Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Random Ray - 1994 Leaf

 I have sorted out two Leaf sets the past two nights.  

You can make the argument that the mid 1990s Leaf sets have better card backs than card fronts, but that is for another post. For tonight, I am going to just focus on one Ray Lankford card from one of these stacks. I am going to go with the left pile and the 1994 Leaf.  

Card front.  

Decent design. I don't love the marble look at the bottom, but it's a good backdrop for the name, team name, and Leaf card logo. Colored marble was hip in the 1990s. That could be the counter in a movie theater.  

The full color photo of Ray taking a swing during a day game at Wrigley Field is great. I feel like he had a lot of card photos in Wrigley Field during the mid 1990s. That could be another post. Meanwhile, there is nothing unique enough about this photo to help me track down the game like I did in my last Ray Lankford post. The way he is looking, I would guess this is a foul ball behind third base or into left field.  

There are still two oddities in this picture, at least for Ray Lankford.  

First, I am not going to make a huge collage, but Ray Lankford always (apparently not) wore Franklin Batting Gloves with a single Franklin sweatband on his glove hand, or bottom batting hand. I do not even know what brand those gloves are in the photo. Here is a photo of prime Ray Lankford and old Ray Lankford wearing Franklin Batting Gloves.  

Second, Ray Lankford always (apparently not) used a Louisville Slugger bat. They varied in color, but always that brand of bat. I have one in my baseball card room that will be on an upcoming post.  That bat on the Leaf card is a Rawlings with the red ring around the middle. 

Weird that those two things are different on the card. I know players are particular about their equipment.  

Back of the card.  

Are those Franklin Batting Gloves?  

Yes, they are Franklin Batting Gloves.  

I really like the back of the Leaf cards from this era, just really colorful. Yes, the stats are a bit of an afterthought, but we have color photos taking up the entire back of the card. It doesn't seem like a big deal in 2023, but it was mind-blowing in 1994. 

Love the contrast of Busch Stadium at night with the photo of Ray running during a Spring Training game. It's the only time the Cardinals would wear their batting practice jerseys like that.  I also like the ticket stub with the biographical information, team logo, and portrait photo.


  1. Back in the 90's, my buddy and I bought a ton of Franklin batting gloves from Big Lots and sold them to our softball teammates and the rest at the flea market. We did really well off of them. Years later he found the surplus of gloves in his garage... so we started using them as golf gloves.

    1. LOL. What is the difference between batting gloves and golf gloves? I have never golfed outside of hitting a few balls off a tee at the driving range. All the gloves are the same? That's awesome that you made money off of them. Who would have thought?

  2. I haven't thought about Franklin batting gloves in years. A quick search tells me that they're still being made too, though they seem to have a quite a few different styles these days.


Around The Card Room, Take 17

I got my first job was pushing in carts and bagging groceries at the Dierbergs in Manchester, Missouri during my junior year of high school....