08 December 2015

At the Trade Deadline 36: The Prowling Cat Cleans Out His Clutter, and I'm Reaping All the Benefits, Part 1

The Prowling Cat has recently been clearing out his clutter, placing excess items from his collection on the block for other collectors to claim before he sends them off to Goodwill. I have claimed a couple of items from the offerings available, and recently received a nice box of goodies in the mail. First up is this 1993 Hostess Baseballs set, which was distributed in 3-card packs paired with baseball-themed snack cakes. It seems that you would need to eat a whole lot of snack cakes to collect the full 32-card set, especially if you pulled doubles. John Kruk seems like a guy who knows his way around a snack cake, so I chose him to headline this post.

The checklist contains many of the big names of the day. I wasn't watching a lot of baseball in 1993, so I don't have many enduring memories of these guys outside of seeing them on the baseball cards I accumulated in my youth. Bobby Bonilla comes up in the news every year because of his annual $1.2 million buyout payments from the Mets, an amount that he will receive annually until 2035. Although that seems outlandish to the layperson, it actually might not be a bad deal for the Mets overall.

It's weird to see familiar names in unfamiliar uniforms. I always associate Gary Sheffield with the Marlins and Darryl Strawberry with the Mets, although both guys spent plenty of time on other teams.

Dennis Eckersley is probably my favorite from this bunch, but that probably has a lot to do with his big-head doppelganger, as featured in 2015 Topps Stadium Club:

The dude's got a serious hair and mustache game, although you can see the real Eckersley has a clean upper lip these days.

Frank Thomas always seemed larger than life. In my memory it seems like he showed up on more posters and magazine covers than most other baseball players of the era, up there in a group with Griffey, Ripken Jr., and Bo Jackson. There are probably other guys who were just as prolific, but those are the guys I remember as being everywhere. 

It's nice to see that colorful Astros uniform make an appearance, with Jeff Bagwell making an appearance on this checklist. He's been on the Hall of Fame ballot for a few years, but his percentage hasn't been climbing at a rate that suggests he'll make it in. I guess it's largely because he played in the steroid era and everyone from that time is under suspicion for PED usage.

This set is pretty heavy on hitters, but a handful of pitchers made it onto the checklist, with Tom Glavine being one of them. This is one of my favorite Rickey Henderson anecdotes:

"During a game in Seattle an on-deck batter overheard Rickey muttering to himself after he struck out. As the next batter was walking past him, he heard Henderson say, 'Don’t worry, Rickey, you’re still the best.'"
Positive self-talk and visualization is a great psychological tool. It seems like there is a line where it can become too much, though. Rickey probably spends a great deal of time on the far side of that line. 

This is probably the most star-studded scan in this post. Most of the others feature at least one guy who falls a bit short or only got hot for a year or two. The lowest guy in this group is Don Mattingly, and he still had an MVP award and six All-Star appearances.

I like all of the cards that used to be packaged with food and snacks. I don't have a lot of them in my collection, so it is nice to add them when I can. The Prowling Cat has been awfully generous with his closet-clearing and has offered up items to suit a variety of interests. I'm gonna have to come up with a good trade package in return for all this goodness.


  1. I wish I could still get baseball cards with my impulse-buy snack food purchases; then, it's probably good for my figure that I can't.

    1. Yeah, I guess it's an idea whose time has passed. It would still be pretty cool, though, to see a pack of snacks on the shelf promising trading cards inside. The closest thing lately seems to be that Tim Horton's promotion where they are selling special Upper Deck hockey cards alongside coffee.

  2. Looking back I think I ate waaay more of those than I should have. Luckily I had a g/f at the time who loved the taste of them as much as I did.

    1. Well, I for one am glad that you sacrificed yourself for the accumulation of cardboard. This is an awesome set! Thank you again!