1987 Topps #203 Mike Kingery RC - Beckett Value: $.10
One glance at this photo and you've had one glance too many. Mike Kingery may be the most generic looking baseball player of all time. Seriously, I challenge you to find a more typical All-American boy than this. The only un-American part of Mike is his Made-In-China polyester softball top with a fat brown spot on the right shoulder. I can't decide if his jersey is filthy or if it's just really poor camerawork. Since this is his rookie card, I like to think he had just been introduced to Skoal and while attempting to spit over his right shoulder... well you get the picture.
The majority of baseball cards were shot at spring training, including this one. The easiest way to tell is the tiny palm tree you see over the back of his neck. That or he had some gnarly back hair. Why is he in a batting stance right up near the left field wall? Because it's Mike Kingery and who cares.
If I spoke ill of the 1987 Topps design then it would be blasphemy. The 1987 Topps set is probably the most iconic set of the 1980's. The wood panel border makes me cringe with joy!
Card Back: 7.5/10
Mike toiled in the minors for almost a decade before receiving the call-up in 1986 where he was utterly worthless. Except for one time. During one game he had a game winning RBI, the first and only of his career. I have no idea when or how that RBI happened, but it HAD to have been magical. Why else would it get its line of dedication? Anybody care to do some research?
I like the layout and the angles of the polygon borders. I also love random trivia, especially when it's about a random star that no one has thought about in years like Mark Belanger.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Mike Kingery's 1987 Season:
Mike actually spent the 1987 season with Seattle after being included in the trade that brought Danny Tartabull to Kansas City. Kingery received a nice salary bump up to $92,000 from $60,000 in 1986. I wish I could get a 50% raise for having a -.6 WAR... He set a career high 9 HR's in '87 over 395 PA. For what he lacked at the plate he did not make up for on the basepaths. Mike recorded 7 SB's and was caught stealing 9 times. Remarkably, Mike set the world on fire in 1994 with a .349 average for the Rockies, good enough to land him third in the NL. He quickly came back down to earth the following season and was out of baseball by 1997. Today Mike works as a motivational speaker in his homeland of Minnesota while also heading up his family's gospel band.
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