Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Things I Like But You Don't

I recently discovered that I’m running out of players to post on my '67 blog, so I am jumping on a recent blogging topic (better late than never)  a) to pontificate, and b) to delay having the card well run dry.

Things I Like That (many of) You Don’t 

1. 1990 Donruss 

2. 1991 Donruss 

3. 1991 Fleer

What’s a vintage-card fan like me doing liking these junk-wax sets? Simply because they are the first sets I collected with my sons. My oldest son was 3 in 1990, and whenever I went to the Wawa or other convenience stores, I always came back with several rack packs. He and I would spend hours lining up all his red '90 Donruss cards on our living room floor.

In 1991 we did it all again, except the cards were blue and yellow, and my younger son joined in too. Oh, we also collected a smaller amount of '90 Fleer and '91 Topps, but they seemed bland when compared to the splash of color in the above sets. (By 1992 they grew tired of baseball cards - preferring GI Joe cards instead.)

4. Sets with cards for every player. Yep, that's what they did back in the 60s and 70s.

5. Checklist cards – It helped that yellow was my favorite color back then. It was a great way to keep track of who you had and who you needed. That the next series' checklist was included in the previous series also gave you a preview of who was to come next.

6. Team cards – Loved those photos super-imposed on bright yellow backgrounds! Plus, you got the rundown of the whole pitching staff on the back (albeit last year's pitchers).

7. Manager cards – They had either tales of these old-timers' playing careers, or funny cartoons on the back.

8. 1970 Topps – No one seems to like the gray borders. I wasn't crazy about them either at first, but there’s a lot of good new photos – a refreshing change from 1969.

9. Multi-player cards. These seemed to peak in the 1967 set.

10. All-Star cards (separate from their base cards).

Things I Don’t Like That (many of) You Do

1. Cards after 1972 (except the first 3 sets mentioned above, and 1981 Topps). 1972 was the last set I chased pack-by-pack as a kid. In recent decades I have collected all the Phillies cards up through 1993 (and again from 2008-2012). I also have factory sets from 1981 and 1987-92, but I have little interest in those cards (and the players shown on them) now. I can’t see myself ever chasing another set from 1973 onward.

The rest of these are pretty much covered by what I just said above, but I’ll continue anyway.

2. Chrome/gold/black/refractors/parallels/relics/blah-blah-blah. It's all just marketing nonsense. (And how do you know your relic actually came from a game-worn jersey? Because the card company said so?)

3. Intentionally omitting half a team's roster, just so they can have multiple cards of stars.

4. Short prints to create scarcity. 

5. Putting non-baseball subjects on baseball cards. 

6. Intentionally including retired players in current sets. I loved Mickey Mantle, but he shouldn't be in a current-player set after 1969.

7. Unlicensed, logo-less cards. Why do they bother?

8. The obsession with inserts. 

9. The obsession over “official” rookie cards. If it's the player's first card, it's his rookie card! For decades, no one needed MLB sanctioning things with their "RC" stamp of approval.

10. Graded cards.


bbcardz said...

About your "Things I Like That (many of) You Don’t " list--I agree 100%! I like every item on that list. I especially like those All-Star cards that have a totally different design/layout compared to the base card.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Great minds think alike. lol

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

Really wish the full roster for a team would make its way back into sets.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Yes, back then we would have missed out on Phil Linz and Mike de la Hoz!

Kraft1963 said...

I have not seriously collected in a long time. This list was very educational about modern cards. First of all, what is a "relic," in the context of baseball cards? Second, I had not seen the early 90's sets until I researched this post. I really like the 1991 Fleer. I think those are good for the same reason that the 1968, 1970 and 1971 Topps are good. If sandstone, gray and black borders are ok, then why not yellow? The beauty of baseball card sets is that they can experiment and do something different each year. If you don't like this year's set, just wait until next year and something different will come along. Third, I don't see the problem with post-1972 sets. Some of them were more bland than 1972, but the bland ones are necessary to contrast with the colorful sets. I did not like 1973 as a child, but now I can appreciate the basic simplicity of the card. I also appreciate 1974 and 1978 for a similar reason. But I have a hard time telling apart the sets from 1952 through 1958 (except for 1957) simply because I am not used to them.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Hi Kraft,

A relic is a card that includes a swatch of a jersey, or a piece of wood from a bat, or other such items. Like this: