Monday, August 18, 2008
I really liked this set when it came out, and even now the cards still look pretty nice. Taking a lead from the 1988 set, these cards are predominantly white and have a nice gloss to them. It's a very clean design with a solid color border. On most cards, some part of the player protrudes through the top of the frame, giving the cards a nice 3-D sort of look to them.
Let's rip this whole thing all at once.
First a shot of the "before".
You can see a "Super Star Specials" card showing featuring Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott, as well as a card for Rich Yett. I didn't have enough room to show the third section of the pack.
Here's the whole pack.
636 300 Strikeout Club - Ryan & Scott - Our first HOFer right there
243 Cris Carpenter - the original model, no "h" in his first name
490 Dave Clark
201 Ron Darling
190 Mickey Tettleton
530 Carlton Fisk - man I have been pulling this HOFer like crazy!
441 Alvaro Espinoza - one of the last all-field, no-hit middle infielders
566 Steve Lake - missing his parrot!
308 Rafael Palmeiro - looking quite fit and trim from his first go-round with Texas
591 Dale Murphy - looking a bit sad and/or confused
614 Jeff Robinson
389 Tim Belcher - do you think he ever tried to say his own name while belching, or did he just try the alphabet like the rest of us?
161 Bob Melvin - that .279 OBP at the bottom of the card suggests that perhaps he would be better off as a manager...hmm...
234 Rafael Ramirez - hey it's our second Rafael of the pack!
3 Jose Canseco - a decent pull for 1990, although dampened by his injury-shortened 1989 season.
Dumb sticker thing
504 Rich Yett
203 Sid Fernandez - big grin and bonus high-pants action!
186 Bill Ripken - ahh, the lesser brother
535 Shawn Hillegas
456 Don Slaught
572 Bruce Ruffin - he never lived up to the hype with Philly but he had a great season or two with the Rockies late in his career
313 Nolan Ryan - here's Ryan's proper card, and another HOF pull
589 Oddie McDowell
620 Frank Williams
396 Jeff Hamilton
179 Brian Holton
228 Glenn Davis - hurt terribly by playing in the Astrodome, although once he got out as part of the Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch trade to Baltimore, he couldn't hit anymore.
23 Bob Welch - a solid pitcher at this point, just about to have the best year of his career
538 Ron Kittle - the .378 OBP and .556 were somehow not enough to keep him in the majors for long
421 Chris Hammond - this is the guy who disappeared after 1998 only to resurface in 2002 as a relief ace. He had 3 excellent years in 2002, 2003, and 2004 before fading and retiring for real after 2006.
Stupid sticker thing
473 Mike LaValliere - sure he had a .406 OBP, but only a .400 SLG.
369 Juan Berenguer
164 Mark Parent
447 Don Mattingly - hell yes! Any pack with a Mattingly is a good pack. I loved pulling this card at the time.
220 Juan Agosto - one of the top relievers in MLB at the time
146 Claudell Washington - a decent player at the end of a long career
95 Duane Ward - an early card for a guy who would go on to be an important part of the Blue Jays championship teams in 1992 and 1993
640 Major League Prospects: Rudy Seanez & Colin Charland - Charland never made it to the majors but Seanez is still going strong.
397 Lenny Harris - an early card of the guy who would become MLB's pinch-hit king.
299 Drew Hall
352 Mark Langston - sporting an Expos uni after the trade that brought the Mariners, in part, Randy Johnson
115 Jeff Montgomery
135 Jack Howell
371 Carmen Castillo
League Standouts No.4 Jose Canseco - wow if you're a Canseco fan, this was the rack pack for you.
Idiotic sticker thing
Back in 1990, this would have been a pretty good pack, except for the fact that there aren't many rookies in it. But there are stars aplenty with two Ryans, two Cansecos, Mattingly, Murphy, and a handful of other lesser stars.
I still really like this set. If I had to pick my favorite feature, it's that the color of the border is a good match for the colors of each team. On lots of other sets (notably my binky 1988 Topps) the colors are are a good match for some teams, a so-so match for others, and a lousy match for many.