Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The 1990s Baseball Cards Face-Off - 1998 Pacific Invincible vs. 1994 Topps

Check this post to see my methodology.

After the last round, we were here:

We're going to finish off the Blue level of this Quartile this week. Next week we'll move on the winner of this section (the Black level) while we're still somewhat familiar with this block of 16 cards. The Black level will the the Semi-finals of the Babe Ruth Division. Remember, we've got 256 cards to get through in this exercise so I'm in it for the long term.

Today we've got 1998 Pacific Invincible vs. 1994 Topps.

1998 Pacific Invincible

1998 Pacific Invincible is one of the very few 1990s sets of which I don't own a single card. I got these images from The Trading Card Database. It was a 150 card set, apparently meant for the Hispanic market as there doesn't appear to be any English on it. The card appears to have an excessive amount of gold foil, assuming that the background for the right 3/4 of the card is foil (which wouldn't be a bad assumption for late 1990s Pacific). I don't really care much for all-horizontal sets, and this set looks a lot like 1990 Topps Big. The cards have an out-of-context action photo and a head shot on the front. An unfortunate design choice was to use the same head shot on the back as the front but to reverse the photo on the back. That meant the hat logo needed to be removed so the team logo wouldn't be backward. Very strange.

1994 Topps

1994 Topps is a great looking card. Good photography on the front with highlight colors that sort of match the team color scheme. Easily readable script for the player name. This is the 2nd year of a 10-year stretch where Topps came up with a new substantially different back design every year. Nice sized color photo on the back and a striking color scheme. I'm not sure I like the fake marble behind the stats, as at the time I thought it looked like a pattern you could get with web design software. The cards are glossy front and back. Topps wouldn't start adding foil to their flagship card until next year, 1995, although there was a foil parallel for 1994.

The results: 1994 Topps, without a doubt. The reversed photo on the back with a sloppily removed logo really kills 1998 Pacific Invincible.

So going forward:
Coming up 1996 Circa vs. 1994 SP.


Nachos Grande said...

I believe the Invincible set had the player's head printed on clear acetate (plastic). Hence the reverse image on the backside of the card. I think I own one or two cards from this set - they are certainly unique...and I don't think you can judge it accurately until you hold an actual card in hand! I'm giving Pacific my vote!

capewood said...

Thanks NG. I should have guessed that about the acetate window. They did the same thing on the 1999 set, which I do have some cards.

duaned99 said...

Removing the logo from the cap on the back bothers me too much. I would have been fine with the backwards logo knowing it was a mirror image of the front. I would also give 94 Topps my vote.