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Cardboard Corner: 45 Years, 45 Cards

Everybody's favorite closer turns 45 today so I thought picking out 45 Trevor Hoffman cards would make for a nice tribute. Turns out I only have exactly 45 cards of him now so that worked out pretty well. I suppose now I'll have to buy 46 more cards of him in the next 365 days; luckily I have enough Gwynns for Tony's next few birthdays. Anyway, here they are, each accompanied by a brief description:


1 & 2: 1994 Studio #133 & 1995 Studio #101 I was always a big fan of Studio back in the day. I liked that they used the same theme for the photography throughout each series- for example, posed in front of their locker as pictured above. I really liked the next year's credit card theme- you can't really tell in the photograph but the numbers and whatnot are actually embossed.


3 & 4: 1999 Pacific # 371 & 2000 Pacific #365 Pacific is another line I really liked and have way too few of. I loved that they had English and Spanish on the backs and they always had the most over-the-top inserts- die cuts and foil as far as the eye can see. Oddly, these two have fairly restrained design and are in all English; it turns out they started making monolingual cards in '98. Also, I just learned that monolingual is a word and unilingual is not.


5: 2008 Upper Deck #400- Season Highlights 500 saves! Oh yeah!


6 & 7: 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Special Edition #163 & 1997 UD CC #212 These are two of my favorite cards- not just cards of Trevor either but cards, period. Gotta love the "Keep the faith" sign in the background.



8-19: 2008 Upper Deck Documentary #s 1426, 1726, 2326, 2626, 2926, 4239, 4419, 4509, 4599, 4689, 4779 & 4869 At first glance, these look like a ton of doubles but each is different, summarizing a different game from the 2008 season. Of the 11 game cards I have, only three are wins- all blowouts so the man on the card figured in none of them.


20: 1997 Flair Showcase # Section 1, Row 2, Seat 151 This one looks waaay better in person. Also, I have no idea what's up with the funky numbering.


21 & 22: 1994 Topps Finest #417 & 1996 Finest #134 Topps Finest was about as good as it got way back when. They ushered in the era of utter ridiculousness that took over the card industry in the late-90s. The second has another gimmick that was big then, the printed protective film. Some people removed it as instructed but I left mine on.


23-25: 2001 Topps #664, 2006 Topps Team Set #SDP8, 2007 Topps Flashback Friday Good old boring Topps. That third one is nice, though; it's modeled after the 1933 DeLong Gum set.


26: 1994 Mother's Cookies #23 of 28 Nice and simple. Me like.


27: 2000 Skybox Dominion #118 Best known for their basketball cards, Skybox was one of scores of baseball lines to crop up in the late 90s.


28: 1994 Pinnacle #272 Hey, there's a #34 sighting!


29 & 30: 1996 Leaf #190 & 1997 Leaf #75 Leaf: Donruss's classy big brother.


31 & 32: 1997 Donruss #93 & 2003 Donruss #371 Speaking of Donruss, here are a couple. Originally an entry-level brand, Donruss stepped up their game in the mid-90s but returned to their roots after the turn of the century.


33-35: 2003 Fleer Tradition #242, 2003 Fleer Platinum #84, 2004 Fleer Tradition #297 These are from when the whole throwback craze started taking off. The one problem is Fleer's history goes back to 1981 so they had to bust out these fauxbacks. Kinda silly but they look nice.


36-37: 1995 Fleer Ultra #439 & 2007 Fleer Ultra #154 Ultra was Fleer's "upper middle class" offering, a step above base Fleer and a notch below their super-premium Flair line.


38: 2001 Fleer Game Time #13 I had never heard of this set before I got this card and I've yet to see another one from it.


39 & 40: 2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition #42 & 2003 Upper Deck MVP #173 A couple cards from Upper Deck offshoots. It seemed like every brand had about five lines until Topps got their monopoly back.


41-43: 1996 Upper Deck #447, 2001 UD SP Authentic #78, 2003 Upper Deck #230 '96 UD is a really underrated design; it's one of my all-time favorites. The other two, ehh, not so much.


44 & 45: 2005 Upper Deck #168 & 2007 UD #915 (team checklist) I saved the best for last. Here's Trevor doing what he did 605 times (including postseason play), celebrating another save.

Well, that puts a bow on it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!