13 June 2014

two for the tributes

i remember being perplexed by this card when donruss included it in their 1985 release.
it wasn't really a highlight card, and the two smaller pictures revealed too much of the striped card design - what, there were no photos of yankee teammates dave winfield and don mattingly together available?  anyway, the american league batting title wasn't too much of a concern for me as i was growing up in southern california, especially when it was down to a pair of yankees.  still, i collected this card because every card collecting kid hoarded don mattingly cards in the mid-1980's.  for the record, donnie baseball went 4 for 5 on the last day of the season to overtake winfield (who went 1 for 4 that day) and win title .343 to .340.

fast forward 11 years, and the two players were again colliding in my collection thanks to their 1996 releases.  both winfield and mattingly called it quits after the 1995 season, making their 1996 cards final tributes.

both were featured by upper deck in 1996, but only winfield got the 'tribute' banner on his card
those are his full career stats on the back, just like a final tribute should be.

here's mattingly's 1996 udcc card
full stats, plus the acknowledgement of the fact that mattingly played for the yankees during the time of their longest postseason drought since 1920, but no tribute banner.

both players were featured in 1996 upper deck as well, with winfield being part of the 'young at heart' subset
nice to see a padres photo on the back, plus the full career stats

mattingly, meanwhile, got the multiple exposure treatment on his card
on the back, you don't get full career stats, but you can see that mattingly played pretty well in the 1995 alds against the mariners.  he hit .417 with a homer and 6 rbi, but seattle won the 5-game series after being down 2 games to none.  ouch.

both players also got a sendoff from pinnacle in 1996 - here's winfield's
and mattingly's
only mattingly, however, was featured by topps in 1996
there was a lot of red for the stats in his early seasons
winfield would have only had one red stat - he led the nl in rbi in 1979.  it's worth noting that mattingly's final game homer was not the last hit of his career (he singled in his last at bat), but it did indeed help the yankees win the first american league wild card.

both showed up again in score's 1996 set.  here's winfield
winnie's back only goes back to 1978
now mattingly's turn
 and his back shows the full career, since it didn't begin until 1982
1996 fleer ultra also had cards for both winfield (front)
and mattingly (front)
but those card backs are pretty useless as far as final tributes go.

the fleer flagship was better in that regard, although they didn't get all the years on the backs.  winfield:
and mattingly:
donnie baseball is wearing the mickey mantle memorial armband and number patch in the front photo there (separate post coming soon).  also, the text on the back of mattingly's card addresses his role in helping the yankees reach the postseason in 1995.  winfield first made it to the postseason in 1981 with the yankees.  that was when george steinbrenner dubbed him 'mr. may' as winfield was just 1 for 22 against the dodgers in the fall classic.  i was happy when winfield joined the blue jays in 1992 and had another shot at the postseason.  his key (title-winning) double in the world series that year against the braves' charlie leibrandt pleased me greatly.

i'll finish up with 1996 donruss.  given the lack of a topps winfield card, i'd say this one is my favorite final tribute of the hall of famer
we get full career stats on the back, including the lost 1989 season that wasn't shown on the collector's choice card
mattingly's card in the set
is complete as well
but topps wins pretty much every time.


defgav said...

wow, no 'stache on Winfield's 96 Donruss card.. looks weird w/o it.

Jason Presley said...

I've got some 1200 different Winfield cards in my collection, and his 1996 Donruss is the only one with no moustache. In fact, it may be the only photos I've ever seen of him without it!