30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Black Beauty

Cards don't need to be autographed, contain a swatch of an athlete's jersey, or be worth a lot of money to be cool.  Sometimes they just need to feature a favorite athlete, have a cool design, or nice photography.  In my humble opinion, this Rickey Henderson insert from the early 90's happens to meet all three of these criteria:

1991 Fleer All-Stars #6

Almost everyone who reads this blog knows that Tony Gwynn is my favorite athlete of all-time.  However had Rickey not been traded to the Evil Empire in December of 1984, there's a chance that he would have laid claim to that title.

Growing up in the Bay Area, Rickey was the man and to this day he remains my favorite Oakland Athletic of all-time.

As for the card's design... it's rock solid.  The bright yellow, blue, and red streaks of stars really stand out due to the beautiful black borders.  Throw in a portrait with an action shot and you have a very attractive card.

COMC Photograph

It took a few years, but I finally noticed its resemblance to the 1971 Topps Greatest Moments design.

I'm not exactly sure why Fleer decided to use a portrait showing off the side of Rickey's face, but they easily made up for it with the photograph of Rickey's trademark neon green batting glove and him stealing second or third base.  

Although if I'm being brutally honest, I've have to deduct a few points for chopping off his left foot.

But forget about Rickey's missing foot for a moment and check out his thighs.

Damn.  Those things are huge!  No wonder he stole all of those bases.

This card's front is so awesome that Fleer pretty much gets a free pass on the back.

But they didn't use it.  They added another photograph, a team logo, the standard biographical data, and an in depth summary of Rickey's career up to that point.  The different shades of green to represent the team's colors was a nice bonus.

This card is missing career statistics, but this isn't a base card... it's an insert... so this card is fine without them.

Overall, I'd give this card a solid 9.3 out of 10.  The portrait photo and poorly cropped action shot are the only things keeping this from pure awesomeness.

I'm a little surprised that this set doesn't receive more hobby love, but I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  It probably doesn't help that 1991 Fleer is one of the most disliked baseball sets around.

As for The Man of Steal himself... this card was released on the heels of arguably his best season, right around the time he broke Lou Brock's career stolen base record, and probably at the peak of his hobby popularity.  Yet it wouldn't surprise me if there are thousands of these sitting in collector's common boxes and card show's dime boxes.

Well that's it for today.  The MLB All-Star Game is about to begin.  Anyone else going to watch?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. It took me a long time to discover this set because there are no Dodgers in it and also -- 1991 Fleer, who wants to open packs of that?

  2. Yeah, 1991 Fleer base is godawful..but the inserts must have been like water in the desert - I've seen plenty of the ProVision inserts (also black bordered) but not enough of these All-Stars.

  3. The Lost Collector - I'm debating on building this set. Griffey is the priciest card at a couple of bucks.

    night owl - i actually kind of like 1991 Fleer now. certain design grow on me over time... and that is one of them

    Chris - according to baseballcardpedia, they were only distributed in jumbo packs.

  4. Just broke two boxes of the golden glory - post forthcoming. Only got four Pro-Visions and the logo stickers. I guess the All-Stars and World Series cards only came in the green jumbo packs or something.

    1. ...like you just mentioned above.

    2. Golden Glory. Nice. I've actually grown to appreciate the photography in that set. Are you building this set? If so, let me know. I opened some of this stuff too.