Grand Cards: Card Cameos: 2009 Upper Deck #636 Clete Thomas featuring Marcus Thames

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Card Cameos: 2009 Upper Deck #636 Clete Thomas featuring Marcus Thames

With all the hubub surrounding Upper Deck right now, I wanted to take a step back to assuage fears that I'm some anti-Upper Deck zealot, and I'm going to do so with a Card Cameo.
2009 Upper Deck #636 Clete Thomas f/ Marcus Thames
This is one of my favorite cards of 2009, and actually one of the better Cameo cards you're ever going to see. Unlike so many of them, this is not an action shot, in the traditional sense of the word. It's also not your standard celebration shot with many players at home plate, or on the mound or the run-scoring player being congratulated by the on-deck batter.

This is special.

Here we see two players having fun in this game. One--Clete--is a fresh faced youngster just happy to be there. The other--Thames--is an older player with the exact same thought. These are your roster fillers, one on his way in and the other on his way out. The picture is outstanding. I look at this card and think that if I could just flip it around I would see the mirror image of this shot with Marcus' face and Thomas' jersey. Everything about it, the lighting, the crisp white of the jerseys contrasting with the blue patches, the action, reminds me of happy times in Tiger town. When else will you find two backup players celebrating like this, except for after a win?

It's also a sad reminder that Marcus Thames is no longer with the team. Replaced, essentially, by the player with whom he's celebrating. He will be missed by fans for his fun personality and wide smile that shines through the back of the card. Meanwhile, it's Clete's turn to pick up where Marcus left off, before he too is little more than a memory and the back of a jersey on a cameo card.