Friday, April 2, 2010

2010 Chachi Mike Schmidt Special #MS5 1988-1990

The Mike Schmidt Special insert set concludes with the slugger's last two regularly issued Topps baseball cards and a "card that never was" from the 1990 Topps set. Schmidt announced his retirement on May 29, 1989, after struggling at the start of the 1989 season and concluding he could no longer play at the level to which he was accustomed. Despite his retirement, the fans voted Schmidt to be the starting third baseman at the 1989 All-Star Game. He graciously accepted and took part in the pre-game ceremonies. (The Mets' Howard Johnson got the starting nod in Schmidt's stead.)

The 1990 Topps set is easily one of my least favorite Topps sets of all-time, taking its rightful place alongside sets from 1995 and 1999. Topps could have redeemed itself (slightly) for using such a ghastly design by including a final card of Mike Schmidt, which would have featured his complete career statistics on the back. I'm already aware of one other custom-made 1990 Topps Mike Schmidt card, which was perfectly executed, but I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring with the card featured here. I used the picture from the 1989 Phillies Yearbook for the card.

Finally, I had a few great suggestions as to what to put in the 4th spot on this card. I love the idea of doing a Then and Now card, or featuring a picture from Schmidt's 500th home run. I also love the idea of having Schmidt thinking about one of the great third baseman of yesteryear (Pinky Whitney?) similar to what Topps did with its 1986 tribute to Pete Rose by incorporating Ty Cobb in a bubble over Rose's head. In the end though, I decided to go with his Hall of Fame plaque, which I thought served as a fitting bookend to the overall tribute.


Matt Runyon said...

The HOF plaque was a good choice.

Kevin said...

Hall of Fame plaque....Much better idea

When I think of the Phillies of the '80s when I was a child, Steve Carlton also comes to mind...I know he wasn't a Phillie from beginning to end, but if you get bored, there is an idea of a career to do something similar to

Jim said...

Funny you should mention that . . . I had toyed with the idea of doing a Carlton tribute from '72 through '86 - the years of his Phillies cards. I like seeing all the Schmidt cards together, and this type of thing would definitely work for Carlton. Perhaps a good rainy day project!