Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Celebrating Orel Hershiser's Birthday with his Ten Best Cards

This post is something that I rarely do, but for this man... this great Dodger... I just couldn't help myself.

Today is Orel Hershiser's 56th Birthday, and I figured the best way to celebrate it would be to share my list of his Ten Best Baseball Cards.  Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from, and they run the gamut from the stupendous to the hilarious.  So, check them out below.

If I happen to neglect a card that you believe is worthy please let me know.  BTW, I did not include any cards with him in anything but Dodger Blue, so you shouldn't expect to see him in another team's uniform on this list.  Also, I refuse to accept that he ever played for that team up north.  Now, on to the list:

I figured I would start this list with a World Series highlight set released by Fleer in 1989.  There are two different Hershiser cards in this insert set, and since I couldn't decide which one I like best I've included them both to start this list. 

This 1993 Fleer Flair card is just awesome.  It includes Hershiser's powerful windup, as he's about ready to deliver his pitch, and a beautiful silhouette showcasing his determination in the background.  Bulldog, indeed.

With this next card we get an early look at the "Dork" within the man.  Here is his 1982 Albuquerque Dukes minor league Baseball card, and you have to admit that he looks nothing like what you'd imagine a future Cy Young winner would look like.  Instead, he looks like a high school geometry teacher who is more at ease with equations and angles.

I openly admit that I'm a sucker for the Donruss' Diamond King sets.  I just love them all.  I especially love the 1986 Donruss Hershiser Diamond Kings card. Check it out below.  This is a classic Dick Perez painting.

This list could not possible be complete without this card.  Here is his 1989 Donruss "59 and Counting" card.  Who knew he could juggle?

OK... I know this isn't a Baseball card, but come on now... How can you not appreciate Orel in a poker themed card set.  Heck, who knew there was such a thing as a poker trading card set?  Below is a 2011 Leaf Poker autographed card.  Hershiser turned pro in 2006 and was known for giving out an autographed Baseball to whoever eliminated him.

What a great photograph.  Wow!  It doesn't get much better than this.  This is his 1995 Topps card.

Apparently, Hershiser had a side gig as a member of the grounds-crew.  Below is a 1994 Topps Stadium Club card, and he is seen transporting some sod for planting. 

This is probably the quintessential Orel Hershiser Baseball card.  It is the key card for any Hershiser collector and was for a time one of the most sought after cards in the hobby.  Below is his 1985 Topps rookie card.

We have now gone full "Dork."  Hershiser's 1991 Stadium Club card makes me smile every time.  Heck, whenever I'm feeling down this card is my antidote.  I just pull it out and I always laugh. 

Honorable Mention:
This last card just barely missed the cut.  Here is a 1986 Topps All-Star Glossy Send-Away card.  Hershiser has a bit of a whimsical look on his face.  It's like he's playing the part of a naive rube while at the same time planning his next move like some evil mastermind.  See how he glances knowingly to his right?  It always makes me wonder, what in earth is he thinking?

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