I'm back with more of a guy everyone seems to like (and I can't really blame them): Jim Abbott. Here's 12 new Abbott cards to add to his PC, spanning his RC year of 1989 and the strike-shortened 1994 season:
Jim Abbott 1989 Topps Traded
It's not a RC (I have all of those) or even an XRC (I have the '88 Traded), but I still thought this would be a fun pickup. One interesting fact I noticed: this card has the exact same back as the '89 flagship card, text, stats, and all!
Jim Abbott 1991 Studio
As with Morris, since I'm not supercollecting Abbott I decided to focus on pickups from my favorite sets. Studio is one such product, and I like how it evolved from its humble origins to a pretty nice set, as you'll see shortly. This inaugural issue got the portrait idea right, and things eventually improved from there.
Jim Abbott 1992 Stadium Club
Speaking of sets with an excellent concept that got even better over time, here's a great horizontal pitching action card that Topps knocked out of the park. I'm definitely a fan of cards that do a good job of depicting Jim's unique pitching motion, not only to highlight his amazing accomplishments, but also hopefully to inspire others with disabilities that such things are possible.
Jim Abbott 1993 Fleer Final Edition
There are times when I'm just a sucker for trade/update-type sets, and this was one of them. One thing that surprised me, though, is that the back didn't mention anything about the trade that brought Abbott to the Bronx and sent future Angels notable J.T. Snow to California. That would seem to be the set's raison d'etre, no? It does note his '88 Olympic appearance, briefly, though.
Jim Abbott 1993 Select
We looked at Select last time, and I think this is another example of a card they did well that year as, again, we get a nice horizontal shot of his pitching motion. Since it's from Abbott's right, it also happens to put the focus on his right arm holding the glove, which is very cool. Select indeed.
Jim Abbott 1993 Studio
'93 was another banner year for the Studio set as it combines three nice features: an excellent portrait shot, a foil facsimile signature (although I can't say I missed that when it wasn't subsequently used), and a very cool background idea--the player's team jersey. As iconic as some teams' colors and logos can be--including the Yankees' pinstripes--I think all of that combined to produce an outstanding set.
Jim Abbott 1994 Score (#127)
Jim Abbott 1994 Score (#626)
I double-dipped from the '94 Score set because, really, why would you grab one and not the other? The regular base card is another good shot of Jim in action, but the real star here is the no-no highlight card. With modern medical and technology knowledge increasing every day, this feat may be replicated some day, but Abbott will always have the honor of being the first, and he did it himself. The impact of this inspirational event couldn't possibly be measured even 21 years later.
Jim Abbott 1994 Select
Yep, as with Morris I grabbed '93 and '94 Select cards for Abbott as well. This one also looks great with a pair of pitching action shots. And how great is the larger on the right, which features a baseball headed STRAIGHT FOR YOUR FACE?
Jim Abbott 1994 SP
Jim Abbott 1994 SP Die-Cuts
I showed off a '93 SP card last time, but today I have a duo from '94 for you instead, and that lets you see just how dramatically that set changed as well. This one goes much heavier on the shininess, and while I'm not a huge fan of borders, this set has only one, with a black/gold combination that's pleasing to my eyes. The Die-Cut insert must have been pretty popular at the time since those weren't terribly common up to that point, at least not that I remember.
Jim Abbott 1994 Studio
We've got a great way to end today's post thanks to this beaut. The '94 set is somewhat similar to its predecessor, but thankfully Donruss didn't rest on its laurels and changed things up a bit when it came to the background. This time we get a clubhouse shot of the player's locker, which makes me wonder how many guys scrambled to clean things up, by which I mean made the clubhouse guys clean things up. 25 was indeed Jim's number for almost his whole career, except for his '95-'96 reunion with the Angels--there was no way he was getting that number back from burgeoning star Jim Edmonds!
I'll be back soon with the rest of Jim's pickups spanning the rest of his career (and more), but to keep things interesting I still have a few other players to get to. Today's 12 give Jim a new count of 78, and the century mark isn't far behind!