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!