Bob fucking Welch.
If you were an Oakland A’s fan in the late 80’s and early 90’s, this guy was a God on the mound, at least for a few years. Well, a God on the mound unless you were a kid saving up as much money possible to buy cheap baseball cards. Pulling a Bob Welch out of a pack when you’re going after Jose Canseco is a plight I wouldn’t wish on my biggest enemy. If you collected during the “Junk Wax” era, you probably had a lot of this guy’s cards stored in shoe boxes under your bed.
Take a look at the card below. It is a tribute to a design that none of us loved but is a part of our childhood, like it or not. When it comes to 1990 releases, Topps was absolutely slaughtered by Upper Deck in every way, shape, or form. Don’t feel bad, though, Donruss and Fleer suffered the same fate. It was a new decade and you just couldn’t touch the work Upper Deck was doing just one year after their debut. Topps did much better in 1991 but I digress.
To get back on track, the card below features a certified autograph of a man who won 27 games in 1990. Even with such amazing numbers, he was probably the 7th or 8th best player on his own team. Not only did he have a pretty solid career (aside from his Cy Young season), he’s also dead. Yes, he died mysteriously in 2012. That means you can’t even track the guy down to let him know how much he was appreciated (if you’re an A’s fan). You’d have to find him in older releases like the one featured here.
I can buy this card below on eBay, released in 2013 by the Topps Company, for less than $5 dollars. Meanwhile, a Joba Chamberlain 1 of 1 Superfractor once sold for over $5,000 U.S American dollars. I am dead serious. Fast forward a few years later and Joba has played in 8 seasons and has never once won more than 9 games. That is what you call a failure in the real world where prospecting means nothing.
Meanwhile, Bob Welch sits in the Dollar Bin in Cardboard Heaven waiting for someone to pick him up and take him home.