this post covers the 1995 new york yankees and cards numbered 297 to 300 in the set. here are the fronts:
what team is this?: the 1995 new york yankees - winner of the first american league wild card - who lost the best of five alds to the mariners in dramatic fashion after winning the first two games
why this team?: this was the first yankee team to make the postseason since 1981, so i guess that's why.
which players are featured?: don mattingly, paul o'neill, jack mcdowell, and wade boggs.
why these players?: well, for one, they were all retired by the time this set was released, which was important. aside from that, o'neill led the club in homers and rbi, mcdowell led the team in wins, and boggs had the team's highest batting average. and mattingly was the captain. let's break it down.
don mattingly hit .288 during the regular season - the last of his career. in the postseason, however, donnie baseball hit .417 with four doubles, a home run, and six rbi in the yankees' five game series against the mariners. that alds performance is the basis of his memorable moments card in the set.
paul o'neill, as was previously mentioned, led the team in home runs and rbi in 1995, and he did the same in the alds with 3 long balls and 6 rbi, tying mattingly for the team lead.
jack mcdowell joined the yankees for the 1995 season via trade, and went 15-10 during the regular season with a league leading 8 complete games. he had finished the regular season with a 4-0 record in 5 september starts, but wound up 0-2 in the playoffs. mcdowell took the loss in a game 3 start, and then again was the pitcher of record at the end of game 5 when he allowed the game and series-winning double in the bottom of the 11th to edgar martinez that scored joey cora and ken griffey jr. it should be noted that mcdowell entered the game (he relieved rookie mariano rivera) in the bottom of the 9th with two on, one out, and he struck martinez out and retired alex rodriguez to preserve the tie and force extra innings.
wade boggs hit .324 in his third season as a yankee to lead the club during the regular season. the 1995 alds was, of course, his first taste of postseason play as a yankee, and he was 3 for 5 with a double and a homer run in game 1. after going 0 for 4 with two walks in game 2, boggs was rested in game 3. he returned for game 4 and was 2 for 4 with a double and another walk. in the decisive game 5, however, boggs was 0 for 5 with an uncharacteristic 3 strikeouts.
the stadium on the back is…?: yankee stadium, of course.
did upper deck get it right?: the 1995 mariners would have been a better choice to represent this season, as would the eventual world champion braves. still, upper deck did a decent job with player selection given the fact that several yankees from the 1995 team were still active in 2004. as for the photos, they could all be from 1995 as far as i know. the mcdowell photo certainly comes from the 1995 postseason because of the bunting in the background and the black armband/number memorial he is wearing for mickey mantle.
is this team timeless?: nope. this team is only remembered for being the only team that don mattingly took to the postseason and not much else since they lost to the mariners in the division series.