27 September 2014

What eBay Hath Wrought 113: Jamie Moyer Instant Player Collection

One way I've been entertaining myself lately is picking up 'instant' player collections on the cheap from eBay. They are usually just bulk lots of base cards featuring the non-star players who intrigue me. One of those guys is Jamie Moyer, who pitched at a pretty good level from age 23 to age 49, getting his first and only All-Star berth at age 40 with Seattle and winning a World Series ring at age 45 with Philadelphia. Topps should do one of those Through the Years Wall Art things everyone's talking about for Moyer. Actually, the one I really want is one for Mario Mendoza. I would 100% for real buy that one.

I snagged a lot of around 75 Jamie Moyer cards for pennies per card. There is nothing really spectacular in this lot, but I wan't really expecting that. I just wanted to kick-start a player collection I'd been thinking about for a while, but hadn't taken any action on. There are some gems in here, though.

First up are some nice junk-wax era cards of various designs. I don't have much to say about this, but you can see he wears his pant-legs in the proper old-school style. This is a trend that would continue throughout his career, as we will see.

Moyer got a couple of cards in each of these sets for 1989, with cards noting his move to the Rangers. That first Upper Deck picture isn't very flattering. And that second Topps card is interesting to me for some reason. I think it has to do with the placement of the ball in his glove. I know he's probably pinching the back of it with his hand, but the optical illusion is that it's just kind of hanging there.

I've already mentioned that some of the 2014 Topps Finest cards look like Fruit Roll-Ups. With '89 Donruss we add another set to the Fruit Roll-Up list. Moyer looks pretty perplexed on his card. He's like, "What the heck is a Fruit Roll-Up?" Just kidding. He and his wife have got 8 kids, so he probably knows exactly what a Fruit Roll-Up is. Of course, he may not have had any kids this early in his career, so maybe he didn't know what a Fruit Roll-Up was when this photo was taken.

It seems that I don't have much to say about 1990. There have been a lot of cards from this particular year in my collection over time, but I don't have any insight to offer.

The 1991 Upper Deck card with Moyer lounging in a chair is pretty good. Upper Deck and the sub-brand Collector's Choice always seemed to have good photos. I thought is was interesting that the Stadium Club and Score cards almost look like continuations of the same pitch, and the Fleer and Topps cards have almost exactly the same photo chosen, although the pictures were obviously from different games.

There is a gap in the action as Moyer spent 1992 in Detroit's minor league system. He resurfaced with the Orioles in 1993, and started getting baseball cards again. I know the little position indicator guy has been done on cards before, but I like it when it pops up. Did I already mention that I really liked the Collector's Choice brand? Moyer gets another cool lounging photo on the card from Score.

I bought a lot of 1993-94 Topps Basketball cards, which were basically the same design as 1994 Topps Baseball, with the exception that the sharp angle on the bottom of the baseball design was a curved line on the basketball set.

Somehow Fleer managed to fit three or four different pictures of players on each card, distributed between front and back, while these days Topps struggles just to find one different image per card.

Do you think Jamie was going for the high five in that picture, got denied, and then tried to play it off as a wave? If so, then he was Tom Brady before Tom Brady was Tom Brady.

This group of cards has one of my favorite photos of the lot, with the Score card featuring what must have been a castoff photo from a shoot for the Studio brand. That's a glamour shot fit for a king, or at least for Uncle Rico.

I like to see athletes showing proper respect during the National Anthem. An easy way for an athlete to lose me as a fan is to not show some respect for the Anthem. Maybe this reaction leads me to unfairly judge athletes who aren't originally from America, but when I am watching a game and have that gut reaction to a player I don't usually go and research their home of origin. Moyer is showing good form here.

The Aurora card is kind of interesting. With that little starburst halo around Moyer's headshot, it looks like he is being venerated as a Saint or something. I know he's a pretty religious dude (because Wikipedia), but I don't know that he considers himself devout enough to emanate light.

Again with the lounging shots. This appears to be another Studio castoff. The photographer was like, "Okay, now let's get a spontaneous lying down shot! Good! Good! Now raise that left arm a bit and show a little midriff! Excellent! That hot stuff! You're a manimal! Flex those arms and give us a casual smile!"

Not much to see here. This dude has got a pretty consistent pitching motion. I keep having to bounce back and forth between card groups because I think there is a reused photo, but usually it is pretty obvious that the photos aren't from the same day or even the same year. The Skybox Thunder backdrop is hideous.

Horizontal cards always present a problem when trying to compose good scans.

Here we are exposed to Jamie Moyer's man-butt from a couple of different angles. One of my blog posts gets an unreasonable number of hits compared to all of my other posts, and I think it's because the word man-butt is included in the text. I am going to try it again and see if this post also gets an inordinate number of page views.

In addition to being a rare shot of Moyer at the plate, the Topps Total card features Moyer's first name spelled as Jaime and not Jamie. It's okay, Topps, Moyer's only been in the league for like 500 years. You can't be expected to know everybody player's name, not even in a set called Total.

And here is the end of the lot, with a few cards featuring Moyer as a Phillie. I guess the most notable thing in this bunch is Moyer's hint of UPF (Ugly Pitching Face) on the Upper Deck card. Maybe he is trying to do a Popeye impression while pitching as part of a dare from his teammates. Gugguguguguh! I yam what I yam!


  1. Great post! From Fruit Roll Ups to Tom Brady high five failures, I loved it! Man, hard to believe that Jamie Moyer played for as long as he did. Freaking amazing.

  2. I've got to agree with Marcus. Great post! I loved the Uncle Rico reference! The 1991 Upper Deck card is great! It looks like he is sitting/balancing on a railing rather than a chair and you can also see the outline of tobacco in his pocket. Moyer is a great ttm signer. He'll sign every card you send. You should send all 75.

  3. I'm glad I was able to provide a little entertainment with my post. Putting all 75 cards in one blog post may have been a little too much. I was a little punch-drunk by the time I finished typing.