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Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Officially Spring!

It's officially spring!

You know how I know it's officially spring?

My wife and I just got back from riding our bikes to the local ice cream shop. She got a malted vanilla milkshake, small. I got a medium twist cone with rainbow sprinkles - and 23-year-old baseball cards.

It was great, though a little chilly for ice cream. It was around 40 degrees, hardly full spring time temperatures. But, after the winter we had in the Northeast, I'll take it.

Of course, first thing I did when we got to the shop, was look at the card selection. I was worried they wouldn't have restocked from last year. They did, though the selection was virtually the same. I don't remember them having 1991 Topps, but they had the rest: 1990 Fleer and Score, 1988 Donruss and some Leafs and Fleer Ultras to go along with it.

Most everything was restocked. Including the 1988 Donruss jumbo pack. I'm a sucker for packs where you get extra cards. But even the ice cream shop realizes that nobody wants 1988 Donruss. All the regular packs are priced at $1.25. The 1988 Donruss jumbo packs are priced at $1.

That's a penny over the pre-marked price, from 1988.

Anyway, now that we know it's spring, on to the pack. If it seems odd that I would feature a checklist up top, there's a reason for that. Showing through the top of the pack selected by the ice cream lady was the Diamond Kings checklist.

I thought about not opening the pack until we got home, so I could scan this showing checklist. But, my ice cream cone finished, I thought better of it and opened it. When I got home, I scanned a best approximation of what it looked like, in case anyone wondered.

And, this being the Diamond Kings checklist, I can officially check off two of them from this very pack, as you can see from above, Mark Langston and Gary Gaetti.

So, this being a CMC blog, the cards I really look for in these packs are CMC players. There are plenty in the 1988 Donruss set, but there were none in this pack.

There were, though, two players I've either recently referenced, or will soon reference in CMC player features.

I referenced Terry Steinbach in the March 1 feature on Scott Hemond. Hemond served as Steinbach's backup in 1993. He then stepped in after Steinbach got injured.

One thing I noticed about Steinbach's card, he has the 1987 All-Star Game patch on his sleeve. That game was in Oakland. The thing I remember Steinbach most for, and I'm sure it's the same for many people, is his performance in the 1988 All-Star Game, hitting a home run when, as I recall, no one thought he should be there.

The other player, Ganter, is actually fitting. He plays a large role in tonight's feature, on Marcus Lawton.

Two Rated Rookies also came in the pack, Jack McDowell and Kevin Elster. As Rated Rookeis go, Elster and McDowell were rather successful, Elster playing in 13 major league seasons, McDowell in 12.

The rest of the pack was pretty pedestrian, even for 1988 Donruss. In addition to no CMC players, there were no Hall of Famers in the pack.

But it was still a great pack.

You know how I know?

Because it's spring.

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