According to Beckett Media, Jose Canseco has 423 recognized cards from his first five years of baseball (’86-’90). The lowest number of any year was 1986, the first year licensed cards of Jose were released. The highest is 1989, the year that celebrated Jose’s M.V.P. season.
To put those numbers into perspective, let’s look at Marlins superstar, Hanley Ramirez. Although Hanley is a much better all-around player than Jose ever was, he lacks power and the star appeal Jose had in his prime. How would he do against those years of “Junk Wax”?
From 2005 to 2009, which is still incomplete … Hanley has 3,007 Beckett-recognized cards. The lowest count came from the first season his cards were produced not counting Minor League releases, 2005. That year, 81 cards of Hanley were produced. In 2008, card companies produced 1,475 cards of Ramirez.
As for cards produced before entering the Majors, Jose has just three. To be perfectly honest, I wish he had more. Ramirez on the other hand has 61 Beckett-recognized Minor League issues. When you think of the potential Hanley has at such a young age, 61 cards doesn’t sound too bad.
Collectors constantly bash the 80’s and early 90’s era and label releases from that time as “Junk Wax”. Still, out of those 3,000+ Hanley Ramirez cards, just how many feature original, well thought out designs and how many are just worthless, run of the mill parallels and 1/1’s that flood the market?
Today, it’s impossible to ever collect 100% of any player’s cards due to there being so much. The sad fact is that even back in those five year’s of Jose’s career I pointed out, it’s also near impossible to collect all those cards. In fact, I know of only two collectors in twenty years that own all cards of Jose from ’86-’90.
So which era do you prefer and why?