10 August 2012

premature adulation

i really have no idea what upper deck was thinking when they issued wade boggs' card in their 1999 set.
they included the foil 'final tribute' emblem, which is awesome, but did they really believe boggs was going to hang up his spikes when he was 78 hits short of 3000 and baseball immortality?  here's the back, with what upper deck figured would be boggs' final career stats.
i couldn't find any information about boggs contemplating retirement after the 1998 season.  in fact, the devil rays exercised their option on boggs in late october of 1998, which should have been plenty of time for upper deck to realize that he was not done playing yet.

boggs did, of course, return to tampa bay in 1999 where he got hit number 3000.  he was the first to do so by way of a home run, and got this nice highlights card in 2000 topps
topps also included a regular card for boggs in their 2000 set
with what really were his final big league stats
boggs missed the last month of the season due to a knee injury, undergoing surgery in september.  even then, he didn't think he would retire, but the devil rays declined their team option and didn't offer him a roster spot for the following season, so he decided to end his career in november of 1999.

the following year, fleer ultra sent boggs into retirement with a card
with a back that is kind of difficult to read.  but, it has his complete career stats, as well as some text about his historic home run to join the 3000 hit club.
pacific also got in on the final tribute fun, issuing a card of boggs in their 2000 flagship set.  i have this ruby parallel in my collection
 and it comes with the full career stats on the back, too.
i am happy to say that upper deck didn't ignore the fact that boggs played in 1999.  and, like topps, they gave him a highlight/checklist card to mark his 3000th career hit,
and, they also gave him a regular card,
complete with the career stats on the back.
a true final tribute.  all that was missing was the shield on the front.  i'm guessing they were a little gunshy after prematurely marking his 1999 card.  maybe even 'chicken', if you pardon the pun.

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