You bought a pack of (expensive) baseball cards. Great news! One of them is just a list of other cards!
Look, checklists perform a service. There was really no other way in 1991 to know the exact other cards in a given set without buying the complete set (this is slightly incorrect. You could buy a price guide, and that would sometimes have complete checklists included, though those usually bucketed cards into “commons,” subsets, then giving bigger name players their own entries.)
Making pulling a checklist a bit more acceptable is featuring a player on it, instead of just, well, checklists on both sides. And if that’s your favorite player, that’s kind of a win. If it’s a pretty nice card, that’s a double-win.
I’ll loop back on it eventually, but I accidentally skipped another checklist featuring him in Leaf’s 1990 set, but I’d rather talk about this one. Check out that painting! It’s the best of any of the painted cards from his playing time for sure. No weird angles, fine detailing in the batting gloves and logo area of the helmet, accurate rendering of the helmet logo, subtle lines in the gradient background spaced out to give the flat background a sense of depth. I’ll be honest. I went looking for pictures where the left side of his belt tunnels would be visible because “of course they’d get those wrong,” but credit where credit is due. That spot is right, too. (yes, that’s a double-loop in the picture)
Also… Dad Face. So much Dad Face, and it’s kind of the same expression in both the batting and fielding poses. I suppose if the adage is “write what you know,” it goes the same for painting, and this artist knows Dad Face. All that said, “The Collector’s Choice” script diagonally opposite the logo cut-out is a classy branding feature, even looking at this at an age much older than “dumb 8 year old.” Great visual balance.
Sure, the face isn’t great, but it’s the best of the options available, and even evokes an opposite to the background of the 1982 Diamond Kings. Really. Check it out. Purple to yellow on the Diamond Kings, yellow to purple on this card. Coincidental, I’m sure, but always new stuff to discover in projects like this.
The back is… well, it’s a card checklist but on a visually interesting infield dirt(? wood paneling?) pattern and that “patented” Upper Deck hologram. About as good as such a thing could be.
Carlton Fisk was featured on three(!) cards in the 1991 set, and this is the best one. No doubt. (other than the maybe the back of the standard 1991…)