March 19, 2014

Score one for America

When two things as American as baseball and America combine forces to honor our armed forces, the result is something so glorious it exceeds the combined sum of their American parts.

This is the American flag. But it is also a baseball card. You can tell it’s a baseball card because of all the America on it, not because of the baseball, which is invisible.

Score, the company that created this American flag card—this Ameriflard—was not going to stand idly by and let the flag speak for itself. Nor would it utilize the back of this card to list the statistics of the most American baseball player (this guy, obvs) or of America herself (DID YOU KNOW? America was signed by scout John Hancock after posting a perfect WAR in 1776). No. Score was going to play an active part in the effort.

1991 Score

Score’s mom: Score? Are you asleep in there, honey?

Score: (dressed in pajamas and night cap, kneeling by bed, which is covered in bald eagle sheets) Not yet, Mommy! Just praying for world peace.

Score’s mom: Good boy. I’ll bring up some milk in a minute.


Guys, let me make something clear: I love America. Truly I am blessed to have been born here—I doubt I’d be able to have a non-job contributing to a baseball card-based blog in, say, Micronesia—and I revere our armed forces. This is the truth. But also: what is this card?

I had originally written a more serious post attempting to explore this topic—paying homage to our troops in ridiculous, self-serving ways—and ran it past Ben, who shed some light on the history of baseball card companies’ military complex. The dialogue made me feel as though I shouldn’t curtail my first instinct at viewing this card again, which was: make fun of this.

As Ben pointed out, Score could have put some real effort into this, and made cards for soldiers, generals, or anyone on the front lines who could have become an identifiable face of the war effort for young kids. Instead they stuck a flag on the front and, on the back, claimed that they, Score, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Brands, was praying.

I can’t decide if this card is a Veteran’s Day mattress blowout sale—a marketing scheme masked as dignified patriotism (and, in this case, devout spiritualism)—or a moderately genuine but completely lackluster attempt to give a nod to our troops. Either way it sucks. That is all.

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