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Monday, October 11, 2010

Ultimate Super: Bonus Stealth CMC

I opened this fourth Ultimate Super Jumbo Pack a couple weeks ago and it's been sitting on my desk waiting to be written about since. I figured now would be a good time, since I just picked up a whole bunch of other non-CMC blog topics on our most recent trip to Cooperstown this past weekend.

I should have some more specific thoughts on the trip soon (Andre Dawson was in town). That was obviously the high point. I'll go into that a little more here tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the blog entry about it I did for my local paper.

I also spent time in a cool shop thumbing through boxes of vintage and junk-era cards. A stack of pickups there, many of them CMC alums, along with another six Cooperstown packs to open (think 1981 Fleer, 1985 Topps and 1982 Topps and 89 Upper Deck) and I'll non-CMC posts to tide me over for a while.

Anyway, back to this fourth Ultimate Super Jumbo Pack. This one yielded the requisite Hall of Famers, five to be exact. There were also eight full-fledged CMC alums. Plus the ultimate super bonus CMC alum, that Lou Whitaker card to your upper right. I'll get back to that later.

But, speaking of Dawson, this pack yielded two, his 1988 Fleer and 1989 Topps Record Breakers. Always good to pick up more Dawsons, even if they're ones as plentiful as those. There was the 1992 Topps All Star Ryne Sandburg, the guy who advocated for Dawson's hall candidacy in his own hall speech.

Then there was another Nolan Ryan Pacific card, "A Lone Star Legend." And a Gary Carter 92 Upper Deck. Carter, of course, along with Dawson are the only two Expos caps in Cooperstown.

That gets me to the CMC alums in the set. There were two Marvin Freeman entries, his 1987 Donruss and 1989 Topps. Freeman got featured here back in February. According to the back of his Donruss card, Freeman pitched seven innings of one-hit ball for his first win in 1986.

His Topps card has the piece of trivia referenced in my blog entry, though the reference in my entry was from an article five years later.

"While attending Chicago Vocational High School, Marvin was employed by a violin bow-making company, hand-shaping and finishing concert-quality violin bows," the card back reads.

There were also two Paul Sorrentos in the pack, his 1992 Donruss and his 1993 Flair. Those Flair cards are thick. I never remember handling one as a kid. According to Flair, Sorrento had the rare honor in 1992 of having the most home runs by a lefthanded Indians first baseman since 1975.

Jeff Innis' 1992 Topps card was there. There are two factoids on the back. In one, Innis hled Tidewater in saves in 1990. The other, referenced Innis' post-baseball aspirations. After baseball, Innis wanted to join the FBI, according to Topps.

Then there was Howard Farmer, Turner Ward and Andy Mota on their 1991 Upper Deck, 1991 Leaf and 1992 Topps entries respectively.

Farmer was a top prospect in the Expos system, Upper Deck reported. But "he failed to show off his talent." He was 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in 1990. Ward led the Pacific Coast League outfielders in chances and putouts, Leaf reports. Mota's card only the agent who signed him, Doug Deutsch. Mota, featured here in March, has since become an agent.

That gets me to the stealth CMC in the 1994 Stadium Club Whitaker. I first overlooked this card in the stack, then took a second look at who was sliding in under Whitaker's throw. That's Juan Bell, playing for the Brewers. Bell is a member of the set and this is a stealth CMC card.

As best I can guess, the photo is from the bottom of the eighth on Aug. 15, 1993 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The box score at Baseball-Reference has the Tigers turning a double play over Bell with Whitaker as the pivot. The only thing that doesn't fit, but it could be overlooked, is that it's sunny on the card. Game time it was cloudy. But maybe it cleared up by the eighth.

228 - Marvin Freeman, Former Bow Maker, 2/16/10
752 - Andy Mota, Hanley's Agent, 3/5/10

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