Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rookie Card of the Week: Frank Viola for $1.99

So, you know that song that goes "it's the hardest thing I'll ever have to doooooooo"?  I'm quite certain that despite the lyrics not matching at all, this song was written about my challenge in selecting which Frank Viola rookie card to buy on Sunday night.  I'm going to cover all three cards because I am a thorough hero, but I did end up settling on one and I will hold off on which until the end because I am a suspenseful hero.  Here are the three cards I had to choose from:


The Topps card would be the easy choice.  It costs the least at just $1.49, he's wearing that awesome light blue jersey and he appears to be distracted/annoyed with something going on around first base.  I imagine that some children are rough-housing near first base and he does not approve.  Frank Viola famously hates shenanigans.  I also like the tiny circle picture at the bottom and that Viola is clearly looking off-camera once more.  It looks sunny.  Sadly, the card is too plain and it lacks Viola pizazz.  Tough choice, but I'll pass. 

The Donruss card is spectacular and it's just $1.99.  First, this picture has to be from Viola's high school yearbook.  Second, he's clearly trying to seduce me.  Third, I bought another card from this very set just two weeks ago.  Here's that Kent Hrbek card:

Wait, it's not from the same set.  I just assumed the yellow bat and baseball paraphernalia border was a one-set thing.  Did Donruss think they could slip this past me?  You can't just flip the bat around!  I am outraged.  But then, I'm also kind of wondering what Viola's doing later.  Let's move on.

Wait, is it possible that Hrbek and Viola are staring at each other through baseball cards and time?  

It's possible.

The Fleer card is the winner.  I bought it for $1.99 and I'm very happy with that decision.  Once again, Viola is trying to seduce me, but this time it's more playful.  The card is beige, which is perfect because I only wear, drive, paint and enjoy beige.  I have dog vision.  Viola looks just a smidge older in this card too, and he's actually looking at the camera.  Fleer was able to harness Viola's machismo and attention, so they get my heart. 

I ended up with the Fleer card for the purposes of this exercise, but you're crazy if you think I didn't actually buy all three.  We're talking like 5 bucks here.  What is that, two bananas?  I used to play baseball at Frank Viola Field as a kid.  I owe it to Viola to buy all three of these cards and immortalize just how young Viola looked when he made his debut.  Also, it's super easy to buy stuff on eBay.

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