Sunday, July 10, 2011

Playing favorites: Greg Maddux

Previously:  Ken Griffey, Jr.

On this sweltering, lazy Sunday afternoon just a couple days removed from the All-Star game, I thought it would be fun to show off another one of my small favorite player collections.  Today's entry will be an all-relic version as I have exactly 10 of the subject:  Greg Maddux.

While I'm not a Cubs or Braves team collector like some of the other fine bloggers out there, I grew up as a fan of Maddux for many reasons.  Like Griffey, he was simply one of the finest of his generation, and a soon-to-be first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.  He wasn't the type to blow you away with a big heater, but he wasn't really a pure deception artist either.  "The Professor" was easily one of the best ever when it came to an important part of pitching:  control.  He was both a student and master of his craft and his statistics bear that out. reminds me of his many achievements and accolades:  eight All-Star nominations, Cy Young Awards from 1992-95, 18 Gold Gloves, 355 wins and, of course, a ring with the 1995 Braves--the only one they've won in my lifetime despite several World Series appearances.  Besides all that, his Similarity Score comparisons are staggering:  Don Sutton, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver and others.  We'll likely never see a pitcher put up numbers like this in such a successful and lengthy career.  I look forward to his enshrinement in the Hall and might just make the trek out there to enjoy his induction.

That said, here's the extent of my Greg Maddux relic collection, the beginning of my now-posted and soon-to-be-supplemented baseball relic collection:

2001 Studio Diamond Collection jersey:  Ah, Studio--you can always count on it to have a pleasing design.  This is a simple, single-color gray swatch, but I like that they at least incorporated it into a baseball diamond design instead of the usual "Here's a square window where we stuck the jersey, deal with it."

2002 Bowman Heritage jersey:  The highlight of this card probably isn't the jersey swatch, but the overall design, especially the back, which hearkens to Topps sets of old (and which I didn't scan since not enough of these had interesting backs).

2002 Stadium Club World Champions jersey:  Oh, Atlanta, maybe you'll win another World Series while I'm still alive.  At least you can celebrate all those Pennants you won.  I've had a few different players from this set and I generally like it, even if the swatches are uninspiring.

2002 Topps 5 Card Stud Aces jersey:  Very cool concept and execution--Mad Dog was the very definition of an ace in a rotation full of them--and I like the little gold "5 card stud" logo, but if the theme is indeed five card stud, why are there only three cards pictured, including Maddux's ace card?  Very well done otherwise.

2002 Upper Deck Game Swatches jersey:  A nice card to look at overall, though it does have the aforementioned "Here's a square window where we stuck the jersey, deal with it" with a bite taken out of part if it for whatever reason.

2003 Stadium Club Born in the USA jersey:  I've had a few of these too and thought they were a pretty cool concept.  Who would have guessed a guy nicknamed "The Professor" would be from Texas?  Maybe HE can convince them that evolution isn't the root of all evil!

2004 Donruss Timber & Threads jersey:  A solid, gray swatch from a card I like more for the shot of Maddux looking intently at his next victim.  Again, I didn't scan this back, but it's one that includes the occasional Donruss practice of showing you the jersey from which the swatch was taken, which I approve of.

2004 Ultra Season Crowns jersey:  I don't always like Ultra's design, but 2004 was one of the years where I did, which is why I thought it was cool that for this Season Crowns relic set, they basically stuck a swatch window on the base card and called it a day.  I also noticed that the swatch itself is torn a bit, or maybe that's just how the jersey was where they cut; either way it gives the card a bit of character.  This one's serial numbered 050/399.

2005 Upper Deck Origins Old Judge Materials jersey:  There's only one thing I don't like about this card, and that would be the eyesore of a green background going on.  Other than that, I'm a fan of the smaller card-within-a-card (which I think Topps has done better) going on here.  This is currently my only Maddux Cubs relic so I'm happy that I got one with a nice Chicago Blue pinstripe.

2003 Fleer Box Score Jersey Rack triple jersey (with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson):  Fleer Box Score produced some fairly cool combo relic cards back in the day, and this is a great example as it includes three of the top pitchers of that time (with very different swatches, no less).  This one's numbered 137/350.

As I previously promised, I'll add more posts about my favorite player collections, plus I promise I'll add to the baseball relic personal collection album as time permits.  I hope you've enjoyed this look at my small (but hopefully growing) Greg Maddux relic collection, and at some point in the future I'll probably do a post similar to the one about Griffey where I show off my favorite RCs/inserts/etc. of him as well.

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