Being a card collector means regularly shelling out your hard earned cash for a little 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 pulp and paper representation of your favorite player. Sometimes you carry the quest a little further and try to collect every card in a set. There is even a faction of the hobby that honours their favorite team by building a set that contains each card issued for each player on said team.
Usually this is enough to satisfy the collector.
Obsessive collectors try to find releases of their favorite players or teams that exist beyond the realm of the contemporary release. With a little bit of research and a constant ear to the ground you can find many regional and special releases of cards whose pursuit can keep you busy well into the fall and winter seasons.
In the early 1980's and throughout the 1990's the Toronto Blue Jays grew in popularity, not only across Canada but specifically in their home province of Ontario. The Blue Jays received their fair share of regional releases during this time. None of those releases were more popular than the ones issued in conjunction with the Ontario Fire Chiefs Association or the Public Fire Safety Council. Sadly these sets disappeared in the late 1990's.
Well, guess what?!?!?!
That's right!! Toronto Blue Jays Fire Safety sets are alive and well in 2011 and, with special thanks to my lovely wife, they are a part of my continuing collection. She sent a text to me today that she had stopped by the local Fire Prevention offices here in Brantford and picked it up for me. There are several hundred Firehouses across Ontario that are participating in the 'Swing into Summer Safety' education program who are making these sets available. I could not wait to get home and have a look at something that has been missing from my collection for over a decade.
The set size is as you would expect, individual cards for each player on the 25-man roster. What makes this set extra special is that all seven coaches have a card as well. Even the team mascot makes an appearance. This is a fun set meant to deliver just that, fun. The card design is simple and easy. All the colours match the team colours and the facsimile autograph on the front gives this set a classy enough look to display nicely paged in a binder.
The backs of the cards prominently feature a Fire Safety tip given a baseball themed twist at the top of the card. A head shot of the player photo from the front of the card along with the regular bio information and a single line of stats encompassing the entire career stats of each player is in the middle of the card back. Finally, a snippet of info regarding one of the career highlights of each player rounds out the card back.
Here is the back of the Ricky Romero card.
Enough writing on my part. Scroll down past this and enjoy the set in all its scanned glory. No gimmicks, no parallels, no bloat, just Blue Jays. EPIC FTW!!!
Thanks again to my awesome, lovely wife for getting it into my hands. It may not be a Topps Baseball Sticker Album and a handful of stickers, but in this case it is the best next thing!! I like the addition of the Dough Dude rookie card, makes me laugh.
As I was writing this post I thought it would not be complete without a specific embedded video.