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The Worst Baseball Card Ever

Its name is 1996 Pinnacle Foil No. 289, and it has a picture of baseball player Bob Hamelin of the Kansas City Royals. This is the baseball card version of a bad example. The design breaks all the rules, without reason or payoff.  

The experts agree: 1996 Pinnacle Foil No. 289 is a very bad baseball card. “It's so jarring and awful, a collision of unpleasant forms and surfaces,” says Josh Wilker, the author of the memoir Cardboard Gods. “I fear for anyone dwelling too long on this card. There should be contests to see who can last the longest staring at it before screaming into the night.” Beau and Bryan Abbott, proprietors of the site Baseball Card Vandals, give 1996 Pinnacle Hamelin their highest praise, calling it “awesomely terrible.” Dave Jamieson, author of Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, wonders if someone at Pinnacle really hated Bob Hamelin and wanted to make him look bad on purpose. (The blog Royals Review agrees with this theory.)

Slate looks at all the ways 1996 Pinnacle Foil No. 289 is a baseball card failure, with plenty of input from experts. But some disagree that it's the worst, because they can cite other candidates. It turns out there are many ways in which a baseball card can fail. Even Bob Hamelin thinks another of his own cards is worse. Link -via mental_floss


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