In late 2018, a nearly 30-year-old basketball card from the forgotten “junk wax” era of sports cards went viral and started selling like hot cakes on eBay thanks to a blurry appearance by two, convicted murderers (and brothers) spotted in the stands. Cameos like this are not exactly new or even very rare but thanks to the brilliant ‘Baseball Card Backs” Twitter account, I definitely found my all-time favorite cameo, which I never actually knew existed even though I owned the exact same card in my youth. This is why it pays to use Twitter.
Check out the back of Candy Maldonado’s 1991 Upper Deck baseball card. On it you will find the late, teen heart-throb, Corey Haim, decked out with a baseball glove. Judging by his IMDB page, Haim was two years removed from his last big movie role and by this time was considered “washed up”, all by the young age of 19. Even Maldonado, who had some decent power numbers in the late-80s, still had something left in the tank two seasons later in Toronto with the Blue Jays. By comparison, Candy was considered washed up at age 32.
There’s really no way to explain just how popular Corey Haim and his life long friend, Corey Feldman, actually were unless you grew up in the 80s. These two young kids (and sometimes we forget that) had a slew of popular films before being chewed up and spit out by Hollywood and its vices. For both Coreys, that vice was hard drugs and fast living. At the time, knowing nothing of the situation or even life in general (I was 9), I just assumed they were two rich and spoiled, very irresponsible people. What did I know?
Sadly, the truth was much darker than a cliche, black and white drug story as Feldman has gone on record and admitted that both Coreys were sexually abused by people in Hollywood, with Haim supposedly suffering the abuse for longer extended periods of time. These stories should come as no surprise to those who followed the fall of Harvey Weinstein, head of Miramax films, who is now facing life in prison for his own crimes. There even was an extremely shocking claim that Corey Haim was sodomized at 13, by none other than Charlie Sheen, who today lives HIV-positive.
When I went to baseball games as a 19-year-old, I didn’t have a single care in the world. Poor Corey Haim, however, was in an entirely different state of mind. By then he was having to face the fact that his career and days of fame were coming to an end, not to mention dealing with a drug habit quickly spiraling out of control that would some day claim his life. By this point, Corey Haim had gone through horrific experiences no one his age should ever have to go through. It’s truly a tragic baseball card back, if ever I’ve seen one.
As for card collectors who are also fans of Corey screen work, thankfully, he’s been well covered in our hobby. You can find him in different products ranging from Upper Deck and Panini America, to In the Game. His acting partner Corey Feldman, also has several cards released over the past decade. Below are some of my favorite cards of Haim, featuring certified autographs of the actor, who died in 2010. As for the signed football mini helmet from Upper Deck, it was recently purchased on eBay for a very reasonable $35 dollars.
My advice: Skip the cards and buy yourself a copy of ‘License to Drive’.