Oh, the majesty of this follow-through:
Darryl Strawberry had one of the best-looking swings of his era. Some might even venture to say one of the best of all time.
And it wasn't just looks, of course. Darryl was utterly dominant for a few years there in the 1980s, and played a big part in leading the Mets to the World Championship in 1986, the year before this baseball card hit shelves at Kay-Bee toy stores everywhere.
Mr. Strawberry hit 27 home runs in that championship year, and it's quite possible that the very swing you're looking at resulted in one of those 27. Just look at his eye line. Seems like he's tracing the flight of the ball as it soars through the air, soon to be headed over the right-center field wall at Shea Stadium.
In 1987, while kids were sorting through the 33 cards in this boxed set, Darryl was busy adding up even more home runs and stolen bases, and would join the esteemed 30-30 club by the end of the season (39 HR, 36 SB).
Here's a scan of the card back:
The blurb about the majestic home run he hit in Game 7 of the World Series matches perfectly with the image on the card front, doesn't it?
And here's another perfect match:
He hit that home run 33 years ago today.
As for the man himself, he had a great career (1983 NL Rookie of the Year, 8 All-Star games, 2 Silver Slugger awards, 3 World Series rings, 335 home runs, 1,000 RBI). But some troubles off the field, injuries, and illnesses meant that career could have been even better. And if his career had panned out so completely, the image on the front of this baseball card could have very well been used as a study for the bronze statue the Mets would have made for him and placed outside of Citi Field. Just scroll up one more time and picture that image in bronze.
For celebrating the athlete's dominance, wondering what could have been, and most of all for that glorious follow-through, 1987 Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball #31 has a spot in my box of favorite cards.