Last baseball cards across the ages could learn a thing or two from the 1993 Topps Jack Clark career-capper.

Now, I can hear your objections as I type:

  • Junk Wax
  • Wrong team
  • Road uniform
  • No team logos

And you’re right, across the board.

Here, take a peek …

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The 1993 Topps design was sort of clean and crisp at the time, and it still is, but … well, that early 1990s color scheme and cheesy font set hasn’t aged all that well.

And everyone knows cards issued those years are as common as pitching changes in 2021.

And Jack Clark with the Red Sox? Turned away from the camera so you can’t even see his uniform?

Really?

Yes, really.

Not only really, but just about perfect.

I mean, what do you think of when you think of Jack Clark?

Unibrow, sure. And Cardinals, and Giants.

And jet -black Troll doll hair flaming out from his head as he tries to avoid a pickoff throw on his 1987 Topps card, sporting St. Louis red.

None of that is evident on this 1993 Topps card, granted.

But what else do you think of when you think of Jack Clark?

Power.

And eye black.

And the Padres and Yankees and successful teams wherever the Ripper landed.

All of that is on full display here, as Clark follows the flight of a ball he’s just ripped, eyes (OK, eye) underlined by charcoal streaking down his cheek to gritty effect.

Did he rip it foul, or did it sail over the left-field wall for one of the last of his 340 home runs?

Well …

Clark managed only five dingers for the Red Sox in 1992 before taking his final trip to the plate on August 28, but he connected on 28 big flies the year before.

In that 1991 season, the Sox won 84 games and stayed close to contention most of the season before finishing second to the Toronto Blue Jays in the old American League East.

When Clark’s offensive game tumbled in 1992, Boston also tumbled, to 73-89, and into last place.

Coincidence?

Maybe.

Either way, old Jack wasn’t far removed from his prime power stroke, and from helping his team — whatever team that happened to be at the moment — win games, when he made his cardboard swan song in 1993.

And … well, baseball cards are art (look it up!).

And art gets to idealize existence, just as we get to idealize our interpretation of art, should we so choose.

So …

Yes, Clark crushed that baseball on his last Topps card, leading Boston to another win.

And then, just like the ball itself, he was gone.

1993 Topps Derek Jeter Florida Marlins Inaugural #98 PSA 8

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1993 Topps Baseball - Pick A Card - Cards 601-825

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1993 Topps Derek Jeter Rookie #98 Yankees L851

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MICHAEL JORDAN 1993 TOPPS GOLD BASKETBALL CARD #23 NM

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1993 Topps Derek Jeter Rookie #98 Yankees L854

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1993 Topps Set Break # 98 Derek Jeter RC PSA 9 MINT

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1993 Topps Dominik Hasek #281 Buffalo Sabres

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