Love Of The Unloved: 1990 Bowman

This is the second in a series on the not-terribly-popular first three sets of the “Revived Bowman” era.

For 1990, Topps made the cards smaller (standard sized, down from somewhat oversized), the set bigger (from 484 to 528 cards) and added the player’s and team’s name to the front of what remained a very basic card design.  The photography remained very basic as well, mostly posed shots and head shots, with a handful of action to shake things up a little.

Like with the 1989 set, I bought a hand-collated set at a show.  For me it was partially about getting a relatively cheap complete set, partially about having updated players – like with 1989, Bowman included shots from spring training – and partially because I liked the set.  I’ll admit, wasn’t terribly discriminating in 1990.  I bought everything… well, except Upper Deck, which I regarded as being outrageously expensive.

To be fair, it’s not like 1990 is a great year for baseball cards…  “Tastefully understated” is not a phrase one would use to describe most sets from 1990.

OK, on to the cards…

It always weirds me out to see Keith Hernandez in an Indians uniform.  Hernandez ended his career with 43 games for The Tribe in 1990.

This is one of those “updated” cards with a Spring Training photo.  The Topps set showed Hernandez with the Mets, but in December, 1989 he’d signed with the Indians as a free agent.  He’d later show up in the various traded/update sets.

Roger McDowell is currently the pitching coach for the Orioles and was a member of the World Champion 1986 Mets, but his card is here simply because I like it.

The Padres appear to have made a trip to the flip-up sunglasses outlet store…

Gary Carter with the Giants isn’t quite as weird as “Mex” with the Indians, but it’s still a bit odd.

Carter spent 1990 with the Giants and appeared in 93 games. After the season he would finish up his career by playing a season with the Dodgers and a final season with the Expos.

I used to collect “Will The Thrill”, but I more or less lost interest in that PC over the years. I still like this card, though.

One thing about 1990 Bowman which always stands out for me are the insert cards which were by artist Craig Pursley. Truthfully, these were contest entry cards and came one per pack, but if you ignore the backs then they’re a nice insert set.

In fact, I like this set well enough that when I got Dwight Gooden’s autograph a few years ago, I chose this card to get his signature.

One other thing that is unusual about 1990 Bowman… For the first time ever, there was a Bowman hockey set.

I have just a handful of 1990 Bowman hockey cards, this is the best of the lot.

Let’s see, what else can I say about 1990 Bowman?

Some of the notable rookies include Frank Thomas, Bernie Williams, Mo Vaughn, Sammy Sosa, Travis Fryman, Juan Gonzalez and John Olerud.

There was a Tiffany version that is far scarcer than the overproduced regular set.

And that wraps things up for 1990 Bowman… a decent but not great set in a decent but not great year for cards. I’ll finish this series up with a look at 1991 Bowman before too much longer.


3 thoughts on “Love Of The Unloved: 1990 Bowman

  1. I’d like to say I appreciate the “rainbow” theme of these cards, but mostly what I see is yellow and I do not like yellow-themed cards.

    A few days ago I heard Keith Hernandez say on the air that he won’t sign cards of him in an Indians uniform, just because he was old and not very good.

  2. Never paid much attention to this set, but I do enjoy the bizarre sight of Keith Hernandez as an Indian. Nice catch on the Flip-Shades Trio there, guess the company photographer had to make a lunch date or something.

    I haven’t collected hockey cards for about a decade now, but I still distinctly remember that Ed Belfour.

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