Back in 1990, there weren’t a whole lot of cards to collect. You had the big four consisting of Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss (in that order). You had Classic, Score and Sportsflics on the low-end. Plus you had Leaf’s debut and Bowman, in their second year back. Also “oddballs” but those didn’t count back then. If you were a player collector of say someone like Jose Canseco, you had maybe 20 total cards to chase.
As a 10-year old, impressionable kid new to America and now obsessed with baseball and its stars, there are some cards that will be forever burned into my memory. You see, it was different then. Last year, there were 781 Jose Abreu cards released. How many of those will become “iconic”, memorable baseball cards and how many will just sit in boxes collecting dust as another 700-800 cards are released of Abreu in 2015?
I’m not saying one is better than the other. I wouldn’t trade the technology of 2014 for the cards of 1990 any day of the week, ever. However, I would trade 1997 for 2014 but that’s another story we can cover in the near future. I’m not one of those collectors who bitches and moans about this or that. I’m just happy that nearly 15 years after my favorite player retired, I am still seeing amazing cards being produced.
So imagine my surprise when browsing the Topps Vault this morning upon running into this sale. It was a Topps photograph, circa 1988 of none other than Jose Canseco. It comes from that same 1990 Bowman I have seen thousands of times over the past twenty-five years yet is somehow different and new. It’s like a missing puzzle piece I never knew existed.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what makes this photograph worth $75 dollars but if they can put up his 1986 Topps Traded and 1987 Topps Gold Rookie Cup photographs, I would be a very happy, old school locator. Somehow, finding this photograph, which is now half a century old brought back a piece of my childhood and brought back some appreciation for this forgotten Bowman classic.
I guess some times, living in the past isn’t so bad …