Friday, April 18, 2014

Compare and Contrast.... Frank Robinson

Here we have two Frank Robinson cards....one new and one old, one pristine and one battered, one shiny and one, well, not so shiny.

First the 2012 Topps Tribute Robinson. It's got that 3D look, all kinds of chromey and reflective. Nice, elegant design with a classic picture of Frank in an action pose. 


The back is OK. A couple of facts, period appropriate cartoon bird logo, not too cluttered. I never like when the pic on the back is just a cropped version of the one on the front but it's not a big deal. All in all a very sweet card I'd say. It's nice to have it in my collection.


Now, here on the other hand, is my one of my original, survived-my-card purges, 1970 Topps Frank Robinson cards. Yes, that's a pin hole, those are creases and scratches. The corners are all dinged to one extent or another.



But I think it's beautiful. I mean, that is Frank Robinson, the Frank Robinson I remember as an Oriole. He just looks like a winner, doesn't he? That's Frank in Yankee Stadium remembering his terrific catch in 1966 that won a game I was at with my father. The catch that got Ralph Houk ejected while exchanging line-up cards for the second game that day. The same Frank Robinson who came out of the Yankee Stadium dugout one summer afternoon carrying MY banner that carried his (now signed) #20 in orange paint. The banner the O's bat-boy had taken to the clubhouse for me which I figured I'd never see again. Yes, that Frank Robinson.

The 1970 set may not be very dynamic. Gray borders and boring fonts don't do much for many collectors but it represents the '70 Orioles for me and that was a very very good year.

The back of this Robby card is just a wall of numbers but those numbers (and the others yet accumulated) got Robby into the Hall of Fame. And the cardboard has yellowed with age.


All-in-all the 1970 Robinson is something you could upgrade out of a $1 box at a card show but it's really special to me. I'll take it over shiny any day.