Awesome Minor League Team Set Designs

Last week, Jim over in The Phillies Room had a post about the design used for the 2013 Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs update set;  he declared it to be better looking than any other set that came out this year, and I whole-heartedly agree with him.

I got curious, did some poking around, and I found a bunch of 2013 minor league team sets that also have awesome card designs.  All of the cards I’m featuring here are made by Choice and Grandstand, two of the main licensees for Minor League team sets.

Before I get started… All of the images below were “borrowed” from other websites.  I don’t actually own any of these, and the resolution of the images isn’t quite up to the usual Shlabotnik Report standards (such as they are).

Leading off, here’s the design that Jim was talking about, except I used the Huntsville Stars version so that anyone who’s already read his post can see something different.  This set is produced by Choice.
2013 Choice Huntsville Stars

If you think it looks familiar, that’s what I thought, too… Then I realized where Choice got the “inspiration” for the design:

1984-85 Topps #149 - Scott Stevens SP - Courtesy of

1984-85 Topps #149 – Scott Stevens SP – Courtesy of

Ehhh, who cares.  It’s still awesome.  If Topps is going to dip into their past football and basketball designs for their baseball inserts, they could do a lot worse than to dip into hockey as well.

Next up is a set from Grandstand which is also just a tiny bit familiar…
2013 Grandstand Harrisburg Senators
Can you say 1992 Fleer? To be honest, I think I like this “interpretation” better.

Before I go any further, I should point out that while all of these images are for 2013 card sets, that doesn’t mean another minor league team hasn’t used the same design in a prior year. Choice & Grandstand usually have a portfolio of card designs that teams can pick from, and they generally don’t do a wholesale change of designs each year.

I think this Grandstand design might be based on a vintage design, or maybe someone else’s faux vintage design, but I can’t put my finger on it. Anyone? Anyone?
2013 Grandstand Princeton Rays

Gotta love the “floaty head”!

I freakin’ LOVE this design by Choice. Simple, yet gorgeous.  Since this one is a Mets farm team, I’m going to have to put my money where my mouth is and pick up this set.
2013 Choice Binghamton Mets
I’m pretty sure that in my research for this post I saw this design on an older team set, but I couldn’t tell you which one it was now.

This set from Choice also falls into the “Simple, yet gorgeous” category.
2013 Choice Durham Bulls

This Grandstand set screams out BASEBALL CARD!
2013 Grandstand Altoona Curve

Again, many of these designs are used by multiple teams, so if you like the Altoona Curve cards but don’t care about a Pirates affiliate, you may find something similar used by teams you’re more interested in.

The one thing that bugs me about all this is that the Minor League teams that I annually buy cards for don’t ever use anything as awesome as these designs, even when they use Choice or Grandstand. For some reason, my teams tend to pick the attempted-glitzy designs with too many things going on at once. I guess they think that’s what the kids want, and maybe they do. Me, I want baseball cards, and all of these look like baseball cards.

…Well, OK, except for the one that’s a hockey card.


4 thoughts on “Awesome Minor League Team Set Designs

  1. I love minor league baseball and I love minor league baseball cards.

    The design used on the Princeton Rays card is the same used on the Reading update set, without the floating head. Another great design!

  2. I hadn’t really considered that designs were repeated between teams–but of course they are. I have so many sets from the early 1990s of Phillies farm teams that all look the same within a single year. I hadn’t noticed it much over the past few years, but it almost looks like teams are given a choice of what design they would like for the year’s set from a series of templates and then the cardmakers run with that. Interesting to see them laid out like this. I’d love to see the catalog they get to choose from!

  3. Pingback: 2013 Choice Binghamton Mets – An Awesome Design For A Minor League Team Set | The Shlabotnik Report

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