I’ve always liked Thome. I mean, really, how can you not? He’s like a late-Nineties version of Matt Williams (another favorite). And I’ve really never liked Upper Deck. They had a string of four good years (1992 to 1995), and have otherwise been marred by ridiculous hi-jinks photos, pitchers batting and guys sitting around doing everything except playing baseball. That’s why I’m torn about this card.
1995 was the last year I really collected cards (until I went for the 2003 Topps Heritage set), so this is the last Thome card I was going to get for pretty much a decade. Okay, so then in a predictably stupid move, UD has him crouched on the top step of the dugout. Sure, he’s jovial, but c’mon, at least put him out in the field. In 1994-95, Thome was still relatively athletic. The next time I saw a card of him, I think he was beached on the Phillies bench. Anyways, Upper Deck wasted a great opportunity for a killer action shot. Also, and here’s the real stumper: whom is he pictured with on the back? And why do the two of them look so, so, related? And where are they, exactly? For a moment I thought it was Yankee Stadium, simply because it’s the last place the Indians and Rangers could be squaring off, though it would fit into the bizarro baseball card world where every card must feature at least one photo taken there.