6.27.2009

Baseball card cross-collectible: the Coca-Cola polar bears play ball.

We realize that "cross-collectible" is not a term that comes up much in baseball card blogs. But it's a concept that has some merit. (When we say cross-collectible, we are not referring to an admirer of crucifixes. Instead, say a postcard collector who specializes in '60s tourist cards comes upon a stack of cards depicting the 1963-'64 World's Fair. Well, World's Fair collectors might value the cards just as much as the postcard collector. And among the most sought-after lunchboxes are those related to the original Star Trek TV series -- not only lunchpail seekers want them but also Star Trek fans.) What are some cross-collectibles that you know of in the realm of baseball cards? One that comes to mind might be the Nabisco cards that we like so much. There must be Nabisco collectors in the world.

Along these lines, today in the mail we received from Mark, author of the truly wonderful and reliably witty Stats on the Back blog, a set of six Coca-Cola trading cards. Lucy put it succinctly: "Now THESE are CUTE!"

They may appeal to 1) Coca Cola collectors (there are LOTS of them); 2) baseball card completists; and 3) little girls who like cute stuff involving bears and baseball.


In the first in this series of six, we particularly like the little guy in full catcher's gear. Not sure exactly why he needs it, and if he does need it why he's not actually wearing the gear. Also, in terms of safety, where on earth is the batter's helmet? What can that coach possibly be thinking? I'm going to write a letter to the Polar Bear Little Cub Baseball League as soon as I finish this post! Well I never!
Clearly, the cubs need to focus. Our suspicion is, if they weren't so toked up on soda, there wouldn't be a big mystery about where the (snow)ball might be.

Excuse us, this was meant for another post. We drink too much Coke.

As you can see, the text on the back of these cards is thoroughgoing. However, there is a chilling moment wherein the collector actually becomes the object of the textwriter's repressed hostility. In SP-2, the last sentence concludes, "and everyone but you knows where it is!" Nyah nyah nyah.

Hold on, coach. Are you not aware that the base is melting? And what's that behind you? SHOULD THERE BE GLASS ON THE FIELD OF PLAY?

This cub is suffering from attention deficit disorder. The last sentence on the back of this card is overly forgiving: "Cubs will often find other ways to amuse themselves, and unfortunately, they're not always ready when a ball is hit their way!" Where's the discipline? Where's the smarty-pants tone that SP-2 took with us? Hmph.And the penguins. Does no one ever think of the penguins?

As you can see, there is one serious problem with the card backs. They share with Upper Deck and Topps the creative shortfall leading to an inability to come up with a different photo on the back, so the player shots are repeated.

All right, this is truly unbelievable. An infielder is actually HOLDING a bottle of Coke WHILE FIELDING! Who is managing this team, Ozzie Guillen?

Ah, there we go! All is forgiven. The cubs may not take the game seriously. They may be developing serious cavities from drinking Coke on the job. They may have sustained cuts in their paws from all the glass on the field. But they are T-Ball champs!
Their self-esteem [eye-roll] remains high.

You know, perhaps we should lose the ironic tone and rethink writing that letter of complaint. Great job, coach! Those are truly T-Ball champs! Now can Uncle Ed have his truck back?

Thank you for the wonderful cards, Mark!

3 comments:

MattR said...

Fun post. Any post with a Far Side cartoon is great in my book. :)

capewood said...

When my oldest son played tee ball many years ago they made the kids wear batting helmets while batting. They also made the catcher, not only where a chest protector but a mask as well. When wearing the mask the kids would just stare at the inside of the mask.

Collectible Glass said...

I recently attended my nephew's t-ball game and it was a lot like many of these cartoons. Thanks for the humor.