You Disgust Me, John Flaherty
February 11th, 2011 by slangon

I like to make snarky little comments on this blog. Hell, I think that’s half the reason anyone out there starts a blog. To make snarky comments. One thing I try not to foster, despite what you make take from the title of this post, is negativity. No sir. When I say Don Mossi is ugly, I genuinely say it with love. When I poo poo a card company’s choice in player photo, I mean it as constructive criticism. When I dog on the dumb haircut that a guy was sporting in a baseball card photo 40 years ago, I do it with a sense of celebration because we’ve all had stupid haircuts at some point.

When I say John Flaherty disgusts me, I say it because I really love John Flaherty and I want him to be better. And I never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever want to ever again see a card like this.

Forget that I already told you who’s card that is. Take a good look at that card and tell me who is the player depicted on that card? What team does he play for? This card is a prime example of why I kind of thank my lucky stars that I lost interest in the hobby at the point that I did. There is actually more information on the front of this card than you would generally find on the A-Side of any other card design. It has a bunch of data that is usually reserved for the flip side of a card, including his handiness, height, weight, birth date and place of birth. It even includes his number. In an effort at creative typography, however, they made trying to glean any of than information becomes such a chore that I give up after about 2 seconds. Is that laziness on my part? Probably to a certain degree. But I think a lot of it also has to do with that fact that this is just such a bad design that I don’t want to look at it for more than 2 seconds.

It doesn’t get much better on the reverse either.

There’s actually a couple of positives going on back here. That’s a pretty cool picture of John fully duded up in his tools of ignorance. I always had a thing for cards showing catchers fully suited up. I don’t know why. Maybe I find it oddly gutsy that a card company would put a picture of a guy on a card where pretty much his entire face is covered. Maybe it goes deeper, to when I was in little league and could never play catcher because I was too scrawny. Maybe I just like that catchers gear is know as the Tools of Ignorance. Either way, I like the picture.

They also get points for halfway including the Tigers logo. The gothic “D” is a classic and the actual tiger crawling in it is kind of cool, in a cheesey 90’s kind of way (although I much prefer this, or even this). I don’t know about the whole having it spill of the side of the card thing, but let’s not split hairs. I’ll just give points for including it and leave it at that. This card needs all the help it can get.

Moving on to the negatives, once again, there’s a fairly good amount of info, which is good, but you can’t read a lick of it. The stats are all about 3 point type, and I didn’t pack my magnifying glass. I know they at least tried to keep it legible by changing the color from black to white, depending on what color background it was sitting on. Trying is not succeeding, however. Outside of the few numbers that happen to fall on Johns white jersey, none of those stats cut the mustard, legibilty-wise. And because the headers are illegible, even the numbers that I can read, I have no idea what they represent. Is that 13 hits? 13 RBI? 13 homers? 13 stolen bases? Even where they tried to differentiate them by making them orange is a colossal failure. You could make them hot pink for all I care. If you insist on making them them that small, I just can’t read it. I mean, if you look at where his career totals are (if you can make it out), you would think that’s all part of the legal disclaimer.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of 90’s card design in general, but even folks that do like cards from that era have to admit, this is a bad card.

I don’t mean to take it out on you, John Flaherty, but someone has to be made an example of.

2 Responses to “You Disgust Me, John Flaherty”

  1. Well done. I remember these cards quite well. I believe you got one insert per pack, and it was also when Fleer introduced the concept of the “hot pack.” All inserts! When I opened the pack, I thought it was a hot pack because of the bright colors and graphics…then I realized it was a bunch of crap players. Ugly set, and they did these for basketball too. Sigh.

  2. The greatest thing about the 1995 Fleer set is that while they made the base card design completely insane (and had a different design for EACH DIVISION) most of the insert cards are really boring. So in a pack instead of getting 9 boring base cards and one insane insert, you got 9 wiggitywhack base cards and one boring insert.

    Fleer used this same concept on all four of their base sets that year. Baseball, football, hockey and basketball. By the time the Hoops set was released I was ready to claw my eyes out.

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