Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1991 Baseball Cards A-z (Part 4)

Let's get right back to my complete set of 1991 baseball cards.

1991 Stadium Club
If 1991 was indeed a transitional year for baseball cards, Stadium Club is the set that most clearly breaks with the past and sets the standard for years to come. Although most of the elements which define this set have been seen before, this is the first regular issue set to incorporate full-bleed printing, a glossy finish on both sides and gold foil. In the first few years, Topps tried a few other innovations such as the BARS statistical system (they had to include a card to explain) and putting a copy of the players rookie card on the back. While sets like Upper Deck, Leaf and Ultra were called premium sets, Stadium Club was a "super premium" set. The set had 600 cards, very few subsets and no inserts.

1991 Stadium Club Members Only
 This was a 50-card mixed sport set (baseball, basketball, football and hockey) which was available through the mail if you joined the Stadium Club Members Only club. Membership cost $29.95 and got you a discount on the Members Only set. There was other stuff you could alos buy at a discount. $29.95 seemed a bit pricey to me so I never joined. I have 4 of these cards that I've acquired in trades from other bloggers.

1991 Stadium Club Charter Member
This was another 50-card mixed sport set you could purchase at a discount with your Members Only membership. The cards only differ from the Members Only cards in that they say "Charter Member" on the front. This is another card I got in a trade.

1991 Studio
Another revolutionary set from 1991 was Studio. This 264-card set was produced by Donruss. It featured glossy, black and white photos on the front and some player bio information on the back, but no stats. Donruss will alter some details of this concept in future years but remain true to the concept, studio portraits of the players. I always looked forward to the release of Studio every year.

A few years ago, I saw this card featured on another blogger's page.
This is my favorite card from 1991. I bought the entire boxed set on eBay just so I could have this card. The bird's name is Ruffles.

1991 Studio Previews
As they did with Leaf, Donruss included 4 of the Studio Preview cards in their Donruss factory sets. I have a couple of these but I don't know where I got them.

1991 Topps
This, the 40th anniversary of Topps, would be the last 'traditional' set that Topps will produce. In 1992, the flagship set will be on white card stock and feature color photography on the back. It was a 792 card set with the usual subsets: All-Stars, Rookies, Future Stars, Managers, and Record-Breakers. In my opinion, this was the best set Topps had produced in years, much better than the abomination that was 1990 Topps.

1991 Topps Desert Shield
This version of 1991 Topps, with the gold foil "Desert Shield" logo was available in packs to US service people serving in Saudi Arabia during the 1st Iraq War. Many have found their way into the secondary market. There are a number of auctions currently running on eBay but I think this would be a very difficult, and expensive, set to complete. I paid $3.50 for this in August 2003, which is still the going rate for commons. warns that there are many forgeries of these cards and caution should be used when buying the more expensive cards.

1991 Topps Tiffany
1991 will mark the end of the parallel Topps Tiffany set. These were printed on white card stock with a heavy gloss finish on the front and were only available as a factory set. I got this one in a repack. The only other one I have is a Phillie card I bought on eBay.

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