This is kind of a big deal. If you were to start collecting this series in 1984 and work your way through the years, the 1994 set (known to some as 1994 Blue Jays Oh Henry!) is, in my opinion, going to be the first challenging set. Everything to this point is readily available on eBay, kijiji, craigslist, whatever you want. In fact, over the years, I've received full sets just chucked into miscellaneous Blue Jays lots that I've bought or traded for. But not 1994. Until today, I had 5 of these cards in my collection -- and one of them was BJ Birdy. But like I said, that was until today.
As noted in an earlier post, I found this set online, nearly missed the opportunity, and then doubled back and managed to elude what would have been huge regret. Instead of looking back, however, we get to look forward. Check out this set. It is everything a regional set should be. Low-quality cardboard, low quality-printing, a design that just screams "love me or hate me" and bright colours. And then there's the stuff that makes these sets awesome. It's a point in time shot of the team. The hall-of-famers, the stars, the role players, the guys trying to cling to a career, the guys trying to start one. Managers and coaches, that have long-since ended their playing days, but can't bring themselves to walk away from the game. Guys who may not even have another baseball card. Honestly, as much as I really don't care for that yellow whatever-that-is, on blue, this set packs some punch. It was worth the hunt.
What's also interesting about this set, is what the cards don't tell you. When these were issued, Toronto fans were still high on Blue Jays baseball. We were champions of the world, twice over. Olerud, Molitor and Alomar did something that hadn't happened in a hundred years. We had guys like Carlos Delgado, Alex Gonzalez and Shawn Green (though he's not in this set). The future was bright.
Little did anyone know that the season would end in a strike. And that when that happened, our 55-60 record would only be good enough for 3rd in the AL East, 9.5 games back of second (16 games back of first). Little did anyone know that twenty years later, we'd still not have tasted post season baseball again. There I go looking back again. I'm not supposed to do that.
So here's to looking forward. The great thing about baseball is that there's always next year. And the great thing about technology is that just because the Blue Jays aren't involved doesn't mean I can't still watch some damn good playoff baseball.
And I get to do so knowing that I am no longer going to need to scour the Internet for a 1994 Blue Jays Oh Henry team set.
Anyone know where I can find the entire 1995 Blue Jays Oh Henry team set? ;)
Thanks for reading,