30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Overproduced Yet Underappreciated

Whenever collectors talk about their favorite sets of the 90's, 1993 Upper Deck usually receives a fair share of shoutouts... and rightfully so.  The simple design allows the stellar photography to shine... which is why it's hard to deny its greatness.

However with so many collectors focused on that set, it's easy to overlook another set from that year:  1993 Topps.  Back in August, I picked up two hand collated sets for $40 at the De Anza Flea Market.  When I came home I flipped through them to make sure they were complete... and while doing so, I was pretty impressed with what I saw.

Today, I figured I'd show off a few of my favorite singles and hopefully spread awareness for this cool set.

Let's kick things off with some awesome, well cropped action shots, since you know that's what I enjoy seeing on my baseball cards:

Topps also included a few candid cards, which included the famous "big bat" Puckett card...

And the Russian troika...

Bat rack enthusiasts will appreciate the Larry Walker card...

There's even a little Archives-esque posed shot with the Kaufman Stadium lights in the background...

And of course you can't leave out the most valuable card in the set...

I'll go ahead and wrap things up with this Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley card:

I included this card more for trivial reasons.  As of right now... it's the only all-star subset card that features two hall of famers.  This will change if Fred McGriff, Roger Clemens, Larry Walker, or Gary Sheffield ever get a plaque at Cooperstown.

Well this wraps up my 1993 Topps baseball spielWhat about you?

Thumbs up?  Down?  Have you ever given this set a second thought?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the set that usually gets lost in the 1993 Upper Deck baseball's shadow.

Personally... the Upper Deck is the clear cut champion.  But I feel like this set definitely deserves consideration for the #1 contender spot.  Well that's it for today.

Happy Throwback Thursday and sayonara!


  1. I put this set in pages many years ago and have always loved the design. Can't remember though if I completed the set. THUMBS UP!!!

  2. Eh.

    I looked through the set again after the design made this year's Archives. There are some cool shots in it as you pointed out, but there's also a lot of "this again" that Upper Deck did not have that year. UD wins '93 by plenty.

  3. I love the design of the set. It was the second Topps set I remember getting packs of as a 9-year old (1992 Topps was the first), and I think the design stands the test of time more than the ‘93 Upper Deck set, regardless of photography. Throw in some cool sunsets like Draft Picks, Coming Attractions, Managers, Marlins & Rockies combos, and the Black Gold inserts, and you can’t go wrong choosing it over the UD set from the same year. I didn’t even mention the Topps Gold cards either. Where was Upper Deck’s parallel set?
    I personally think that every Topps design from the ‘90’s except for 1999 is underrated, and the ‘93 set would probably come in 3rd behind ‘94 and ‘91.
    Two big thumbs up for ‘93 Topps.

  4. I like the Topps set quite a bit, especially those All-Star cards.

  5. I'm a big fan of '93 Topps, and I think 1992-95 Topps as a whole is probably the most underrated run in their history. None of those sets get the love they deserve.

  6. I think that backs are pretty nice.

  7. This was the last set that I remember collecting during my childhood/early teenage collecting years. Our card shop closed in the summer of 1993 and I remember focusing on this set that year, I liked getting those gold embossed cards in every pack.

    I actually prefer this set to 1993 Upper Deck, which I didn't really go for that year. UD added a glossy coating to the cards that year which kind of turned me off, I liked the basic cardboard look that Topps still had.

  8. Thumbs up... the last baseball set I chased before the strike turned me off of baseball in 1994 for a while. Good walk down memory lane.

  9. I liked this set. 1993 was a year I got back into collecting after a few years off. Mind you I was only 9. I remember having stacks of these, and I liked the one Topps Gold per pack, which I kept in a separate pile.

  10. Though I prefer '93 Upper Deck, it's only by a slight margin. 1993 Topps is definitely an underrated set. I enjoyed quite a few of the cards in this year's Topps Archives release.

  11. 1993 was the year I graduated high school, so this set is special to me because it was the last one I bought packs of regularly. It's definitely underrated!

