Friday, July 22, 2016

The Good Old Days

Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days...
-Twenty One Pilots

Love it or hate it... the 90's were arguably our beloved hobby's Industrial Revolution.  Card companies had plenty of competition, which forced them to try and outdo each other.  This led to collectors being treated to a new era of sports cards.


Inserts and parallels might have been around for years... but they were now being made out of plastic, wood, and metal.  Manufacturers started serial numbering every other parallel and insert.  Refractors, Mirror Golds, printing plates, 1 of 1's, and memorabilia cards were being inserted into packs of trading cards.


And let's not forget... one of my favorite things to collect... autographed cards.  In 1990 Upper Deck inserted 2,500 Reggie Jackson signed cards into their high series packs.  Star Pics was immediately behind them with their 1990 Draft set... although technically they were inserted into factory sets... not packs.  That opened the floodgates for Donruss, Front Row, Fleer, Pinnacle, Action Packed, Traks, Maxx, Arena, Topps, Press Pass, Classic, Pro Line, Pankhurst, Courtside, Collector's Edge, All World, Score, and just about every other card company out there to follow suit.


Then in 1994 Signature Rookies and Be A Player (Upper Deck) started selling packs that were guaranteed to have at least one autograph in it.  At the time, I was one year away from becoming a die-hard hockey card collector.  But I did bust a bunch of Signature Rookies packs in both baseball and football.  Unfortunately they were draft products, so the athletes weren't featured in their professional uniforms.


1996 Leaf Signature remedied this issue when it became the first MLB set to include at least one autograph per pack.  In fact, the 1996 Leaf Signature Extended packs included two or more autographs per pack and all for the suggested retail price of $9.99.


Sadly... the checklist is filled with lesser known starters and utility players, because Leaf short printed most of the big names.  The good news is that many of these on-card autographs are the only certified MLB pack pulled signatures for these players and most of them can be had for a buck or two.


A few months ago, I was motivated by these two things and decided to build the Oakland A's and San Diego Padres autographed team sets.  I already owned a handful of the signatures from care packages and eBay purchases over the years.  A recent COMC order recently filled in a bunch of the gaps.


Here's what I have so far...








I've used multiple websites to try and narrow down that two team checklists.  Based on my research, I still need seven signatures for my A's set:  29 Mike Bordick, 36 Scott Brosius, 183 Phil Plantier, 56E Mike Gallego, 58E Jason Giambi, 113E Torey Lovullo, and 191E Matt Stairs.


Giambi signed cards for both series and is probably the only card I'll eventually have to pay a premium for.


There weren't as many Padres on their checklist...







Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are the two biggest names on the checklist.  I already have the Gwynn, but I still need a Hoffman along with these three signatures:  12 Brad Ausmus, 41 Andujar Cedeno, and 53E Bryce Florie.


You probably already figured out that Leaf slightly altered the design for their extended series...



As you can see... the card backs are a little different as well.


Judging by the values of most of these signatures, most collectors aren't really into this set.  However for me... it's a piece of cardboard history.  I miss the days when all pack pulled autographs were on-card.  And seriously... what other MLB set out there features eighteen different San Diego Padres players signatures?




Sometimes I really wish that... I could turn back time, to the good old days.


What about you...



What are some hobby related items that you miss from the 90's?

Look forward to reading your comments.  Happy Friday and sayonara!

28 comments:

  1. I miss holograms,and 3-D cards.

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  2. I too love this set and its proven quite useful for my Cubs All Time Roster Collection. Not only does have the only certified autos of a couple of mid 90s relievers, but those same cards are their only Cubs cards at all. Those fringe players barely got love in the overproduction era and they're quite screwed during this monopoly period.

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  3. I was nearly two when these cards came out and didn't care for cards until like 2011 so yeah, I can't answer that question...

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  4. This set is responsible for the only autographed cards of Roberto Kelly, so I'm grateful for that. All three versions can usually be had for just a couple of bucks, which is a far cry from that signed Meulens card from BBM that I'll be chasing for years.

    I miss the lenticular magic motion cards. Just as the technology had improved to allow upwards of 6 different images, Sportflics went down to 2, and then disappeared completely. I really don't understand why these or the motion hologram cards showing actual on-field action didn't catch on.

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    1. What year is the BBM Meulens?

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    2. It's in the 2013 BBM Legendary Foreigners 2 Deep Impact set. I've only seen three copies surface since then, and all sold for more than $70.

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    3. Cool. How many did they make?

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    4. The Meulens is limited to 48 copies.

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  5. Great pick ups. Have to say my eyes gravitated towards that sweet Gwynn. I was able to grab a Julio Franco for $1 at the National last year - just because.

