Jimmy Dean, perhaps best known to some of us as the entrepreneur who started the Jimmy Dean Meat Company (Jimmy Dean Sausages!), died today at the age of 81. Prior to his business venture, Dean was actually a well-known country music artist who won a Grammy for the 1961 smash hit, "Big Bad John"- a song about a coal miner who saves the lives of fellow coal miners after a mine roof collapses. Later, he would host a television show, The Jimmy Dean show, and then in 1969 Dean started his meat company. In February of this year, Dean was elected into the country music hall of fame, and was to be inducted later this year. Too bad we won't be able to enjoy the induction ceremony.
So, to remember the fallen legend, let's take a look at one of the Jimmy Dean Signature Edition cards from 1991.
1991 Jimmy Dean Signature Edition #3 Dale Murphy
The 1991 set was the first in a series of sets put out by the sausage company, and was included in packages of their various products. Included in the set were the typical stars included in the early '90s odd-ball issues: Griffey Jr., The Big Hurt, Nolan Ryan, and the Dale Murhpy shown above. While I'm usually not real crazy about the color scheme used on this set, I think it actually works this time. I also think that the Jimmy Dean logo in the upper left corner is a great addition to the front of the card. As was the case with most (if not all) odd-ball issues from this time, the cards were not licensed by MLB. Thus, they were not permitted to use any of the logos associated with MLB. Thankfully, the photo of Murph that was used for his card didn't need to have an artist try to cover up a team name or logo. The back of the cards struck out, though. Using the yellow border reminds me of the 1991 Fleer baseball product, which in my opinion was one of the ugliest sets of all-time. I do, however, like the rest of the back-particularly the facsimile autos. What would have been cooler, though, would be an empty spot for the collector to try to get an authentic signature.