I've inherited a decent amount of cards from family and friends, stuff they find when they're clearing clutter out of their basement. You can guess the kind of stuff I usually get; some ten-year-old's collection of 1991 screaming-yellow Fleer, or something of that ilk.
My mother-in-law recently moved into a new house, and when she was cleaning out the pantry, she found a card for me. Just one. She plopped it down in front of me, and it looked like '90s stuff, but a design I'd never seen. And what I originally thought appeared to be a manufactured auto looked a lot more real than usual.
Enough with the teasing. On with the card:
Once I got home, I looked the card up and found out that the auto is legit. The card's a little beat up, but it's a freaking Jim Palmer on-card auto. How about that!
Turns out, Nabisco was running a box top send-in type deal where you could get Hall of Famer autographed cards. They came with COAs, I think, and they ran this offer with two different sets in 1993 and 1994. Palmer, here, is from the 1994 set. You can read more about these cards here. There were some pretty ridiculously great names in this set: Ernie Banks, Don Drysdale, Catfish Hunter, Phil Niekro, Brooks Robinson, Willie Stargell, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Duke Snider, Sparky Lyle, and, of course, Jim Palmer.
This is such a great card in that it's something really special from the heart of the junk wax era, and it's totally oddball. The unlicensed airbrushing and the simple design just adds to the oddball effect. While designs were getting busier and crazier in the '90s, Nabisco was going back to the basics: a great picture and a real autograph.
So, thanks, Mom, for the coolest find I've been gifted from someone's pantry. To date, that is. You hear that, rest of the family, better start digging through your cupboards for cardboard.