Saturday, December 8, 2007

Card-vent Calendar, Dec. 7

Sorry about leaving everyone hanging yesterday. I'll do my best to post twice today to catch up.

December 7, 2007:
1993 Menomonee Falls Police Department Bernie Brewer

Living in Milwaukee in the 1980s and early '90s had its advantages. In an effort to get kids to recognize that cops were the "good guys", police often carried Brewers baseball cards with them. It was not uncommon for me, then, in the midst of some sort of police business (an arrest, disorderly conduct call, or homicide investigation) to ask the officers in question if they had any baseball cards. If you caught them at the right time, they would reach into their utility belt or head back to their cruiser for a couple (two, usually) police-issued Brewer cards. The first set debuted in 1982, the year the Brewers went to the World Series. These cards were, up through 1990, larger than standard-sized cards (think a little bigger than Topps Big here), but they eventually got to be regular sized in 1991 and beyond. I believe that team sets were used as stadium giveaways some years, but it was the ones you had to beg a police officer for that were the most satisfying, not to mention more exciting. Were you going to get a Paul Molitor, or would you get disappointed by a Chuck Crim? The experience let you cross the "Thin Blue Line."

Today's card is the macsot card that was first seen in this 1993 set. Corporate sponsorship had begun to creep in a few years earlier, and this set was produced with the help of Tri City National Bank and Cher-Make Hot Dogs (on the back). Different suburban departments chose to produce their own sets, creating several possible variants for collectors. The backs of these cards also include a positive behavior message, in the same vein of "Do Cards, Not Drugs." The Back:
Bernie Brewer Says...
"A coach is a teacher and their job is to instruct, but they're also available to the players when they need advice and assistance. When you need advice or assistance in school, talk to your coach, teacher, or counselor. They'll help you make the tough decisions and be your friend."

Lesson learned.

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