Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Triple Play Baseball Cards

Does anybody remember the Donruss produced sets in the mid-1990s called Triple Play? At this time there was some tentative attempts by the card companies to get kids more interested in collecting baseball cards. Adults (like me) had muscled into the hobby. The card companies, like tobacco companies, figured, if you got the kids early you had a customer for life. Topps had Topps Kids in 1992 and Upper Deck had Fun Pack in 1994. Donruss had 1992 Triple Play.The cards were pretty cheap to buy and featured graphics and other features that Donruss thought would appeal to kids. Late 1980s Donruss were known for their wacky backgrounds and 1992 Triple Play probably owes to that lineage. The red fading to sun bright yellow was certainly eye catching. Some of the photography was pretty good as well.
The set featured team mascots.
And cards with stars as kids. Do you recognize Cal Ripken, Jr.?
There was one insert set, the Gallery of Stars which was similar to the Diamond Kings inserts in the Donruss base set. Triple Play lasted for three years, but Donruss gave up on the outrageous graphics to produce this somber black bordered set in 1993.
They still had the mascots, the Little Hotshots and the Action Packed subsets but the thrill was gone. By 1994, Triple Play looked like any other full-bleed mid-1990s set. The subsets were gone and the set had 5-6 insert sets.
Did any of these kid-friendly cards turn any kids into life-long collectors? I doubt it. Kids that were in the target age at this time (lets say 8-12 year-olds), would be approaching their 30's today. Considering the state of the hobby today, I'd guess not many people of that age are collecting cards.

I'd be interested to know if anybody out there got turned onto collecting by Triple Play or Topps Kids or Upper Deck Fun Pack.


night owl said...

I bought several packs of the first version of Triple Play. I don't know why -- probably because I was buying everything that moved then.

In fact, I received a '92 Triple Play card in the mail today.

FanOfReds said...

I actually started collecting cards right around then (just a bit earlier, say 1990) - and yes, I'm rapidly approaching my thirties (ack!)

I didn't, however, have much interest in the Triple Play line...I don't think the appeal was ever there for me.

Anonymous said...

i randomly thought about looking up the value of these cards due to this being the only card i had collected when i was younger. i have all 3 years completed sets with all the insert set and misprinted error cards. i thought they would have some value due to such a short printing....

capewood said...

Beckett lists the 1992 set at $10; the 1993 set at $15; and the 1994 set at $25. Compare to, say, 1994 Topps which books at $50.