I was cleaning out the basement and found this pack (among many others) among the detritus. Topps American Pie Baby Boomer Baseball edition. Anybody out there remember this crap? Back in the early days of the Retro wave there were a lot of odd throwback sets designed to separate the nostalgic collector from their moola. Some, like Heritage, stuck and thrived. Some, like this, did not. The basic idea behind this set is to combine baseball players from the 60's and 70's with pop culture icons and events from the same period. Donruss Americana is going to try the exact same thing, just without all those pesky baseball players.
Before we open up this puppy and find out what horrible things could lurk inside to cause this pack to be banished to the basement for 6 years, let's take a look at the wrapper, shall we? The logo of this stuff looks like a bad shroom trip. It's a bit frustrating for a blogger whose mission statement is to get kids to do cards and not drugs to have to deal with a set that is trying to BE drugs. The great Willie Mays shouldn't be associated with all this stuff. The crazy rainbow of colors in the background is more reminiscent of the woefully underrated Upper Deck 70's set than the design on this product. That's not the only misrepresentation on the wrapper, I think the font used on "baseball legends and pop culture icons" is supposed to be a retro 60's computer font, but it looks more to me like a 50's tiki font. They wouldn't be trying to sneak 50's icons in here, thus prematurely aging the target boomer audience, would they? The horrors! Ok, enough nitpicking the wrapper, let's look at the cards already.
117 Bay of Pigs
134 U.S. Gas Shortage
150 Malcom X
109 Johnny Podres
108 Lou Whitaker
It's a bit jarring to open a pack of cards and see a picture of a tank labeled "Cuba Invasion Debacle". This isn't actually the worst card from the set, I have one titled Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with a picture of a nuclear mushroom cloud on the front. I've filed that card away with my 2007 Atlanta Falcons team set. The Gas Shortage card is pretty funny in retrospect. Gas prices were cheap as hell in late 2001 and I'm sure I laughed at all those non-gas having suckers because I would surely never have to deal with that. After two horrifically lame cards I finally pull a cool Malcom X card. Fight the power! I really wanted to do my 6th grade Black History Month report on Malcom X, but I got stuck with WEB DuBois. I wish Wikipedia was around back then, my report sucked. Finally! Baseball cards! Johnny Podres, while he technically did play during the 60's, is a 50's baseball icon period. Topps also screwed up the bio, stating that the Brooklyn Dodgers bested the Yankees in the 1953 World Series. Sort of off topic, but does anyone know if Johnny Podres has a card where he's in a Padres uniform? Edit: Andrew with the assist! The pack ends up on a high note with a card of Sweet Lou. It might be a sweeter card if the border design weren't so weird. It does have Yogi on every card though so I guess it's not so bad. Not good enough to save this pack though. Back to the basement with you!