July 24, 2012

Royals vs. Cards: Attack of the Clones

Vincent Edward Jackson, or Bo, as he is known, may be the only true superstar athlete to ever play in Kansas City.  George Brett is without a doubt the greatest Royal and universally known and revered, but he never quite reached Bo's status in American pop culture.

Bo was an amazing athlete, racking up the yards on the gridiron as a Raider and on Tecmo Bowl, and hitting homers and throwing out runners on the diamond as a Royal.  George was still the more valuable Royal, but he was no Bo Jackson.  Bo was all over television from Sesame Street to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to ProStars, a Saturday morning cartoon that also starred Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan.

Bo knows Bo Peep.

Bo Jackson was everywhere; we'll probably never see another Royal with his level of fame. Of course, with superstardom came numerous baseball cards, including a lot of unlicensed knockoffs that used images stolen from various magazine shoots, Nike ads, and even legitimate cards. Traders tend to refer to these as "Oddball" or "Broder" cards, and they really are pretty goofy. In today's edition of Royals vs. Cards, we'll be looking at the most bullshit of these bullshit Bo Jackson cards.

1991 AAMER (No #):

We have to give AAMER some credit here, as they didn't just slap an image on a card and call it good.  No, they slapped half of an image and half of another image on a card and called it good.  Unfortunately, the combination of the two images is a massive fail because the lighting & shadows are completely different with each headshot, not to mention how the helmet/faceguard & turtleneck/ballcap just look ridiculous cut off as they are.  Of course, the worst offense is cutting off the U in Running Back so it reads RJNNING BACK.

1990 Special Edition (No #):

Hell, maybe AAMER wasn't so innovative.  Special Edition (clever name!) has also combined two halves of Bo.  Actually, I'm not sure it's 50/50.  Maybe 60/40 or 65/35.  Though Bo's holding a bat with his right hand and a third creepy severed hand, perhaps Thing from the Addams Family or Ash's hand from Evil Dead 2, so that's pretty badass.

1990 Poster Picks (No #):

That pink Poster Picks band in the top right corner is there to cover up the Nike logo. This photo was used in the popular Bo Knows print ads that featured legendary musician Bo Diddley.  The television commercials for the Bo Knows campaign were some of the best of all time. Unfortunately, this is a clear case of some random company basically xeroxing an image, putting a blurry print of Bo's taint on a blank card, and selling it themselves. The text should read "Bo Knows Copyright Infringement."

1990 Bo Knows #10:

Bo knows unitards!

1990 Bo Knows #7:

Bo knows riding crops. 


Also, Bo would be a terrible jockey.

1990 Brain Power (No #):

Bo knows stonewashed jeans, mustard-color socks, and Ernest Hemingway novels.  I would like to see some verification of his doctorate, however.

1990 Bo Knows #A:

Yo, Bo! Why is Bart Simpson so big?  And why is he floating six inches off the ground? And why are there still new Simpsons episodes airing eighteen years after Bo Jackson retired from baseball?  

1990 Bo Knows #B:

Bart's image has been reversed from the previous card, but he's still huge and floating!  And still the intellectual property of Matt Groening and Fox! Radical, Bo!

1990 Bo Knows #C:

Hey, they found another unlicensed Bart Simpson image to use!  But they apparently only had one Bo Jackson with a surfboard image.  For some reason, the two of them are lying in a puddle of bright yellow urine, rather than the traditional grey abyss.  Surf's up, Bo!

1993 Broder (No #):

Bo knows alleged pederasts!

Just kidding. 

Nobody ever made an oddball card out of this awesome Michael Jackson/Bo Jackson picture.  But that gives me an idea...

Go Royals! You're the Best!


  1. This is some excellent work, JR.

    Bo really was everywhere.

    1. Thanks! I have even more of these knockoffs. I guess I wasn't smart enough to tell the difference between Topps and these goofy unlicensed cards when I was younger. Maybe I'll do a part two at some point.

    2. How about all the Royals cards that KC area police officers would hand out? Here's the complete 1993 Set.


    3. I ended up with like six Jose Linds that summer.

    4. I have a ton of those police sets. My favorite part were the cartoons with tips on the back, valuable information like "Look both ways before crossing the street!" and "Don't play with matches!"


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