Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The 1990s Baseball Card Face-off

Continuing with the Red playoff level of the 2nd quartile of the Babe Ruth Division. Here's the current position.

By the way, if you can't read this, click on the chart to see a larger version. I'm sure you knew that. And while I'm by-the-waying, you can find all the posts in this series by clicking on the tag at the end of the post. You probably knew that as well.

Today we've got 1997 Ultra (a set I didn't buy much of) and 1998 Zenith (a set I don't have any of).

1997 Ultra #406 Kenny Lofton

1997 Ultra #256 Curt Schilling

There is certainly nothing wrong with 1997 Ultra, but as a product, I never much cared for the Ultra line. On reason may be is that year after year, the designs looked pretty much the same to me. You have your full bleed glossy photo on the front with the player name in large print (usually something cursive) at the bottom. You have your multiple photos on the back, and player stats, sometimes full career sometimes not. This year is pretty typical of a lot of years of Ultra. An attractive card but it just doesn't grab me.

1998 Zenith #14 Mike Piazza

1998 Zenith #32  Roger Clemens

These are literally the first cards I've ever seen of this 100-card set. It's one of the last sets produced by the Donruss/Leaf/Score/Pinnacle mash up of the late 1990s. It's not bad looking. I always like the design feature where the parts of the front photo extend into the border of the cards. Having said that, I think the front borders are too wide and the logo is too obtrusive. The cards are kind of dark as well. only has 7 cards from the set scanned, which leads me to believe it wasn't very popular. The color scheme depends on the team colors. There's an Orioles card that's orange where these cards are blue. Still dark. The wheel 'o stats on the back is a bit weird and hard to read.

The Results: In the last post I gave the edge to 1993 Stadium Club over the gimmicky 1998 Topps Stars. I'm going to do the same here and go for 1997 Ultra.

That leaves us near the end of the Red level of this quartile.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

One of my favorite gimmicks of all-time was Pinnacle's Zenith Dare to Tear cards. Loved the idea of embedding a card inside of a larger card and making the collector choose whether or not they were going to rip the 5x7 card open. If we're going on design alone, I'd probably agree with you. But if you gave me the choice of opening a box of 1997 Fleer Ultra or a box of 1998 Pinnacle Zenith, I'd go with the later. In fact, I'd rather have a box of Zenith over a case of Ultra.