    I'm with them - Holograms and actual lenticular cards need to return.

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  6. I like these cards and am grateful that dodgers such as Mark Guthrie were included in the set. I'd like to see keebler sets come back to get manager and coaches cards.

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  7. I miss eagerly waiting for Upper Deck's next design and seeing The Kid's face on every product. And I love that Leaf set. They were doing a great job in trying to stay ahead

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  8. I'll second The Lost Collector on missing Pacific, but I'll also say that I miss the wide variety of cards which were put out, especially non-sport. The other day I was going through packs at a clearance sale, and was surprised that there are still non-sports sets from the 1990's which surprise me by their existence.

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    1. BTW, I completely ignored these autographed cards in the 1990's, but now that I'm finding how many cheap signatures I can get to fill in my team collections, I've been keeping an eye out for them more and more.

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  9. I miss the days when there were only 1 or 2 parallels to collect and not 18. You would have the Toppsgold cards in Topps at 1 per pack and that was all you needed. Collectors Choice would give you 2 parallels (the Silver signature at 1 per pack and Gold at 1 per box) if you wanted a chance at a tougher parallel, and you always had the Golden Rainbow and 1st Day Issue in Stadium Club and 1 per box refractor in Finest. Pinnacle had the 1 in 3 pack Museum collection and 1 per box Artists proofs, and they hit it just about spot on I think. If you could have a set like Pinnacle with relics and autos and the 2 parallels it would be perfect.

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  10. I've talked about this a million times but I just miss the days of simple collecting..where the big pulls were hard to find insert cards and pulling a plain old jersey card was a holy grail type pull. I miss having more than one company to chose to buy product from (exclusives are the WORST in my opinion). It's been fun to get back into the swing of things, but nothing will be collecting in the mid to late 90's to me.

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    1. I fully agree! I miss the thrill of chasing base sets and wish companies would focus more on that. I got out of collecting originally because there were too many subsets and parallel sets to chase.

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  11. I tried doing a Cubs team set from those Leaf Signature sets, but there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I'd drop $150 on that Sosa. I dig your site, I moved out to the Central Valley about a year ago and your flea market finds inspired me to start frequenting my local ones once I moved to Cali. Maybe I'll even run into ya at a card show or game sometime haha I've been doing alot of A's games this year because who doesn't like $8 baseball?!?

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  12. That was actually an excellent set. I still have a few cards

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  13. sg488 - ditto

    tony b - this set is filled with relievers, set up men, and fringe players. great stuff

    zippy - lol. sorry... i'll try to blog more about 2011 topps baseball in the future.

    jason p - i love lenticular cards. i paid full price for sportflic packs back in the 80's

    community gum - franco for a buck is a steal. paid much more than that for the gwynn.

    gcrl - i too pray for the return of mother's cookies and keebler SGA cards

    tlc & xavier h - i'm one of those guys who didn't really like pacific trading cards back in the day... but i've got to admit, i'd welcome them back with open arms today.

    kevin p - if i could only bring one thing back to our hobby... it'd be upper deck and an mlb license.

    shlabotnikreport - i love non-sport stuff. i've slowly built a nice collection of non-sport packs over the years and at least 50% of them are from the 90's

    jeremya1um - i agree. the hobby has been flooded with rainbow colored parallels, which is fine for me b/c it keeps the value low. however i really feel bad for team and player collectors.

    chris p - nailed it

    patrick s - thanks for checking out my blog. i haven't had much luck at the flea market lately. in fact, i've only made one purchase in the past three weeks. oh well... hope you're having better luck in the central valley. do you ever go to denios market? my buddy mike sets up there and sells sports memorabilia. oh... my next game is august 6. can't miss out on grabbing that sweet billy ball t-shirt

    sport card collectors - did you actually buy packs? they were too rich for my blood back in the day.

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    1. Never been there, I'll have to check it out. I'll be at all the games that weekend as I am a diehard Cubs fan.

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    2. Awesome. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the guy in the Cubs jersey ;) Actually since both of my teams suck again this year... I'm quietly pulling for you guys (except for when you're actually playing us).

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  14. These are new to me and I like them! I went and nabbed a Dennis Martinez cheap. Thanks for showing these Fuji.

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    1. Nice. Loved watching El Presidente throughout the 80's and 90's. I think I might have one of his autographs in my Expos PC. If not... I probably should add that to my wantlist.

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  15. The good ol' days were the 70s and 80s. Can't say I miss anything about 90s cards, mostly because I didn't collect for two-thirds of the decade.

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    1. Can't argue with that... considering both of those decades represent my youth and each has their own place in my collection. I guess my good ol' days span three decades ;)

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