30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Hottest Insert Set

Have you ever woke up, started reading your email, and suddenly realized you forgot to write and publish a post for today?

That's what happened at around 5:20 this morning and let's just say... it wasn't a good feeling.  In short... it felt like I was one of my middle schoolers who forgot to do their homework and the teacher was coming around to check it.  Fear, frustration, and panic hit me all at once.

I was hoping to spend a little more time talking about this set, but due to the circumstances, I'll have keep things short and sweet.

Twenty-five years ago, Flair produced one of my favorite inserts:  the 1994 Flair Hot Gloves.

1994 Flair Hot Gloves #3

One look at the Ken Griffey Jr. card should give you an idea of why these inserts became an instant hit with collectors.  These inserts were printed on thick card stock and were one of the first die-cut insert cards in the hobby.

At the time demand far exceeded supply, which sent these inserts soaring in value.  Here's a quick look at what they were listed at in Beckett Baseball back in November 1995:

Today, most of these can be purchased on eBay or COMC for less than $10.  I purchased my set for $35 (+ $5 shipping) on eBay last week.  I realize that book value hasn't been a reliable tool in decades, but 90% depreciation is still eye opening.

Here's a closer look at the set in its entirety:

#1 Barry Bonds
#2 Will Clark
#3 Ken Griffey Jr.
#4 Kenny Lofton
#5 Greg Maddux

#6 Don Mattingly
#7 Kirby Puckett
#8 Cal Ripken Jr.
#9 Tim Salmon
#10 Matt Williams

As you can see, the ten card set honored some of the best defensive players in the game.  In fact nine of the ten guys represented on the checklist had won at least one Gold Glove Award within the previous three years.

Tim Salmon who was the hot rookie from the previous year is the only guy in the set who never won the award, but considering how popular he was at the time with collectors, it's not surprising that Fleer added him to this set.

Will Clark is the only other player who didn't take home multiple Gold Glove Awards during his career.  As for the hall of famers... Griffey, Maddux, Puckett, and Ripken are the only ones honored so far.

Well... it time to get myself out of bed, into the shower, and get ready to head into work.  But before I do, here is today's question of the day...

What are some of your favorite insert sets from the 90's?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Great buy! The 90s is packed with the best inserts the hobby has seen, including (but not limited to) OG Refractors, Fielder's Choice, Artist's/Press Proofs, Diamond Kings, and so many more.

  2. Back in 2004/05 I decided I had a major crush on the 1997 Colector's Choice The Big Show a 45 card insert set with an extremely tough World Headquarters parallel. I completed it in about 6 months. Then shed them. I wish I hadn't done that.

  3. What a col insert set. These were some of those unattainable ones I saw behind glass at a shop or on the pages of Beckett. I'm not sure if I can answer this question - too many amazing 90s inserts.

  4. Those really bring back memories. It's amazing what they used to sell for in 1995...

  5. Love these cards!!! I have a bunch in my collection, not sure if I have the set though. Great addition.

  6. I have a few myself. Found them in bargain bins!! They are too nice to be relegated like that but I’m happy to find any when I can. As for favorite inserts , I love the Studio Gold that look like credit cards, but my all time favorites are when Upoer Deck made 1954 Topps archives of Mantle and Williams.. I loved the collaboration between card companies.

  7. I think I have the Matt Williams in my tradeables box. Insane book prices.

    Some of Pacific's inserts back then are crazy looking, not to mention a few of the base sets too.

  8. I've always enjoyed the Heroes inserts Upper Deck used to produce. The Ted Williams one in particular was great, even if I'll never get my hands on one of the autographs!

  9. A couple of years later, Flair did a similar hockey insert set (for goalies).

  10. Yikes, Fuji! Just watching the game and saw that pitch your boy Suzuki just took. Hope he's all right.

  11. Topps Black Gold was always a favorite.

  12. Sharp insert set pickup! I need to at least get that Griffey for my PC

  13. dennis - i love me some 90's refractors... and pinnacle artist/press proofs.

    johnnys trading spot - had to look up this set, but immediately recognized it when i saw singles on comc. maybe it's time to go back and rebuild it again ;)

    the lost collector - yeah. if i owned the griffey and ripken back in the 90's, i would have put them into those 1/2" lucite holders

    base card hero - i know. even if they sold for 50% of beckett, they'd be crazy expensive

    the snorting bull - my next goal is to pick up the 1996 set, but they're much more expensive

    baltmoss68 - oh man, totally forgot about those two cards. i've gotta track them down.

    gca - i wasn't a big fan of pacific back then, but i love their sets now. the cramer's choice inserts were really cool. their christmas ornament cards were unique as well

    matt - yeah... i'd love to eventually put all of the heroes inserts into one binder. i think i own most of them, except maybe the mays and mantle sets

    gregory - oh i remember those. i'm pretty sure i have the brodeur from the 96/97 set

    trevor p - that was hella scary. heard he was on the field for the celebration... and it sounds like he'll be playing this afternoon.

    adam kaningher - i've stumbled across a few of these over the years. very cool inserts

    sport card collectors - the griffey is pretty much the only card that sells for over $10... but it's worth every penny.