  12. This is a nice one. I like 91 and 92 a little better designwise and there's a certain similarity between all three of those. But they've all got a lot of nice photos and minimal designs that stay out of the way. This one is one of the sets I got autographed a lot as a kid since it hit me in peak autograph collector mode. Signs well and looks good with the signatures.

  13. I don't look at this set much, but if I did, I'd probably like it more and more. It would probably be my pick between it and Upper Deck. I got mine in a big lot from a friend of a friend. Still have about two monster box rows of dupes left over if anyone needs some commons. I imagine everyone has a bunch of extras...

  14. I've never given this set really a first thought! But I do like it. I have all the sets from 1981 to 1992. And I think I want to try to build '93 as it is nice.

  15. I'm in agreement with you Fuji, 93 UD is a cut above but 93 Topps is an under-appreciated set. I remember opening cello packs after my Little League games back in the day, and have been slowly working my way through a cello box of Series 2 to relive some of those memories. Great post, beautiful scans.

  16. UD always nailed photography in the 90's. And despite them being overproduced, you have to at least appreciate the beauty of the pics.

  17. Definitely a nice set! I found a. Complete set in a binder for $5 recently!! Back in 93 I was actually bigger fan of Leaf and Bowman. 1993 was actually a pretty good card year across the board.

  18. gogosox60 - i wish i had the room to put all of my topps sets into pages for easy viewing.

    night owl - it can't compete with that year's upper deck set. i just hadn't given the topps set much thought over the years, because i was fixed only on the ud set... and when i did... i was pleasantly surprised

    jeremya1um - well there are the 1993 upper deck gold hologram parallels... but i don't think they were pack issued. i believe they were only distributed in factory sets. i'll have to go and sift through all of the 90's topps designs. i think the only one that really stands out to me is the 1991 set, because the photograph in that set was awesome too

    nachos grande - yeah, the all-star subset is really cool. i've actually seen some collectors try and get them signed by both players

    nick - good to know. until recently i knew next to nothing about this set. i opened a lot of 1992, so i'm familiar with that set. but couldn't tell you much about 1994 or 1995 topps

    corky - totally. i dropped the ball and didn't comment on them, but they're awesome.

    sean - i'm a photography fan, which is why the 1993 upper deck set beats out topps... at least in my humble opinion. it's funny that you mention your shop closing in 1993. that's right around the time when the shop i was working at closed down too.

    sumomenkoman - ugh. the dreaded 1994 strike. that's when i really started focusing on other sports (especially hockey).

    the lost collector - i treasured the gold parallels as well. my appreciation for them started the year before. it took me 25 years, but i finally added the jeter gold parallel to my collection last year.

    henry blanchette - i haven't opened any archives this year, but i'm glad topps used the 1993 design for it.

    matt - i'm class of 1990. i did open some topps that year, but was actually more focused on upper deck and leaf that year.

    nick vossbrink - yeah, i could see how an autograph goes really well with this design. i opened up a lot of 1991 and 1992 packs. 1991 topps is one of my personal favorites, because of the photography. i opened up a lot of 1992 packs for the scratchoff game.

    gca - i dumped my commons of this stuff and most of my other sets years ago. just don't have the place to store them anymore

    peter k steinberg - you should contact gca, sounds like he has a bunch of extras.

    shoeboxlegends - oh man, i was just thinking... maybe i'll steal your idea and go grab a series 1 cello box in hopes of pulling a spare jeter. sellers on ebay are asking over $200 for them. lol. who would have ever thought that a 90's topps flagship box would be selling for over $200.

    sport card collectors - yeah. the 1993 is one of the greatest sets of all-time in regards to photography

    baltmoss68 - $5 is an awesome price! the binder is a nice bonus. i actually have an unopened box of 1993 bowman, but i grabbed it a few years later when my lcs was having a sale.

  19. After '94, the 1993 set was the second factory set I acquired. at 825 cards it was an absolute beast (to squeeze in all those new Rockies and Marlins)!

    1. Yeah... it doesn't fit into one of those 800ct. boxes. I had to put it in a 900ct. box.