Thursday, March 25, 2010
Classic card of the week
Dave Winfield, 1988 Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball
In the late 80s, the authority on who was, and who was not, a superstar of baseball was Kay-Bee Toy Stores. The good news for everyone playing baseball in the late 80s was that Kay-Bee Toy Stores was pretty liberal in who they named superstars. For example, this particular card is No. “33 of 33 cards.” For the year of 1988, it was deemed, by Kay-Bee Toy Stores, that there were 33 superstars in baseball. Thirty-three! That is a lot of superstars, especially considering that my complete and unopened set of 1989 Topps is worth $4. It remains curious as to what the criteria was to be a superstar in the mind of Kay-Bee Toy Stores, but you definitely needed at least some form of identification. If you happened to root for a team in 1988 that was mysteriously bereft of at least one superstar, that only meant that your favorite player was not forging an adequate relationship with Kay-Bee Toy Stores. And that was unfortunate.
But I digress. Let’s find out more about Dave Winfield, Superstar:
Dave produced 20-or more Doubles for the 14th consecutive season in 1987.
First question: Why is “Doubles” capitalized? Second question: Is that good? I mean, doing anything positive for 14 straight years is obviously good. But is 20 doubles in and of itself necessarily that good? I’ll be honest –- I am indifferent to 20 doubles. This is a superstar we’re talking about here! I need something better.
Extended his record with 6th Double in All-Star competition, 7-14-87.
I hereby declare Dave Winfield the champion of all arbitrary doubles-related statistics! Years from now, when I am playing a baseball trivia game with dear friends of mine who enjoy doing such things, and the question is posed -- Who has the most doubles in All-Star games? -- I will be confident in declaring my answer, assuming that no player has since surpassed Winfield in that meaningless category, which is something I do not care to look up right now. But I will impress no one, as anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of our national pastime will know that Dave Winfield is the most likely answer to any question regarding an excess of doubles.
Something more interesting to mention with regards to Dave Winfield would have been anything other than that. Seriously, check out his Wikipedia page. I was a fan of Winfield growing up and his greatness alluded even me. He was one of the best pure athletes to ever play professional sports, is a Hall of Famer, was involved in several bizarre and fascinating situations, was a great quote, is a freakin’ philanthropist, and one of the most respected guys to ever play the game of baseball. If I were commissioned by the President of the United States to pen a brief synopsis of the career of Dave Winfield, this is what I would say:
A paradox of springtime, he was both Mr. May and a bird killer. He was also pretty awesome at baseball. Don’t believe me? Call Kay-Bee Toy Stores, bitch. I met Dave Winfield at a baseball card show once and he was nice. I told him I had a cold and he promised to set the record for doubles in All-Star games for me, which he did. My cold went away shortly thereafter. Dave Winfield saved my life.
Did you know?
During his playing days in Minnesota, Dave Winfield spent his offseasons playing pick-up basketball with Prince on the legendary indoor courts of St. Paul.