The National Sports Collectors Convention is the place where many card companies showcase previews of upcoming sets and they will also often hand out promotional cards for these sets to give an actual on-hand experience for collectors and dealers alike. The most recent company to release details about their special convention cards is TriStar with a 10-card set previewing two sets scheduled to be released this fall- TriStar Obak Baseball: History of the Game and Obak Football.
The 10-card checklist consists of: Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, Cap Anson, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Gale Sayers, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Stan Musial, Bob Kalsu, John F Kennedy and Gerald Ford. Each VIP bag will contain 7 random cards and you can pick up the remaining 3 by opening 3 packs of Obak Baseball or Signature IMPACT wrestling at TriStar’s booth and redeeming each wrapper for one of the missing cards.
So far they have released the images of three cards: Gale Sayers, John F Kennedy and Ken Griffey Jr.
Gale Sayers: TriStar has some designers that come up with interesting backgrounds. The 2010 Baseball set was a prime display of randomness.
What exactly does Gale Sayers have to do with Arizona? The background image is a perfect example of a desert moon following one of our monstrous dust storms. This background actually distracts from the player due to the bright coloring and large moon and while it might make a nice postcard you would find up at the Grand Canyon or Tombstone, it is not a background that I like on a card.
John F Kennedy: This card, while accurately displays a young JFK in his Harvard football gear, is a stretch. He played one season, 1937, on the Junior Varsity team and then hurt his back and never played football again. I know that adding presidents to a set is all the rage right now but this one really does not belong in a set. At least Ford played on 2 National Championship teams at Michigan and was offered a pro contract from both Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
Ken Griffey Jr: As a life-long Griffey fan and collector all that could come to mind was:
Come on… we are talking about Ken Griffey Jr…. The Kid… the man we all loved swatting homerun after homerun… the man who played at full-speed all the time (until the 2000 season when he always seemed to be on the DL). But there is my point, here is someone who will always be remembered for his youth and TriStar instead punishes the collectors with a card depicting the old, bloated Griffey. The guy who people claim fell asleep in the club house during a game. A slap in the face to all Griffey collectors really.