- Yadier Molina
With apologies to the Paul of Paul's Random Stuff and any other Mets fans reading the blog, this card chronicles a Yadier Molina home run during the 2006 NLCS. It was the decisive play that sent the Cardinals to the World Series and the Mets home on vacation.
Yad was an unlikely hero. The more likely hero, Scott Rolen, nearly won the game himself just a few innings earlier. He hit a deep blast over the left field wall only to see Endy Chavez make an unreal leaping catch, effectively saving the Mets' season. All the momentum seemed to be in New York's favor. But in the ninth, with the score tied 1-1, Yadi delivered. He jacked a home run, screaming "Wooooo!" like a little kid as he rounded the bases. From there the Cardinals went on to win the game and eventually take the World Series over Detroit in five games.
This particular tribute card of Yadi is in the style of 1996 Emotion, a spinoff of Fleer. Emotion was only around for two years, and you'll understand why soon. The photographs, which were actually quite good, featured players in some sort of emotive manner. This was nice enough. But Fleer turned it into a gimmick. Each card literally spells out an "emotion" of the player alongside the border of the card. Pretty hokey, right?
It worked well in a few cases (Randy Johnson for instance, or perhaps this card of Bernard Gilkey from the 1995 set), but in many cases it was really dorky or downright ironic (Kenny Lofton is FRESH, Ivan Rodriguez is WIRED and Bill Swift is SURE -- even if I think he looks rather pensive). My favorite was John Mabry, who was feeling rather ADROIT. Sheesh.
So obviously this tribute card is a little bit tongue in cheek. That said, it also doubles as a birthday card for my wife. She has had a soft spot for Yad ever since he hit the home run depicted on the card.
I should mention -- the card actually does feature a photograph of him "Woo!-ing" around the bases on that very home run.
So, together with Yadier Molina's tribute card, let me say, "Happy Birthday Val!" Hope you enjoy!