The other day I wrote about what I considered, in my humble opinion, to be the best looking unlicensed card I have ever seen. It came from a Panini/Donruss card, which as many collectors pointed out through social media, came from an “awful” product. To be honest, I didn’t see much of America’s Pastime and it didn’t leave much of an impression one way or another. However, I was not a fan of the other Jose cards in the product.
Now, let’s take a look at what I consider the best looking licensed card on the market (of Jose Canseco). It comes from Topps Company, of course, from a product called 5-Star. Unfortunately, a box of this product sells for around $250 a piece, which means I have little interest in busting a box or two but as a player collector, these two cards below (which I don’t have just yet), are the best-looking Canseco cards I have come across from 2014 and quite honestly, a long, long time.
Recently, Topps announced the checklist for its 2015 flagship release and thankfully it features a couple of new Canseco inserts in the set. That is great news for an old collector like myself whose only interest in trading cards comes in the form of collecting a player who retired over a decade ago and who had an impact on the game over 25 years ago. Yes, I am very old.
As for the two Topps cards below, the Silver Signatures mixes silver, black, and gold perfectly while using a photograph from Jose’s second stint with the Oakland Athletics in 1997. The card below that is as close to a base card as you will get from Five Star and features a photograph from Jose’s 1991 season in which he was robbed of the MVP award. That year, MLB gave the award to Cal Ripken Jr. despite Jose hitting more home runs, driving in more runners, stealing more bases, scoring more, walking more, and playing on a team that won 17 more games.
Sure, there’s that whole “cheating” thing but in 1991 no one knew about that. What we did know that year was the Jose Canseco was arguably in his final season of greatness and would soon be surpassed by younger, friendlier, and all-around better players like Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr. and several others. The moral of this story is that I need these two cards in my collection ASAP and Jose Canseco should have been a two-time Most Valuable Player, even if his brand was forever tarnished by his post-career confession/s.