And while that stuff is visible in the photos, Bowman blurred them out to make sure the player on the card is what is in focus.  I think it works.  The signature on the bottom of each card is a design element that I don't think had been on a card since 1980 Topps; it doesn't do much for me, but it doesn't detract from the card either.  The white border is a standard element on Bowman again in 1990 and 1991 (not sure about 1992 without looking, to be honest, and am just too lazy to look.  Hell, I didn't even scan these images myself, I ripped 'em off of eBay!)

Fred McGriff (image courtesy eBay)
Something else great about this set is the representation of the power blues!  By today's standards, many probably consider those to be ugly jerseys, but I like them; probably largely for the nostalgic value.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  How do you talk about 1989 and not mention an AL East title?  The Blue Jays finished with a record of 89-73, only 2 games ahead of Baltimore.  What's especially cool about that is that the last two games of the Jays' season were at home against Baltimore.  The Jays won the first game 2-1 in 11 innings and took the second game 4-3 in 9 innings.  Incidentally, Tom Henke got the win in the first game and the save in the second, while Orioles' pitcher Mark Williamson took both losses.

Of course, the Jays would go on to lose the ALCS to the eventual World Series winning Oakland Athletics in 5 games in a series that might be better remembered for the massive earth quake that toppled the city than for the baseball.

Thanks for reading!

Richard.

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