March 12, 2007

Sportflics Division: 1. 1977 Red Sox vs. 16. 2001 Yankees

Scoring: The two cards go head-to-head in each of the eleven categories, with the victor of each category winning a point. Extra points available where noted.

Teamwork Extra points for symmetry (even if entirely coincidental)
Coach Attire Extra points for eccentricity and/or coordination
Floating Heads Extra points if heads constitute borderline religious experience
Card Design
Photo Quality
Number of Players
Special Notation of Futility
World Champions

1977 Red Sox (1) vs. 2001 Yankees (16)

Let’s start at the top, with the Teamwork category. The Yankees score an early point with their cross-armed front row, but then that point is quietly halved when it appears that two guys in the second row are also crossing their arms, causing some design confusion. It doesn’t make the team look tougher—it makes them look like they think no one will notice. Next, both cards score points for half-assed attempts at symmetry, with the Sox at least turning their bodies in left and right to create a center. The Yankees third and fourth rows look like they don’t know how to follow directions. Finally, the Sox card scores a point for two players sitting cross-legged on the ground. I don’t think either of them are batboys, especially since the one on the right has a mustache and looks a lot like Bill Campbell. Teamwork category: 1977 Red Sox: 2 2001 Yankees: 1.5

Coach Attire Torre, Stottlemyre and Zimmer are all splayed out in their ill-fitting pinstripes…but they are coordinated and blend in with the rest of team. 2 points are awarded, because fitting in to a point of becoming non-descript and letting your actions speak for you is what being a Yankee is all about, right? The Red Sox card also features the Gerbil, and he’s also in a Sox cap, so 1 point for him. The Sox coaches appear to be in the front row, also in their uniforms, and they blend in well. 1 point for them. The real kicker, though, is that the three trainers/groundskeepers/Boston mobsters pictured are all wearing white, like they work in a mental asylum. One point is definitely awarded for that. I even think their belts match. If I could give more than three points in one category, I’d do it for Manny, Moe and Jack here. Coach Attire category: 1977 Red Sox: 3 2001 Yankees: 2

Uniforms This isn’t fair for me to judge. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Red Sox fan. Of course I’m going to say Red Sox here. But the historical fan in me must give two points to both sides, simply because they are about as iconic as you can get. Even though the Sox uni is from another era, you could make the case that the Yankees uni is timeless (since it really hasn’t changed since they changed their name from the Highlanders). I will, however, give an extra point to the Sox for the red hats. Uniform category: 1977 Red Sox: 3 2001 Yankees: 2

Background Yankees take this category because it’s obvious they’re in Yankee Stadium. I’m not quite sure where the Red Sox are (they usually have their team photo taken in front of the Monster). 1 point is awarded to the Yankees, because while it’s true that it’s the House that Ruth Built (and Reggie Re-Modeled), I’m not quite sure which part. Background category: 2001 Yankees: 1 1977 Red Sox: 0

Personnel Red Sox: Yaz (HOF), Tiant, Fisk (HOF), Jenkins (HOF), Rice, Lynn, The Rooster, The Gerbil, The Spaceman, Dewey and Butch Hobson. Yankees: Torre, Zimmer, Jeter, Soriano, Tino Martinez and a buncha other guys that I can’t tell who they are from the chrome. Personnel category: 1977 Red Sox: 3 2001 Yankees: 2

Floating Heads The Red Sox card not only features Zim’s pennant-waving headshot that was inherent to the 1977 team card design, but it has three floating heads, evenly spaced along the top of the frame: Yaz, Spaceman Bill Lee and Butch Hobson—The Father, The Son and the Holy Cokehead (as far as the 1977 Red Sox were concerned). Floating Heads category: 1977 Red Sox: 3 2001 Yankees: 0

Card Design This is another highly subjective category. If you like the 1977 regular design (built around the pennant), then you’ll like the team card. If you like the dark green of 2001 (one of Topps’ gems from between 1997 and 2002), then you’ll root for the Yankees card. I like both, but in this instance I’m going with the 1977 Red Sox card. Here’s why (I’ll keep it quick): the point of a team card is to see who’s on the team, which the 1977 Sox card does, almost to a ‘T’ (see the Floating Head category above). The 2001 Yankees card has a chrome-like sheen, making it difficult at certain angles to view. It also has too many logos; I don’t know where to look. Card Design category: 1977 Red Sox: 2 2001 Yankees: 1

Photo Quality The 1977 Red Sox card is disqualified, because I don’t think it’s a photo at all—I think it’s a painting from a photo. That would explain the bizarre background, the ease in which the floating heads were added, and the shit-eating grin of the cross-legged player up in the front left corner. The Yankees photo is not great (it looks like it was taken in low light), but at least it’s a photo. Photo Quality category: 2001 Yankees: 1 1977 Red Sox: 0

Number of Players The Yankees card gets 2 points for cramming in 42 players and coaches. The Sox card gets 1 point for the more mundane 34 players and coaches in the actual framed shot. Number of Players category: 2001 Yankees: 2 1977 Red Sox: 1

World Champions The Yankees get a point because the card mentions that this team was the 2000 World Series champions. World Champions category: 2001 Yankees: 1 1977 Red Sox: 0

Total Score: 1977 Red Sox 17.0 points
2001 Yankees 13.5 points


ME said...

Red Sox

Gordon said...

The silly, floating bubbles and the Gerbil's ugly mug aside, the '77 BoSox should win by default. Cards should not be glossy nor metallic.

Though I love how the picture of the '01 Yankees card makes the players in the bottom row appear to be cut in half at the abdomen.