Philadelphia’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider Man

Dave Hollins was a slightly above average bat in the lineup of Philadelphia Phillies teams that challenged for National League titles in the early 1990s. He fit in with the ethos of the team, reportedly smashing fixtures in Veterans Stadium and frequently described by teammates as “intense.” The good news is he seemed to leave the craziness at the ballpark and appears to be an otherwise normal human being, something that can’t always be said for the rest of the era’s Phillies. He would go on to play for several teams looking for a stable bat, including the Minnesota Twins who traded away David Ortiz to the Red Sox to get him.

At the time of this card’s release Hollins was known as the cleanup hitter on a team headed for the World Series. This was overshadowed by how his career ended: As the victim of a severe spider bite. Hollins was bit on the leg while preparing for the 2002 season. The wound became infected, a serious issue that was complicated by Hollins’ diabetes and threatened to lead to amputation as problems developed. He spent most of the season on the disabled list. He appeared primarily as a pinch hitter in 14 games at the end of the year before announcing his retirement from the game.

Another Hollins Card Worth Looking At

Refractors weren’t the only gimmicky insert in 1993. Upper Deck had long been producing “limited” chase cards and its 1993 offerings were much expanded over prior years. One of my favorites that year was Homerun Heroes, a set of 28 cards inserted at a rate of one per Series One jumbo pack. Given the small checklist, collectors opening these packs were more likely to find an insert of their favorite player rather than the base variety. The checklist left something to be desired, with a wide net cast in search of slugging potential. What made these cards great wasn’t the checklist, but rather the wooden bat at the bottom of the card. The bat is embossed in such a way to be raised above the surface of the card, resulting in a tangible feeling when the card is held in hand.