Wednesday, February 8, 2012

when junk wax is the furthest from it, part two (of two)

Welcome back to my two part feature on non-junk wax. In my previous post, I talked about a small boxed set called the Origins of Baseball. If you missed it, you can view it here.

Today, I'll feature a pretty much similar box set but this time based off of a source material:

1994 Upper Deck based on Ken Burns' Baseball.
This is an 80 card set that highlights some of the most popular topics within the enormous nine-part, 22 hour documentary. I watched the entire thing and loved every minute of it. Remember when I mentioned geeking out over reading those cards last post? Yeah, this documentary was about ten times geekier.

Let's take a look at some of the favorites in the set.

Here are two guys that definitely don't get enough respect in the card world: Fred Merkle and Addie Joss. Merkle being known namely for his error, costing his team the pennant. Joss is a Hall of Famer but had a very short career for someone in said Hall. A fantastic pitcher by any standard, he threw a perfect game in 1908. He contracted meningitis and died in 1911, only 9 years after his major league debut.

Women in baseball are also under-represented. The Ted Williams set had a small subset devoted to some of the women superstars. They had their own leagues but were never allowed to play alongside men and they still aren't.

I chose this because there just simply aren't enough Joe Jackson cards. A shame really because he was a bonafide star player and should be alongside his brethren in the Hall of Fame. Obviously the Black Sox scandal got him banned for life but like Pete Rose, I feel both these men should be exception due to their career numbers.

Don Larsen. A middle of the road pitcher by the numbers but on that fateful day in 1956, he was certainly in the groove, pitching the first and only perfect game in a World Series contest. I like the six shots shown on this card, showing him in obviously, rare form.

Simply put, I love this card. It's a fantastic picture of a moment we all know but from an entirely different angle. Usually we get that classic shot of Bill rounding third in full celebration but this is post hit but pre-home run. Easily my favorite in the set and it's easy to see why. I looked closely at the picture but I can't find the ball in the air. I love the scoreboard in the background showing the score. A classic moment for sure.

This set is chock full of great cards of great players. Some others are Moses Fleetwood Walker (the first African-American player), Rube Wadell, Lou Gehrig in his Minor League uniform, Lefty Grove, Josh Gibson, Carl Hubbell and Annabel Lee (who once pitched a perfect game and whose nephew is Bill "Spaceman" Lee). Those are just some of the names in this great set, each with a short bio on the back, describing why they're famous and stuff from the documentary.


  1. I love this little set. I've used a bunch of the cards in birthday posts. The box it comes in is nice too.

  2. I picked up a card from this set off eBay without really knowing what it was. It was a Christy Mathewson that I won for like a nickel or so shipped. I didn't care what it was for a nickel, but finding out it was attached to the great Ken Burns documentary made it fantastic.

  3. Now this set, I have.

    I'm not sure where I got it, but I'm glad I own it.

    I especially love the Merkle, you don't see him on too many baseball cards.

  4. Since Burns and Company issued another chapter to the documentary, will UD issue some more cards? I doubt it.

    I did get the DVD set (with the 10th Inning doc) for Christmas. I haven't started (re)watching it.

  5. yea, i was going to point this out as well - Burns released a "10th inning" a couple of years ago - i didn't love it though, as much as i did the really old footage in the earlier chapters...

  6. Yeah, the tenth inning is the only part I haven't watched yet (either part). I watched this on Netflix and part 10 is broken up into two parts. I'll get to it but I love the earlier stuff way more so I've been procrastinating on watching it.

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  8. I've never seen this...but I like it.

  9. I've used several cards in that set for autographs. Beautiful cards.

  10. I've had this set since it came out in '94. Great 2 posts - pointing these sets out back to back is something I hadn't thought of!