Here is the final item included in The Prowling Cat's recent closet-cleaning package. It's a set of 1984 Ralston Purina trading cards produced by Topps and distributed in cereal boxes. I remember Ralston Purina baseball cards, but this set is a bit early for me as I turned 3 years old right at the end of 1983. The slightly later airbrushed Post cards fit more into the years when I became aware of trading cards.
Dan Quisenberry is sporting quite the lip tickler in this photo, as well as a big healthy dip in his cheek. I've never liked chewing tobacco, but I've spent a lot of time with people who do during my time in the military and working in freight. There is one guy in particular who comes to mind because he had a small chin and a small mouth, so his wad of chew was always threatening to escape. He had this habit of slurping it back in while wiping his chin with his finger while he talked. It was disgusting, and I always thought it was kind of unprofessional to be a grown-ass man with a pretty constant line of drool running down your chin.
This is a pretty decent lineup of baseball card photos. Although there are exceptions, many of the players don't seem too pleased to be having their pictures taken. The set calls itself the 1st Annual Collectors' Edition, but the only other Ralston Purina set I can locate is a 1987 release. Those cards wisely dropped the word 'annual' from their tagline.
This grouping of cards features a few more smiles than the last batch, but there are still a few mean-muggers here, including Wade Boggs, who once glared so hard at a cinder-block wall that the wall moved several feet to the side to let him pass. It's nice to see Nolan Ryan in those Astros rainbow colors, but the shot is zoomed in so far that you don't get the full effect.
Here are some more nice shots. There is plenty of facial hair on display, with the standout for me being Bruce Sutter's magnificent beard. One thing that stood out to me about this set was how sweaty a lot of the players' faces are. It's like these photos were taken in the very hottest part of summer. A lot of the guys are sporting some pretty nice tans / sunburns, so maybe I'm not too far off.
Gary Carter is probably the most egregious example of face sweat in the set, as in-hand you can actually see it running down to the side of his nose. In that building behind Keith Hernandez you car barely make out the silhouette of the second spitter as he makes his way down to the bushes near the gravelly road.
There was a ton of cool cardboard in this package from The Prowling Cat. I had a lot of fun flipping through it and becoming a little more familiar with food issues from the time just before I discovered trading cards.