Thursday, June 3, 2010

Trading with The Greatest 21 Days

If you haven't stumbled across The Greatest 21 Days yet, you're really missing out. The blog chronicles the journey, successful or otherwise, through the ranks of professional baseball for each of the subjects of the 880-card 1990 CMC minor league set. This set holds a special place in my collecting heart for being the first widely available minor league set available in pack form at a time when AAA baseball meant more to me than just something to do for a few sunny summer day's a year. In 1990, The Portland Beavers were the only baseball game in town. ESPN had just recently started their MLB contract, but my household was going through an extended cable TV drought. And nobody in Portland would admit to being a Mariners fan. They were awful.

I just got a package from Steve of the aforementioned blog recently as he offered up some of the doubles that he's accumulated. Unfortunately, I was only able to offer up a meager three cards for his set (curse you, Minor League Giveaway and Minor League Giveaway II!) but I got some great stuff in return nonetheless.

Bernardo Brito was a favorite of my teen years. I could never understand why his amazing bat didn't translate to major league success. Looking back, I suppose you could say he was the classic AAAA slugger. He absolutely owned PCL pitching, but he couldn't do much in his limited opportunities with the Twins. On Brito's card, and moreso with Mike Cook's, you can see the classic Beavers design that is reminiscent of a certain franchise that features birds of a red feather.

Here's the home uniform design, which is more consistent with the early '90s Twins look. Baker is standing on the Civic Stadium Astroturf at what is likely the same photoshoot as everyone involved with the team and this set. This is the site of next year's expansion MLS franchise, which means the Beavers will be leaving town again. They last left town after the 1993 season, which happened to also be the year I also left town for college.

There were also plenty of Cardinal affiliates in the package. The Redbirds are based out of Memphis now, and Memphis is actually in the same league (PCL) as the Beavers so I get to see them every other year. Since they are in a separate division and there are travel cost concerns, teams only play opponents from the "other" division for one series a season, in alternating stadiums.

To be fair, the only reason I scanned this card is because my very first blog post was about Cris (not Chris) Carpenter. I don't really know what the point was, but I knew it was going to be a great start if I went with a 1989 Topps card. That's how you know what you're going to get out of a blog like Cards on Cards.

Steve also included what I believe is now my second Pujols 2010 Turkey Red insert, which means I can close the book on collecting this very necessary card. At some point, perhaps, I will come to realize how ridiculous it is to feel like I need two copies of certain cards because of the way my collecting priorities are organized, but I haven't reached that point yet.

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