Monday, April 14, 2008

Weird Card File - 1988 Topps UK Minis

These cards were marketed by Topps in England to the host of baseball fans there starving for baseball cards.

Except for their size (about 3 by 2 inches) and that they are printed on white card stock, they share a lot of the features of other Topps issues of the late 1980s. The photos on the front are either action shots or candid shots of the player sitting or standing around. The team name is featured prominently on the top and the player name on the bottom. The card fronts are finished but have no gloss.

The backs are also fairly conventional with the past year's and life time stats, the player's personal statistics and some little tidbit about the player. Lloyd was nicknamed "Shaker" in high school. Wouldn't you like to know the full story behind that?

One thing not normally found on baseball cards is a little feature called "Talkin' Baseball". Here, Topps attempts to explain the terminology of the game. I picked this card to show because of the detailed definition of the word throw.

"A Throw is the act of propelling the ball with hand and arm to a given objective. A Throw is to be distinguished from and not to be confused with a pitch".

Baseball is big in some parts of the world, but I think Europe isn't one of them. In the late 1970s, I shared an office in work with an engineer from my company's plant in France. He arrived here during the 1977 World Series. He was staying at a local hotel until he found an apartment. At night he would go to the hotel bar and watch the World Series. One morning he drew a line score, the type that shows runs, hits, and errors. He showed it to me and asked "Who's winning?"

The next summer we got him to play softball with us. Although he was a pretty good athlete, he was hopeless at softball. We tried to get him to buy his own glove but he said he'd never be able to explain to his friends in France what it was for.

By contrast, he was an enormous basketball fall. He knew all the Philadelphia '76ers and was thrilled to be able to see Dr. J and other players live. He had season tickets to the '76ers within a week of getting here.


NMboxer said...

Very interesting, I didn't know the story behind those mini cards.

Anonymous said...

I just got some of these in a lot that my wife got at Walmart. I had no idea what they were; thanks for the info!