Grand Cards: Good Retail Cards Erase Bad Retail Thoughts

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Retail Cards Erase Bad Retail Thoughts

I'm still privately stewing over this whole black/throwback thing. I'm interested to hear Topps' response to my email, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how this is anything but greedy greediness at hand.

So, to temporarily forget my troubles, I turned to some Topps and Walmart Exclusives that don't upset me. Since it's 2009, and Topps and the Tigers, it can only mean one thing: Tyrus Raymond himself.

2009 Topps #GR-5 Ty Cobb Gold Refractor (Target)

This little number comes all the way back from Series 1, as the Target cereal box exclusive. It uses the same picture as his regular legends of the game card, but it's gold and refractory, which is always a plus. Strangely, Cobb didn't have a Wal Mart equivalent, which meant that I didn't even need to consider going into a Wal Mart to buy cards (except for those pesky "black" cards. Wait, here come those feelings again...) Hurry, to the next one!

2009 Topps #GR-13 Ty Cobb Gold Refractor (Target)

Ooh, that's what I'm talking about. This one is even nicer. I don't know what it is, but that Series 1 shot of Cobb doesn't do it for me. This time, they change things up and give you one big straight-on headshot. You get full details of the old uniform (is that a safety pin?), the slightly different "English D" before time passed and it because the Old English D we know today, and we see Ty Cobb. I don't know if there is a more appropriate look for him. At the same time, he looks serious and a little pissed, with a glint in his eye that says "I am the greatest, just try to beat me." You can tell from this shot alone that his nasty reputation was earned, but that he was one hell of a competitor.

Wal Mart has a version too. It is the same, minus a card color switcheroo:
2009 Topps #PR-15 Ty Cobb Platinum Refractor (WalMart)

Look at those dates: 1905-1928.

1. That was a really long time ago.
2. He played for 23 years!
3. He never won a World Series. The Tigers won their first in 1935. It wasn't for lack of trying though. The Tigers played in the World Series in 1907, 1908 and 1909, losing each time. Cobb was decidedly un-cobb-like in the first and the last, batting .200 and .231 respectively. In that 1908 series it wasn't for lack of trying though. Cobb hit .368 with 4 RBI, 2 SB and an .821 OPS, which is pretty solid. Oh, and he was only 21 at the time. Imagine that after age 22, arguably the greatest player of all time never played in another World Series.

Oh, what's that you say? Not the greatest of all time? Well, I'm sure you have your reasons. However, let me say two things:
1. When he was inducted to the inaugural Hall of Fame class, he got more votes than any other player, including the revered Babe Ruth. This tells me that, among people who actually saw him play, (and despite his sour demeanor) Cobb was considered the greatest player of his era.

Point number two:

If not the greatest, he was pretty darn good. I think that is something we can all agree on.


  1. I wonder how Cobb would fair out in the modern era?

    Interesting thought.

  2. Late in life he was asked that very questions. He responded that he'd only hit around .300 against modern players. When asked why he said, "You've got to remember, I'm 73".

    That's awesome. I see him as probably being very similar to Ichiro in both his style and success rate.