During the month of June, we undertook Tony Lehman’s 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge. From meager beginnings (for me), that project turned into a labor of love and was one of my favorite undertakings.
(You can find the fruits of my 30-day challenge efforts here.)
But picking out 30 baseball cards and labeling them as favorites doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?
I mean, how many thousands of cards have you held in your sweaty little hands through the years, and how many of them left you totally in awe of their, well, awesomeness?
If you’re anything like me, I’m betting the answer is in the hundreds at least.
So, Tony’s 30-day challenge didn’t quite satisfy my compulsion to wax enthusiastic about the cards that have touched my life in some way.
What to do?
Well, I could tackle a second round of Tony’s original challenge, and I just may at some point soon.
But there are so many other angles I could take that I wanted to try something slightly different. And, given the huge and vibrant collecting community on Twitter, I knew just how to go about making my final choice:
As you can see from the results of this poll, our followers are interested in reading more about the best cards from each year, or each set.
With the broad 1960-1989 era beating out a more focused 80s series, that’s where I’ll start — choosing the best baseball card issued each year from 1960 through 1989.
Now, as you might expect, this will be a very subjective exercise. If you like rules, though, here are the ones I’ll use:
- The card chosen for each year must have been issued that year. So, the 1982 K-Mart that features a faux 1962 Topps Maury Wills card could be the pick for 1982 but not 1962.
- The card chosen must actually exist as a real piece of cardboard. That rules out the 1962 Topps Wills entirely, but again rules in the 1982 K-Mart version. And, as much as I love them, “cards that never were” never will be on this list.
- I must love the card I choose … but you don’t have to.
In fact, you probably won’t love all my choices, and I almost surely won’t even pick my favorite card from each year. This is an inexact science, and there are just too many cards out there to get it “right” all the time.
That said, here are a few principles I’ll use when making my choices:
- Nostalgia is king. If I have a very personal connection to a card, it will probably win the year.
- Looks are important. Beautiful cards, like beautiful people, are hard to resist. Elegant design, rich colors, and solid photography can carry a card a long way.
- Shoot for variety. This is more of a note to myself. As I found out when working through the original 30-day challenge, I tend to gravitate toward the cards of my favorite players and teams. If I’m not careful, this list will devolve into a cardboard love affair with Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Eric Davis, Dave Parker, and the Cincinnati Reds. I’ll try to be careful.
I’m also not going to commit to pushing these posts out on a daily basis, though that’s my intention as of right now. There are some other topics I want to knock off, too, and those might take precedence over this new 30-day challenge.
Finally, if you have any inclination toward doing this sort of thing, I’d like to invite you to the party. Take this challenge as written or tweak it to your liking and then blog about the best cards over a given year or set range.
If you do jump in, it would be great if you could link back here and tag your work on Twitter as #BestCardFrom so we can all enjoy some great cardboard memories.