Pack Clash, Junk Wax Style, Round 2
August 23rd, 2011 by slangon

As you may recall, a few weeks ago my old man had given me a few packs of junk wax era cards and I decided to have an epic 3 way Pack Clash. Well, it was such a hoot that I decided to do another one. There happens to be a supermarket near my house that has a vending machine that shells out junky wax packs at 75¢ a clip, so I snagged a couple o’ packs after purchasing potatoes and toilet paper. This time we’ll be pitting a pack of 1989 Topps against a pack of upstart 1989 Bowman.

1989 Bowman

Overall: Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of junk wax cards, but I have to admit, I kind of dig the resurrected Bowman design. It’s pretty simple and there’s certain aspects of it that harken back to Bowman’s heyday without being overly retro, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I also like that they used a horizontal wrapper design. You don’t see that too often, if ever. The cards are also oddly sized, which is kind of interesting. They’re the same width as standard sized cards, but are about 1/4″ taller, which makes them a little weird to store. I guess if I really cared about keeping these nice, that’d be a problem, but what are you going to do?

I also find the backs to be pretty interesting.

It’s interesting to see the players performance broken down by opponent. I always liked that feature on older Topps team cards from the 60’s, where they would list the pitching staff and had their record broken down by opposing team. The back also happens to feature the classic late 80’s color scheme of red, black and Pepto Bismol. That being said, I find it slightly douchey that Topps proclaims this to be the “Comeback Edition!” when they’re the ones that drove Bowman out of business to begin with.  I award this pack 10 points for overall design but subtract 3 points for overall douchery.

#330 Rafael Ramirez

+3 points because I actually have that shirt. When I was in high school and college, I used to frequent thrift stores and got a sweet old school Astros road jersey for about 50¢. It’s really cool looking. The only problem is that I’m not an Astros fan, so I always feel weird wearing it. -1 for making me feel weird.

#223 Jaime Moyer

I’ve got to give it up for a guy who had his first cards during the junk wax era, but was still playing last year. Hell, as far as I know, he hasn’t officially retired, so he might pop up somewhere still. +2 for longevity. I also like that he looks like a distortionist who’s trying to fit himself into a suitcase. +1 for having a weird pose.

#420 Austin Manahan
#252 Ed Sprague
#164 Randy Bush
#196 Walt Weiss
Satchell Paige Insert

Normally, I’m pretty dead set against reprints, but for some reason I kind of like these cards. Maybe it’s because they’re reprinting a design that was cool looking to begin with and is really old and hard to find, rather than some questionable looking design from 3 years ago. (I’m looking at you, 2010 Topps The Cards Your Momma Threw Out Tim Lincecum). +1 for being a reprint that doesn’t offend my delicate sensibilities. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the greatest pitcher to not really pitch in the Majors. +5 for Satchel being Satchel.

#395 Steve Bedrosian

Whoa. Where to begin? +1 for the hair. -2 for having such a girly looking hand. +2 for looking vaguely like a cave man. -3 for being a Phillie. +1 for having the good taste to cover up as much of your Phillies uniform as you could. +1 for looking as if you might be a big slugger but it turns out you’re really a Cy Young winning relief pitcher. Final tally – it’s a draw.

#442 Willie McGee

I have a weird thing with Willie McGee. I don’t really know, or care, too much about him as a player, yet for some reason I enjoy getting his cards. Maybe because he always looks a little weird. Maybe because he has a fun sounding name. Who knows, but I award Willie 2 points because I like him.

#126 Bo Jackson

Leave to Bo to make any look awesome, even when he’s not doing anything. He’s like “What? What are taking a picture for? All I’m doing is standing here taking off my batting glove.” +4 because Bo knows junk wax.

