30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Holy Hologram Hump Day!

When it comes to collecting sports cards... the 80's and early 90's were my formative years.  That's why I'm a huge fan of the Donruss Dick Perez puzzles and Fleer team stickers.  I even love the smell of bubble gum embedded into Topps cards.

In fact if you asked me, "what's the first word that pops into your head when you hear the words Donruss, Fleer, and Topps?"... there's a good chance I'd say puzzles, stickers, and gum.  As for Upper Deck?  It would have to be their cutting edge holograms.

When Upper Deck first hit the scene back in 1989, one of their trademarks was the anti-counterfeiting hologram stamped on the back of each trading card.  Not sure about you, but I thought that was one of the most innovative things to hit the hobby.  And just like that... holograms became their specialty.

Today I want to share one of my favorite hologram insert sets... the 1993 Upper Deck Then and Now set:

The eighteen card set was split into two series with the first nine cards being inserted into the first series...

and the final nine cards placed into second series packs.  Collectors could pull either series at a rate of one per twenty-seven packs.

The design featured a standard portrait photo on one side and a holographic action shot on the other.  I know I'm stretching things a little... but it's reminiscent of my favorite set of all-time: 1956 Topps baseball.

If you're like me, then you can appreciate seeing your favorite stars wearing uniforms from the 70's and early 80's.

And although the card backs don't have your standard statistics, there are some interesting write-ups.  The Ozzie Smith card talks about the play that inspired his nickname, "Wizard of Oz":

And the checklist is loaded with hall of famers.

Out of the eighteen cards... only Hojo and Straw are plaque-less in Cooperstown.

Obviously the Gwynn is one of my personal favorites, but seeing Sandberg in his Phillies uniform is pretty cool too.

The best thing about this set is that it's from the "Junk Wax Era", which means that you can find complete sets for under $20.  I picked up my set for $10 (free shipping) off of eBay earlier in the month.  Not bad for a set that once commanded over $50.  Back then... Mantle alone would sell in the $15 to $20 range.

Okay... it's your turn.

What's the first word that pops into your head when you hear the name, Topps?  How about Fleer?  Donruss?  Upper Deck?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. That hologram set is one of the best insert sets ever.

  2. For me it's more visual. I get a quick picture with each name...

    Topps - 60's & 70's vintage
    Fleer - Star Stickers or the year under the logo on the back
    Donruss - 1981 design or Diamond Kings
    Upper Deck - white border '89 thru '93s or marble countertop colors instead of solid shades.
    Like the green in these:

    1. I can definitely see your point of view. If someone were to ask me what company I associate with "vintage", I'd say Topps. Diamond Kings are one of... if not... the greatest subset in the history of trading cards. Star Stickers weren't too shabby either.

  3. Love the holorgrams! I am a huge hologram fan. To me that is still the best "hit" the hobby has ever come up with.

    As for your question...hmm, that requires some thinking.

    For Topps the first thing I think of is the vintage sets. Pulling my first 1 of 1 is pretty high too.

    Fleer I think of my first NBA set, back in February 1996. It started a monster that is still going (I hit NBA #78,000 this week) and changed my life significantly for the better.

    Donruss is almost a blank to me. For many years the only Donruss cards I owned were 3 from the Dukes of Hazzard set. Now I associate them with the gift of more than 600 I was given from the 1989 baseball set in 2014.

    Upper Deck I tend to think of most of the sets being small with serially numbered cards included. This is not something I'm particularly fond of, actually.

    1. Billy... I envy your cataloging skills. Congratulations on hitting 78k NBA cards. And Dukes of Hazzard cards? Gonna try to track down some of those right now.