Tuesday, November 4, 2014

1991 - A turning point in the baseball card collecting hobby? Part 2

Picking up where I left off with my collection of 1991 John Kruk cards with some speculation on my part about the historical significance, if any, of each set.

1991 Stadium Club #227
Of all the issues in 1991, Stadium Club was certainly a game changer. It was the first main-stream set to feature full-bleed printing, glossy finish on the front and back and gold foil stamping. These features will become standard on nearly all cards in the future.  It was issued in 2 series of 300 cards each.

1991 Topps #689
Another last for 1991. The last year Topps will use non-white card stock for their base set.  It was also Topps' 40th anniversary. This is a favorite set of mine, especially considering how terrible 1990 Topps had been. I always liked the 40th anniversary logo.

1991 Topps Desert Shield #689
Although we're still a few years before the time when parallel cards will become common, there are several parallels of 1991 Topps. The Desert Storm cards were produced for US soldiers involved in the Desert Shield Operation in Iraq. The talk in the hobby at the time was that cards were being sent back to the US but were pretty scarce. I paid $6.00 for this on eBay. Beckett.com warns that forgeries are common.

1991 Topps Micro #689
This was a parallel of postage sized cards sold as a complete set. They were available only in 1991 and 1992. I have the entire set from 1992 but never saw them in 1991. I will have this card. I can get an individual Kruk for 99 cents plus $2.50 shipping. Or for a little more I can get the whole boxed set. But then I found someone selling just the Phillies cards from the set for about what just the Kruk was going for and put in a bid.

1991 Topps Tiffany #689
Topps had been producing this glossy parallel set, which was only available as a boxed set, for a number of years. I believe this was the last year for this. I recently bought this card for $2.51. They are not hard to find today but I imagine individual cards would have been scarce in 1991.

1991 Topps Triple Headers #NL-8 John Kruk/Lenny Dykstra/Dale Murphy

This, of course, is not a baseball card but Beckett.com listed it anyway. It's about the size of a ping pong ball but of thicker plastic and has baseball seams molded in. Three players are featured. There is one for each of the 26-teams then in existence. They could have easily gotten four players on this. It came packaged in a little box complete with a small stand. It was only $3.95 on eBay so I got it.
There is a checklist on the back side of the box. The box also conttained a little bag containing 0.4 oz. of, I'm sure, delicious candy. Candy made in China!
I am not eating this.

1991 Ultra #266
Another first for 1991. Three major card sets made their debut in 1991: Leaf, Stadium Club and Ultra. 1991 Ultra is a full bleed card like Stadium Club but it doesn't have the glossy finish or the foil stamping. That will come in 1992.

1991 Upper Deck #199

 Upper Deck, which pioneered the whole concept of premium baseball cards just 2 years before, by 1991, is starting to look a little tired, considering the Leaf/Stadium Club/Ultra releases. It will take Upper Deck until 1994 to catch up.

1991 US Playing Card All-Stars 
I got this in a trade with blogger Night Owl a few years ago. Playing card sets featuring baseball cards used to be fairly common.

1991 US Playing Card All-Stars Silver
This wraps up the Beckett.com listing for 1991 Kruk cards. I have no idea what the silver version looks like and couldn't even find the regular card, much less the silver, on eBay.

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