#172 Don Slaught

I’m giving this one +3 for having a really awesome picture. Yeah, I know that absolutely nothing is going on in it, but it just looks cool. I also like that his name is Don Slaught. Very clever, Don Slaughts parents. You just earned your sons card another 2 points.
#34 Mike Greenwell
#310 Ron Oester

A very impressive 29 point showing by the young ’89 Bowman. The Bo Jackson and Satchel Paige cards sure helped, but I feel like it did it mostly on the merit of good design and photography, which makes it that much more impressive. Let’s see if Topps can compete with that.

1989 Topps

Overall: I don’t know if I really have too much to say about the overall design of 1989 Topps. It’s not my favorite of the junky Topps designs of the mid 80’s and early 90’s, but it’s by no means the worst, either. I guess there’s something slightly redeeming about the scripty team name with the players name inside of it’s tail. I guess. I also find something kind of cool about the fact that the wrapper was pretty much unchanged for such a long span of years. Somehow that makes me overlook the fact that it’s a kind of blah looking wrapper. I’m torn on how to score this. I guess I’ll give it 5 points, because if I had to rate 1989 Topps on a scale from 1 to 10, I’d probably give it a 5.

#156 Dave Gallagher

+2 points for being an All-Star Rookie. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the All-Star Rookie trophy, even when it’s this version, which in my opinion is a shadow of what it once was.

#149 Doug Dascenzo
#756 Scott Medvin

The only thing that saves this otherwise painfully boring card is the rather awesome looking backdrop of Three Rivers Stadium, lit up in all it’s night-time glory. 2 points for that. Unless I end up hearing from The Night Owl’s lawyers, in which case I’ll give it 3 points for suddenly not being such a painfully boring card.

#653 Tommy Barrett
#690 Doug Jones
#231 Padres Leaders

Everyone who reads this blog probably knows that I love team cards. Somehow, though, that love never really transferred onto these team leader cards. The early 80’s version where it’s just a photo of the batting leader next to a photo of the pitching leader are cool, it’s just these late 80’s ones that I don’t like. I think it’s the weird fade to white thing going on. That being said, I’m still giving this one 3 points for having 2 Hall of Famers on it, both of which happened to have spent time as Mets, and one of which is shown as a Met on the card. Furthermore, I’m awarding it an extra point for Gary Carters racer stripe uniform pants being in full effect. Now, if Alomar was rocking the Mustard and Mud Padres uniform, I would call this pack clash right now and declare 1989 Topps the winner by TKO. Too bad Robbie.

#631 Dave Bergman
#634 Marvin Freeman
Topps Sweatshirt Offer
#70 Mark McGwire

Awww. It’s a fresh faced, un-pock-marked Mark McGwire. -2 for being a bad man.

#241 Brett Butler
#375 Terry Pendleton
#252 Billy Hatcher

Initially, I was going to give Billy Hatcher some sort of negative points for being my nemesis. I don’t know if anyone but me remembers this, but one of the first couple of cards I unlocked during last years Million Card Giveaway was a 1988 Astros Team Leader card featuring none other than Billy Hatcher. It infuriated me that I got that card and I whined and moaned about it to no end. In the end though, I was able to wheel and deal that ’88 Astros card into a 1973 Walt Williams card, so I forgive Billy. 2 points for helping me get a No Neck card.

#79 Scott Bankhead
#299 Steve Ellsworth

-3 points for being a boring, boring card. +1 for getting the shape of your hat to almost exactly mirror the shape of your face.

#685 Jeff Treadway

Well, this was a particularly underwhelming pack of 1989 Topps. I guess the best cards of the pack are a crappy team leader card and a Mark McGwire card. Yech. 1989 Topps final score is 11, and I felt as if I was being generous at that. That’s 2 defeats in a row now for 1989 Topps. They better step up their game, or else I better start getting a different year of Topps for these junk wax Pack Clashes.

One Response to “Pack Clash, Junk Wax Style, Round 2”

  1. Hmmmmmm. The Scott Medvin card will have to undergo an investigation over on my blog.

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