30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 15, 2022

No Logos, No Cry

When it comes to sports cards, I tend to be a logo snob.  But every now and then... a logo-less product comes along that I enjoy.  Actually... obsessed might be better way to describe my interest in 2013 Hometown HeroesAnyone remember me busting several boxes of that stuff?

Two years later... it happened again when I saw someone open a blaster of 2018 Sage Sport Kings on YouTube.  They're logo-less too, but I'll let the scans explain my obsession rather than words:

2018 Sport Kings #1
2018 Sport Kings #1b

There were two players with image variations in 2018Ty Cobb was one of them.  Walter Payton was the other.

2018 Sport Kings #9

2018 Sport Kings #14

No idea who Ross Barnes is, but according to Baseball Reference he was a three time batting champion... so I guess he was a king to some extent.  He's also early evidence that you don't have to be a hall of famer to be a Sport King.

2018 Sport Kings #16

Sage's artists tend to push the boundaries by painting partially exposed logos and team names on jerseys and hats.

2018 Sport Kings #25

2018 Sport Kings #30

2018 Sport Kings #31

You might have noticed that there are a bunch of missing numbers.  That's because this set contains athletes from a variety of sports ranging from bowling to swimming to beach volleyball.  There were 48 athletes representing twenty-five sports in the 2018 setFootball was king with ten different athletes represented.  Technically there are elevenTom Condon also has a card in the set, but he's listed as an agent instead of a football player.

Baseball slid into second place with seven representatives and the only other sport with more than two athletes featured in this set was basketball (4 athletes).

Most of you are baseball fans, so only scanned baseball cards.  Moving along to Volume 2:

2021 Sport Kings #52

Sport Kings returned last year during the pandemic after a two year hiatus.  I must have been distracted by Covid, distance learning, and hoarding toilet paper, because I completely missed the release of this product.  It's a shame it took me so long to get my hands on some, because this Babe Ruth wearing pinstripes is a great looking card and is the first baseball card in the 2021 Sport Kings Volume 2 set.  

2021 Sport Kings #54

Instead of restarting the checklist with card #1, they decided to make this a living set... which means the numbering continued from where they left off in 2018.

2021 Sport Kings #58

Volume 2 was reduced from 48 (50 w/variations) cards to 38 and contains cards #49 to #86.

2021 Sport Kings #61

2021 Sport Kings #69

The card's design is based on the Goudey Sport Kings from 90 years ago.  I'm a big fan of the little icons at the bottom of the card that represent the athlete's sport.  

2021 Sport Kings #76

They tend to stand out on some cards better than others.  The Alston is a good example.

2021 Sport Kings #83

2021 Sport Kings #84

Baseball was king in Volume 2... as it beat out football with 8 players in this set.

Several months ago, Sport Kings released Volume 3.  This time around there were only 36 cards on the checklist, but a whopping 11 featured baseball players.

2022 Sport Kings #89

2022 Sport Kings #93

Volume 3 also featured full body paintings of baseball players in action... which I hope continues into the future.

2022 Sport Kings #102

2022 Sport Kings #104

2022 Sport Kings #106

2022 Sport Kings #110

2022 Sport Kings #112

2022 Sport Kings #114

This Jackie is actually the inspiration for this post.  I saw this card featured on another blog a few months ago which sent me on a mission to track down blasters of this stuff (and Volume 2).

2022 Sport Kings #117

Between eBay and an online store, I was able to find a bunch of 2021 and 2022 blasters in the $17 to $18 shipped price range.

2022 Sport Kings #120

2022 Sport Kings #122

I'm not 100% sure if Sage is still the company producing these cards.  Sadly whoever did has a serious collation issue.  I ended up with a ton of duplicates, but struggled to find a handful of players.

If anyone else out there are building these three sets, hit me up and maybe we can help each other out.  Here's the link to my set needs.

So those are my thoughts on this logo-less living set...

What's yours?

Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments.  Until then...

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


Johnnys Trading Spot said...

I prefer logos on cards, but in no way prevent me from obtaining cards I need.
(thanks again for the Maddux & Baker)

John Sharp said...

Beautiful cards.
Have the Jerry Grote, and I definitely need to pick up those Ty Cobb cards.

Good Job!👍

baseballcardstore.ca said...

Thank-you for showing these, we don't get much of them in my neck of Canada.

POISON75 said...

I'm currently working on the mini set with black lettering as well the full sized version as well we can connect with each other through either The Collective Mind Blogger or SCF

Mike Matson said...

Nice batch of cards.. Of the ones you showed, I see one I need.. Need to get my hands on a Fergie..
Overall, I tend to stay away from logoless cards. I don't know if it's due to reminding me of early 90s food issues, or looking massively generic...

Brett Alan said...

I don't mind the lack of logos, but I'm not going to buy a product that's mostly not baseball. Would be happy to find singles, though. Very nice to see guys like Jerry Grote and Ron Darling getting modern cards. (I wonder if there are Grote relics in the set? I need a relic of him to complete my trifecta of him, but he doesn't have many. With Darling, coincidentally, I need a rookie to complete my trifecta, but obviously he can't have a rookie in a new product.)

As for Ross Barnes, The Collector's blog sadly is gone, but when he did his All-Time Teams Barnes was a starter for the team of leftovers, guys who played for now-defunct teams, and guys who jumped around too much to land on any one team's roster. I dubbed them "the Barnes-stormers" in his honor. He doesn't have a ton of modern cards but I did pick one up in a dime box.

The Lost Collector said...

These are cool looking.

While I prefer logos, I am not anti-Panini like many. They produce some great looking cards that I have no issue with adding to my collection, especially when Topps continues to be bland and unexciting in most of their products,

The Snorting Bull said...

I generally prefer seeing the logos on the cards, but these are honestly not all that bad. I especially like the Kent Tekulve card and find the Ted Simmons card where he is holding a bat and wearing a chest protector to be rather interesting. The little shadow figures at the bottom bother me more than the lack of logos. Get rid of those and this is a pretty solid effort.

Anonymous said...

Those things make Dick Perez seem like Rembrandt.

Matt said...

If done well, logoless cards can match up with the licensed stuff. These are done well!

gcrl said...

I think the full body cards like tekulve’s are better than the portraits. The closer the subject the more difficult it is to capture their likeness. Jim Palmer looks more like Mike Greenberg on his card, for example. I do have the Newk and Drysdale cards, so I don’t think they are so bad as to avoid these cards.

sg488 said...

I bought the set back in 2018 and enjoyed it so much I never noticed it was logoless,till today.

Shlabotnik Report said...

Helpful hint for TCDB users: They list this as "Sportkings", one word. Drove me nuts trying to find a checklist until I realized that I shouldn't search on "Sport Kings".

I was halfway through the blog post before I remembered that I recently got a card from the 2021 set, it's of soccer goalie Tony Meola... I'll have to work it into one of my upcoming posts.

It's interesting how they evoke the looks of uniforms without - I'm assuming - violating copyrights. Ron Darling has the "racing stripes" on his sleeve, but the colors are reversed, plus the script on the jersey is something other than "Mets". Kent Tekulve goes a long way by just putting yellow dots on a pillbox hat.

RR said...

Nice looking cards I especially am partial to Cobb. I at one time in my younger days owned just about all of his cards. My favorite was the T-3 Turkey Red and the 4 T-206's were sweet as well. I also saw a lot of players that I watched in that set Fergie Jenkins, The Niekro brothers and as a Red Sox fan how could I ever forget Goose Gossage. Was it not Gossage who threw the pitch to a one George Brett in the famous Pine Tar incident?? As far as logos go, I don't need them.