March 18, 2007

Fleer Division:
(8) 1977 Giants vs. (9) 12-Player Trade

Scoring: Two cards go head-to-head each scoring up to three points in a number of categories. The card with the highest point total at the end wins the match and advances.

Coach Attire
Floating Heads
Card Design
Photo Quality
Number of Players
Special Notation of Futility
World Champions

1977 Giants (8) vs. 12-Player Trade (9)

Teamwork Okay, so only ten of the twelve guys showed up for the photo of the 12-Player Trade, but those ten guys showed a lot of teamwork: they formed the conventional half-circle towards the camera, two of them are out in front on bended knee, and for the most part everybody’s smiling. And these are guys who were traded for each other. I’m going to award 2 ‘In A Pinch’ points for that. The Giants look well put-together, and there seem to be a lot of them in the frame. The only thing I can think of that would’ve made the photo better would’ve been if Sasquatch in the brown trash bag had stood on the back riser in the middle next to Big Bird, just to even things out back there. Otherwise, good job. 1977 Giants: 3 points | 12-Player Trade: 2 points

Coach Attire 12-Player Trade didn’t involve coaches, so no points are awarded. Though that would’ve been great, right? Two teams, swapping coaches mid-season. As for the Giants, the giant in the brown windbreaker is really overpowering the frame; I don’t quite know what to make of him. Was he an equipment manager that they put in the on deck circle in late innings to intimidate the opposing pitcher? Because they didn’t put either of the two guys on the right out there—they look more like bakers than Gorgs. 1977 Giants: 3 points | 12-Player Trade: 0 points

Uniforms Mid-Nineties uniforms were hurtin’. We didn’t know it at the time, because we were used to them, but they were ugly, and not in a late-Seventies way. They were ugly in a very corporate, brand-identity and clean and modern logo way. The Giants uni, on the other hand, looks like it’s on its last legs. 1977 Giants: 1 point | 12-Player Trade: 1 point

Background Did the Giants play all their home games on a field that was actually just cement painted to look like grass? The best part is that you can see the seams where they would lay the markings for the 49ers. The 12-Player Trade photo is interesting because it perfectly sums up Upper Deck’s Collector’s Choice product: fun, weird cards that give off a very cheap feeling; a set (built on trivia and smaller nuggets of information) for the younger collector with a very short attention span. They were sets where UD would test new ideas and if some worked that’s great and if others didn’t they didn’t care too much, they just wouldn’t do it again the next year. So then it’s not surprising that this photo has had its background tampered with. In fact, it would’ve been going against type for this photo to have a normal background. The pink/purple/puke color works—in context of the rest of the set—because of the rest of the wild things going on on the other cards. Remove it from that context though, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. 1977 Giants: 2 points | 12-Player Trade: 2 points

Personnel 1977 Giants: McCovey (HOF), Clark, Evans, Montefusco… 12-Player Trade: Bell, Plantier, Caminiti, plus the immortal Andujar Cedeno… 1977 Giants: 2 points | 12-Player Trade: 1 point

Floating Heads 12-Player Trade needs two floating heads for the math to work on this card. Because it’s lacking the necessary heads to match twelve representatives, I’m going to award negative 2 points. I’m going to award the Giants 2 points because while Joe Altobelli’s floating head does not constitute a religious experience, he does look like a Punch and Judy doll. And that’s got to count for something. 1977 Giants: 2 points | 12-Player Trade: - 2 points

Card Design Again, it’s 1977 versus the world, and the world loses. But it’s not like the world put up much of a fight this time: the 12-Player Trade design is not really that great. Oh sure, it’s doing some interesting things with type design, but type is only half of design, and we already talked about the photo. I’ll give it 2 points. 1977 Giants: 3 points | 12-Player Trade: 2 points

Photo Quality Not really a great shot of the Giants. Better shot of the 12-Player Trade. 1977 Giants: 1 point | 12-Player Trade: 2 points

Number of Players 10 players for the 12-Player Trade. No points awarded (it’s gotta be all or nothing). 37 Giants (including two actual giants). 1977 Giants: 2 points | 12-Player Trade: 0 points

Total Score: 1977 Giants 19 points
12-Player Trade 8 points

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