Starting Lineup Talking Baseball 1988 – It’s All Fun and Games Until… No, It’s All Just Fun and Games

Starting Lineup Talking Baseball 1988 frontStarting Lineup Talking Baseball 1988 back

Really. That’s the back of the card. Really. Its most significant stylistic flourish is the bold “Right” next to “Bats.” Also, he’s “Player Number” 72, not 12. Lesson? The back is so bad that it’s the first time I’ve opened one of these articles talking about the rear.

The card is a pack-in in some game which has little information online. There’s a stadium-shaped . . . thing with a cartridge of some sort . . .  and a game is played. The Yount Collector has a bit more (check the comments), and this auction listing has more pictures. Because it’s the internet, of course its TV commercial is available for viewing 30 years later.

Actually, there’s a pretty detailed overview video available. And, to be honest, that would’ve been pretty cool to have in 1988.

Wrapping up with the front, for an oddly-shaped card with a generic design, it’s . . . perfectly okThe chrome effect on “Starting Lineup Talking Baseball” hasn’t been seen on any cards prior (Topps BIG will use it in 1990, though), and the aqua frame is also unique. The terribleness of the back dominates discussion of the negative aspects of this card, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the picture on the front (showcasing what happens when you have the MLBPA license but not the MLB license . . . he certainly was on “Chicago” with the navy blue and red hats) is from 1986 or earlier. 1987’s and later’s batting practice jerseys didn’t have red racing stripes. This is normally an unforgivable offense, but with a mortal sin of the back, we’re barely even venal on the front.

Update 5/31/2019: John Racanelli on the SABR Baseball Card Committee posted a great overview with lots more details about the set and the game.

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