Friday, September 20, 2013

Real Po-lice Cards

A look at some edumacational oddball Cards on cards.

Over the course of a few Listia auctions, I was able to accumulate a bunch of Kansas City Life regionally issued cards, commonly known as "police cards" because they're primarily distributed to children by people working in a police community outreach program. At least, I think that's how it goes. It's been a long time since Officer Friendly came to my school to give out Portland Trail Blazers cards that I took home and stashed in a cigar box to cherish forever and ever.

In addition to a lone 1999 Mark McGwire card, I also scored what I believe is the entire 1993 and 1994 sets, plus a good chunk of the 2006 set for good measure. I guess the guys at Kansas City Life Insurance Company have been doing this for a long time.

The 1993 set is very, well, blue. It also has the "red letters on blue background" thing that can make the letters jump around on you if you stare at them for awhile. Or if you're sleepy. Or otherwise chemically indisposed, I guess.

I like the 1994 design a lot more, although it's a little on the goofy side. There's a nice thick red stripe running up the side, and the player's number is printed on a baseball that's totally jumping out at you.

The biggest gain for me out of the 2006 set is that I obtained some cards of rarely seen Cardinals. In fact, several of these players never suited up for St. Louis in the regular season. Their Topps issued cards are Photoshopped, so these end up being the only issued cards of certain players in actual Cardinal uniforms.

In fact, I'm not aware of there being any Ricardo Rincon Cardinals cards at all. Rincon actually did pitch a few regular season games for the Cardinals before he ended up needing Tommy John surgery.

I haven't even gotten to my favorite thing about these cards. After the jump, we'll look at the very informative flipsides of the cards, where lessons are truly learned.

Each card is light on stats, but heavy on the message. We get a catchy little cartoon and some verbiage about Kansas City Life.

The earlier cards also have a caption/instruction from each player, so you know that you're not just listening to any old everyday lawman to tell you how hip helping others is. You're listening to your personal baseball smashing hero, Jose Oquendo!

Boom goes the dynamite! Also, it's totally cool to play with fireworks. Just use caution and care. But it looks pretty sweet.

Okay, this one is true.

Also, do not play in traffic.

COOL CAPS GUYS. The police are your friends? That's not exactly what I learned on The Wire.

Remember the days when there were spiral corded phones laying on the ground on pretty much every block? Me too. Those were the days.

I did not know that, but I can honestly say that never seemed very tempting.

I won't let you down, Lee.

This one is just weird. Sure, occasionally people get bitten by dogs, but I don't see too many children chasing down coyotes or wild raccoons only to have to their arms bitten off, but what do I know?

This one is just cute. Also, I'm pretty sure the big fish is supposed to eat the little fish. So, maybe don't go swimming with a much larger friend who is also a possible cannibal.

But it looks so cool!

I should really hide my can of Kills before someone gets hurt.

Are things as they should be? What kind of existentialist message is this trying to convey? Or is the real danger these googly, pretty, Spongeboby eyes?

This kid looks pretty cool. And tough. Those squinty eyes show that he's serious.

I think the target audience for this message probably can't even read.

I beg to differ. It looks like it's pretty funny to the guy on the right!

Worst knock knock joke ever.

Every time I look at this, I see a fence first.

Can't argue with stranger danger.

This is my next tattoo.

But there's a circle and a slash through it. That automatically negates whatever is inside. Ergo, shoplifting is the coolest. And also a crime, as Rob Murphy points out.

This is what happens when Pac-Men and Lemonheads breed.

So much thinking. It hurts the brain.

Seriously? Bike safety? And is that the "Red Bull gives you wings" guy? What would he know about safety?

Here's a card from the 1994 set, and... wait a minute. This seems awfully familiar! Do you mean to tell me that Jose Oquendo and Omar Olivares feel exactly the same, word-for-word, about strange animals. What an incredible coincidence!

There were a couple of new cartoons for this set, including this one where some muscle bound dude is about to find out that the "water" is exactly two inches deep.

This doesn't do a terrific job of expressing how fun reading can be.

The more recent set scraps some of the familiar cartoons and goes with longer messages, presented by a few wacky baseball-related characters. This overly cheerful baseball-man is all about safety.

This cracked out baseball glove-man wants you to be wherever you're supposed to be. Even if that place is at a crackhouse.

Baseball-man noticed that the kids aren't just into swimming anymore. It's the 2000s now, and ice skating is all the rage.

Well, he's not cheery about everything.


I truly wish this was on the back of the McGwire card and not Ricardo Rincon's.

Also, are you holdin'? Just sayin'.

He is so excited about smelly garbage.

Oh geez, not the strange animals again.

Baseball glove-man is saying that he has no info for the po-po.

Rude. Thumbs down.


  1. I want all these. Maybe if I had them when I was a kid I wouldn't have become a smoking, shoplifting, gun-touching, lone-swimming, gang-banging, stove-touching, drug addict utility pole climber who pets strange animals and doesn't go to adults with his problems.

  2. I have a ton more you may like...I'm working on more cards to send you. I want some of your trade bait cards so maybe we can work up another deal. Hope the DAV cards are a nice piece of your collection you don't have.


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