This morning's check of the ol' mailbox produced another of my recent eBay wins:
Barry Larkin 2012 Topps Gold World Series Pin
I had definitely liked the look of these last year despite the fact that they were another example of the increasingly common manu-relics. It's definitely a cool way of commemorating World Series titles, and I think these are light years better than the ugly, ill-conceived manu-"patches" they've been doing. I also consider them to be much nicer than the similar "ring" cards, though those aren't terrible; it's just that, for my money, these look more pleasing for some reason I can't figure out.
Anyway, Larkin is one of my all-time favorites (and, of course, a Michigan alum), and my collection of him is slowly growing, despite the fact that his prices are surprisingly high, and have been even since before his Hall of Fame induction. No matter--I got this for under $10 after trying to work with some Blowout sellers who wanted twice as much.
I decided to go back and look at Barry's stats from that 1990 title, a surprise win over the almost-dynastic A's, who were playing in their third straight Series and had won it all the previous year after the disappointment of the loss to Kirk Gibson's Dodgers in '88. In the six games of the NLCS against Pittsburgh, Larkin was somewhat pedestrian, hitting .261 with five runs, though he did steal three bases. Things improved for the star SS in the World Series, though, as Barry hit .353 and scored the winning run in the eventual game four sweep. It was fortunate for Larkin that he and the Reds took advantage of the opportunity as his only other shot in the playoffs ended at the hands of the eventual '95 champion Braves.
So all that said, this is a fun and unique addition to my collection: a rare manu-relic type I didn't yet possess in my PC. Kudos to Topps for getting something right, especially when it came to selecting the right player to represent the 1990 Reds.