So of course there was an American League Rookie of the Year in 1988, so let’s get him out of the way. Here’s Walt Weiss.
Man, Weiss seemed like a sure thing. He debuted on an already-stacked Oakland A’s team in a World Series year, and seemed destined to help take the team to bigger and brighter things. And I guess he did, in a way. I mean, yes, he wasn’t a great hitter even then, but shortstops were judged by a different metric in those days, and for a rookie shortstop he was pretty damn good (and hell, a 2.2 WAR for a rookie shortstop is pretty damn good, let’s face it).
Okay, so as for this card itself, it’s “adequate”. It’s a lot better than the other 88 dreck, and the action shot is actually kind of cool, but the colors…ugh. That color green with those borders makes baby Jesus cry. Just ugly. I feel like I want to like this card, but the colors make it impossible.
For awhile there, this was the key Weiss rookie to get, at least in my neighborhood. I remember copies of this floating around outside of complete sets, for some reason. I think I got around that by buying the entire update set, though. It was definitely a pretty cool card to have back in 1988, and oddly enough, I still think it’s kind of a nice card. Having the Oakland logo on the card as well as the green stripe at the bottom makes the colors clash a whole lot less. I like the color balance a lot, and it’s not a terrible photograph.
Of course, this ended up becoming Weiss’s key rookie in latter years and in the long-term. I was ignorant of its existence for at least a year, however, and by the time I learned about it I just didn’t care about Weiss enough to bother.
Now, I think it’s a pretty cool card. For some reason, card manufacturers chose to show Weiss in action in almost every update card that year, but this is definitely my favorite shot of the group. It shows what Weiss was really good at, defense, and captures it in excellent form. I’ve said I’m no fan of this card design, and I’m still not, but I have to say it mostly works here. My favorite of the bunch, hands down, and worthy of being a key rookie card.
And this, oddly enough, is my second-favorite of the group. I don’t remember a single word said about this card back in the day, we were all too busy chasing Weiss’s Fleer and Fleer Update. Green and purple are my two favorite colors, so I’m a little biased with the borders as well; it just strangely makes that detested 88 Topps style work. Yeah, it’s still a bit washed out, but for my money, it’s a pretty damn cool card.
Okay, so updates on this project; 1, we’ll be looking at a more long-term rookie tomorrow (a probable future Hall of famer), and 2, I’ll have a “catch-up” update soon, as I ordered the 1988 Donruss Baseball’s Best set and expect it in the next few days. Stay tuned!