Classic card of the week

Vince Coleman, 1990 Topps

If you were a kid in 1990 and you were opening up a fresh pack of new baseball cards and you saw this very card, you would initially think it was a regular ol' card. Until, that is, your eyes led you down to the aesthetically marvelous “Record Breaker 89” insignia. Then you would know you had a “Record Breaker” card on your hands. Your heart would skip a beat and your palms would become sweaty. Your friends would ask, “What’d you get?” and you’d nervously stutter, “Nothing!” as you carefully placed your “Record Breaker” card to the back of the pack, knowing that when you got home you would immediately place it in the finest hard plastic case that you had. You would be well on your way to becoming a record breaker in the realm of having “Record Breaker” baseball cards. The only thing that would possibly make this scenario better is if you turned the card over and it read like an “Extra, extra!” newspaper clipping with regards to said record:

Vincent Van Go Couldn’t Be Stopped

This would be the headline. It would be a clever play on words which references Vincent van Gogh, the Expressionist artist, and Vincent Van Goleman Vince Coleman, a baseball player most famous for stealing bases, hence the “Go” part, because in order to steal bases you must, indeed, go.

Montreal, Que., July 28, 1989:

As if you didn’t already know the details.

Cardinals’ Vince Coleman tonight logged his 50th consecutive Stolen Base in third inning…

Stolen Base -– according to Strunk & White -– shall only be capitalized in the context of a record-breaking performance by Vince Coleman. Otherwise it should be treated like any other stupid, nameless, irrelevant base.

…before being caught stealing in 4th stanza.

Vincent Van Go couldn’t be stopped
Until the fateful fourth stanza
Tagged out, to the dugout he hopped
Hold me closer Tony Danza

This is, not-so-coincidentally, the fourth stanza in a much larger poem I have written on the subject. I am also pretty sure I referenced the show “Friends” here, for which I sincerely apologize. But more on this record:

The streak broke record of 38 set by Dodgers’ Dave Lopes, June 10-August 24, 1975.

Certainly, yes, 50 consecutive stolen bases is more than 38. And while I’m well aware that 50 is a nice round number, possibly this card could have celebrated Vince Coleman’s 39th consecutive Stolen Base, which was technically the “record-breaker.” For all these years I have been celebrating Vince Coleman Stolen Base Record Day on July 28th. I invite people over and we watch baseball all day and we root for the active consecutive stolen base leader to get caught stealing. Then we light firecrackers. Now I’m embarrassed.

Did you know?
We would have also accepted "Leonardo De Vincy."


Anonymous said…
I think this record base-stealing situation may be a deal that requires an asterik, though, seeing as how it is no secret that Vincent "Van Go" Coleman was wearing Nikes. If, indeed, the competitive advantage is not in the player's game but actually in his shoes -- well that throws a new light on the entire thing.

Forget about a House panel on steroids. Where is the panel on shoes!?
Anonymous said…
i have a this card... how much would it be worth do you think?

my email is if you might know, thanks!