The 1994 Project, Pt. 1 – Dipping My Toe Into The Water

As I’d talked about in a previous post, I’m going to attempt an experiment in combating 1990’s “bloat” by organizing one year’s worth of cards into a single binder organized by team, where each player is represented by a single card, regardless of which set that card is from. Most of the cards which don’t end up in the 1994 Binder are candidates for purging.

I’ll confess that the general idea behind this project is not an original one… I think that long-time hobby columnist and former Fleer VP Ted Taylor was the first I’d heard of doing something like this (except he organizes his cards this way each and every year).

I originally called what I was doing a “Frankenset”, but I don’t think that’s right… In researching this I’ve come to realize that a true Frankenset has cards numbered from 1 to whatever, but the cards all come from different sets.  That’s not what I’m doing, so from here on out I’ll just refer to it as The 1994 Project.

I decided to “dip my toe into the water” by doing pages for three teams and seeing how it went, what issues I have and whether I felt like it was worth pursuing. For reasons not worth elaborating on, I selected the Expos, Marlins and Indians.

Here’s the first page of Expos, at least as it stands right now…   I don’t know how well you can see it, but if nothing else you get the gist.
1994 Frankenset Expos page

As you can see, the bulk of what I have is Topps, Collector’s Choice, Score and Donruss Triple Play.  I don’t have a lot of Bowman, Fleer or Upper Deck from 1994, and there are some other sets that I do have some cards from, but I haven’t been able to dig those out yet.

I’ve got some groundrules in mind for the 1994 Binder.  No more than 36 cards per team (2 sheets for me as I put two cards back-to-back into each pocket).  If I exceed 36 players, I will invoke the “Bowman Rule”:  Anybody who has never appeared in the majors gets bumped. If that still doesn’t get me to 36 cards, well… I’ll figure that out when I get there.

Also, anybody who has cards with multiple teams gets multiple cards. For example, Randy Milligan gets two cards because he appeared on cardboard with the Expos and with the Indians:
1994 Randy Milligan cards
I feel like this will give a better “snapshot” of baseball in 1994, plus will allow for keeping my 1994 Topps & Score Traded sets intact (at least for now).

Here are scans for the other two teams…
1994 Frankenset Marlins page
1994 Frankenset Indians page

I’m getting kinda excited about this project. Aside from getting things better organized, I think this might increase the interested in my 1990’s cards to levels not seen since… well, the 1990’s.  The other day at work I bought a repack (more about this in another post yet to come) and instead of going “meh” at a 1992 Leaf Mike Henneman and other similar cards, I thought “Maybe I should hang on to this until I get around to doing a 1992 Binder..”

Yes, that’s right, I’ve only done 3 teams from 1994 and I’m already thinking about moving forward with other years.

I have thought of some potential issues, but I’ll save those for future posts.


5 thoughts on “The 1994 Project, Pt. 1 – Dipping My Toe Into The Water

  1. Good luck with your project.

    In the early 1990s, I kept two binders – one for the American League and one for the National League. I did my best to maintain one card of each player on the active roster or disabled list of every team throughout the season. In the days before, it was a good way of remembering who was on those teams you didn’t really see very often (but only if the newspaper did a good job of reporting the transactions.)

  2. I like what you’ve got going here. A great idea, and one that I’ve not heard of previously. Keep on with it, and good luck! Ya know, anymore, it’s more fun finding new and interesting ways to showcase cards from the ‘bloat’ era than it is to get new stuff. At least that’s my feeling on it. Just like you said about buying repacks and not just shuffling past a Joe Blow card without a second thought. Every card needs a reason to exist, damnit!

  3. You’re getting a little excited and that’s what it’s all about. It’s always interesting to see what other collectors do. I almost have my office/card room straightened up. After that I need to seriously start organizing my collection. The more ideas the better.

    • I’m making pretty good progress with this project, and I’ve already started on the next post… I’ll make sure to show some more sheets as I go.

      The more I go through my cards, the more I remember how much I liked 1994 Triple Play. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a great set, but it’s a very solid set, and I’m going to have to do an appreciation of this 1990’s gem before too long.

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