October 19, 2006

Appreciation: 1996 Upper Deck #287 Heathcliff Slocumb

There are a couple of things to appreciate about this card. First, the 1996 Upper Deck base card design. It rocks: a nice, crisp copper leaf complementing full, richly colored photos (seriously one of the best Upper Deck sets in terms of photo quality from the Nineties), a simple back with another large photo and a clean team logo; just a real nice-looking card design (the Tribute cards were especially classy as well).

Second, the card is of one of baseball’s greatest enigmas of the 1990s: Heathcliff Slocumb. When he was born, his mother and father actually looked at one another and said, “We will call him ‘Heathcliff’.” Because what else goes with Slocumb? Jim? Paul? Sammy? LaDanian? Anyway, he has a great name, one Bill James has rightly labeled Dickensian.

And like all great stories of luck that befalls those who least expect it, the Red Sox were able to pull off perhaps the trade of the decade when they unloaded our fair Slocumb (after his career year of 31 saves, a number he'd never match) to the Mariners for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek.

No comments: