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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1991 Baseball Cards A-Z (Part 3)

Continuing my review of 1991 baseball card issues to celebrate my completing my 1991 collection. Today I'm only going to cover Score since they had 7 issues. I'll throw in a couple of subsets from their base set. This will be the last Score base set that I will buy in any any significant quantity. In my opinion, their design and quality declined after 1991 until they were eventually acquired by Pinnacle in the consolidations and card business upheavals in the later 1990s.

1991 Score
I've been highlighting what I believe is the transitional nature of the 1991 releases. The Score set is another good example. This is the 4th year for Score. The basic design hasn't changed much since 1988. The fronts continue to feature colored borders, although this year and 1990 tended to be brighter colors than the previous years. The colors, in general, do not relate to team colors. But although the design hasn't changed much, it is the way cards will look for many years, with bright colors, full color photos on the back and lots of subsets. Still no gloss, foil or many inserts though.

This was a huge set, with 893 cards. There were a lot of subsets. Here are a couple.

Chipper is the key card in most sets from 1991.

As World Series commemorative cards go, this is a good one.

Do you remember the year the World Series was interrupted by an earthquake? Correction: The earthquake was in 1989 so this is actually a card from the 1990 score set. Sorry about that.

Score Cooperstown
The only way you could get this insert set was to buy the base set factory set, which is what I had done. Score put Griffey, in only his third season in some pretty lofty company in this set. Other players in the 7-card set included Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Barry Larken and Will Clark. Of this group only Clark and Griffey are not in the Hall. Clark didn't receive enough votes in 2006 to stay in the running and Griffey isn't yet eligible. This is a nice looking little set and is readily available on eBay. In fact, you can get the whole Score set, all 900 cards, on eBay for $5.

Score Hot Rookies
These cards were inserted, 1 per pack, in 100-card blister packs. I bought the entire 10-card set on eBay in 2004. Of the 10 players included, only Kevin Maas (hyped as the next Don Mattingly) was a total bust, so it's a nice little set.

Score Mantle
As I mentioned a few days ago, this was one of the two last 1991 cards I needed. This was a 7-card set inserted into Series 2 Score. Since I didn't actually buy any packs of Score in 1991, this is the first card from this set I've ever seen.

Score 100 Rising Star
This was a 100-card set available only as a factory set which Score started issuing in 1989. I only have 4 of these, all of which I got in various repacks over the years.

Score 1991 Rookie
This was a 40-card set, again only available as a factory set. Unlike all the other cards Score issued in 1991, these cards have a glossy finish on the front (but not on the back). I have 5 of these (4 of those are Phillies) but I have no idea where I got them.

Score Rookie/Traded
Everybody was producing update sets in 1991 which were usually only available as complete sets. The Score set had 110 cards. I have only 3, probably acquired in repacks.

I'd forgotten that Carter played one year for the Dodgers. He just passed away on February 16, of brain cancer. He was only 57 years old.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Song of the Week - Philadelphia by The Kissaway Trail

A nice version of this Neil Young song, from the movie Philadelphia. This was recorded at the Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) in Philadelphia.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Random Cards From My Collection #13

Card #2007
2003 Fleer Double Header Double Keg Griffey/Barry Larkin
This was a weird set. The top of the card folded up to reveal Barry Larkin.

Card #26894
1989 Upper Deck #139 Tony Fernandez
Young collectors today, I think, can't imagine how revolutionary this set was in 1989.

Card #28328
2001 Upper Deck #369 Lance Berkman
This card features the basic design for every year of Upper Deck for the next decade.

Card #4886
2005 Fleer Authentix Hot Ticket Die Cuts #7 Mike Piazza
Before they went under, Fleer had so many different releases in the 2000s with so many different inserts it was hard to keep up with them.

Card #21295
1995 Ultra #210 Heathcliff Slocumb
One of the hallmarks of early Ultra was multiple photos on the back. This was an interesting variation on the theme.

Card #23538
1996 Topps #268 Brian L. Hunter
Topps had some interesting card back designs in the 1990s.

Card #5777
2000 Fleer Focus Future Vision #3 Ruben Mateo
 Another crazy Fleer insert set.

Card #15193
2010 Topps #239 Juan Uribe
How many baseball cards do you have with this Yahoo! ad on it?

Card #29608
1998 Ultra #407 Bobby Estalella
According to Wikipedia, Estalella holds the distinction of having hit the most career home runs in MLB history by a player who also had fewer than 200 career hits. That would be 48 home runs in 195 career hits.

Card #17967
2010 Bowman #175 Tim Lincecum
2010 was a big year for Lincecum. He was an All-Star, he won 2 games in the World Series, leading the Giants to the championship and he won the 2010 NL Babe Ruth Award.