Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cards in Cinema: 50/50 Edition

On Saturday night, the wife and I had what married couples refer to as a "date." Frozen pizza, a diaper change, and a trip to the Redbox were all on the agenda. Movie snobs such as myself like to turn their noses up at the old Box of Red, citing the fact that you can rarely secure a movie that's been out longer than a month, but I've actually gotten around to liking the concept. I won't go too far into the pluses and minuses, but it's hard to argue with spending a dollar on a night's entertainment.

A word to the wise: If there's a film you want to see, reserve it first on your computer or smartphone. After a couple of failed trips early on in the process, that's what we did in order to secure 50/50, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Seth Rogen cancer dramedy. Really good movie, if you're wondering, but appearing in this post for reasons other than quality. In the past, baseball cards have shown up in some of the least likely places. The Parks and Recreation episode from earlier this season turned into a fun mystery to solve, and Iron Fucking Eagle had a few cards show up as well. I also remember the obvious "need 'em, need 'em, got 'em" pack ripping scene form Big, and Kevin's destruction of Buzz's room in Home Alone turned up a few pieces of cardboard. 50/50, however, is about as unlikely a place as you'll ever find the hobby, yet there they were, in the cubicle of a Seattle Public Radio office.

Early on in the movie, we see the two leads carpooling to their public radio jobs. It's then that we see the cards immortalized on celluloid. (Well, probably not celluloid per se, but you know what I mean.) Initially, we can see a very obvious 1990 Fleer Seattle Mariners sticker. I thought he was younger, but JG-L is actually 30 years old, so his character might have come of collecting age right when that insanely overproduced set was released. There's also, presumably, another Mariners card next to it, but the focus is not deep enough to immediately ascertain its identity. More on that later.

A few shots later, we can see sitting atop some file cases and near some framed photographs is another 1990 Fleer sticker, this time inexplicably encased in some sort of clear lucite display stand. At the top of this guy's cancer bucket list there's got to be a submission to PSA somewhere. Two of the same card on one desk... there's gotta be a backstory on that one.

And now back to that other player card. To my eye, I immediately got the impression of 1991 Upper Deck. It's got a white border, and the photo has a cutout in the upper left corner that makes room for a logo. The green stripe that runs down the left side of '91 UD isn't readily apparent, but could have been swallowed up a bit in the lack of focus.

So, after convincing myself that this was the set, I went to eBay to see enter some names of Mariners that would have appeared on a 1991 UD card. After a few misses, I totally nailed it. That's a 1991 Upper Deck card of Omar Vizquel, #593 in the set.

Omar really wasn't much of a threat during his early years on the Mariners, but perhaps he was a fan favorite to this character. In any case, I'm pretty proud of my detective work. In the meantime, I'll remain on the lookout for Cards in Cinema, and I'll report back to you when one is found.


deal said...

well done - good player for them to feature.

WV = unfan

Kev said...

diaper? how old's the kid? mine is 7 1/2 weeks... ahh, sleep - where have you been?!?

Thorzul said...

Almost six months, Kev.

SpastikMooss said...

Not Big, Little Monsters. Nice with the size connection though!