Some Of My Favorites From 1991 Studio

1991 Studio, which was put out by Leaf, is a set that doesn’t get a lot of love. Maybe it’s the black and white photos, or the studio setting, or the samey-sameness of some of the portraits. I understand to a degree; across the entire 264 card set, it gets to be a bit much… But taken in smaller doses it’s a very underrated set and should not be overlooked by collectors, especially team and player collectors.

I’m not going to make this any kind of set overview; I just wanted to post a number of cards and make a few comments about why I like these cards and/or the set as a whole.

Possibly the best known card in this set is Steve Lake and his bird Ruffles. The back of the card makes it clear that it’s Steve’s bird, that birds are his thing, and it’s not just some kind of birdy stuntcasting. Bird or no bird, this set shines when the player’s personality comes through in the portrait.

This card shows more of Ozzie Smith’s glove than of Ozzie, but that’s cool. Ozzie’s glove was a big part of his game.

….And “Ozzie’s Glove” would be a decent name for a band.

Just so you don’t think that Steve Lake monopolized the unusual in the set, there’s this card of pitcher Bud Black and catcher Steve Decker… Yes, it’s Black And Decker! Sure, it’s an obvious joke, but I love it anyway.

I found this card interesting for how my feelings about it has changed. Curt Schilling’s expression generates a different reaction from me now than it did back in the day (and I will just leave it at that).

I collect Darren Daulton and this is one of my favorite cards of his.

Cards I like are not limited to the stars and player collections. I like this Ken Dayley card just because it’s…. I dunno. Ordinary and outstanding at the same time.

The pensive Kevin Belcher also resonates with me for reasons I can’t put into words.

Kevin Belcher sees deep within you, into your heart, into your soul. He does not pass judgement, but he KNOWS.

I’ll wrap this post up with Robin Yount, whose sad eyes, weathered face and mustache combine to make him look like the world-weary retired gunslinger forced to come out of his self-imposed exile to save a frontier town and its poor inhabitants, who are being victimized by terrible men interested only in money and cruelty to others.

Card Show In A Box, Part 3: Stu-Stu-Studio

There’s a set that’s been on my mind
All the time
Stu-Stu-Studio!

I was going to start off this post by saying that I love the Studio sets put out by Leaf in the 1990’s, but once I started thinking about it I realized that it would be a lie. I love the concept of Studio, I love certain years of Studio, but there are certain years which leave me completely cold. Well, here’s an example. I’ve completed the 1991 Studio set, that’s this one:

(OK, well this particular card is actually from the small preview set of 1991 Studio, but you get the idea)

So anyway, I’ve got the complete 264-card set of 1991 Studio, plus a couple of cards from the 17-card preview set. Do you know how many cards I have from the 1995 set, the one that looks like credit cards?

(Hint: The the fact that I’m describing the cards rather than showing you is a major clue)

That’s right, not a damn one of ’em. The main reason is that I don’t care for cards where the photo takes up less than half of the card front, but I suspect the another factor is that in 1995 I was old enough to have real credit cards;  Baseball cards pretending to be credit cards didn’t impress me at all.

…Plus it was 1995 and I was pissed at MLB for the lost 1994 World Series…

…But I’m not here to pick on 1995 Studio.

What I am here for is to say that when Julie from A Cracked Bat set me the box full of cards known in this blog as the “Card Show In A Box”, she sent me Studio cards from the good years!

1992 Studio was OK, but 1993 was when the concept really began to hit its stride.

The theme of this set was having a portrait of the player with a detail of his team’s uniform as the background, and his signature in foil. Great stuff. By the way, these four cards feature Leo Gomez, Brady Anderson, Harold Baines and Mike Devereaux, all cards I needed.

For me, though, 1994 was the best Studio set.

So much going on here but all of it good – each player is posed in front of what is presumably their own locker (each one is different, at any rate) with their jersey hanging in it.  For the record, these four cards feature Dwight Gooden, Bobby Bonilla, Bobby Jones and Todd Hundley.

The Orioles cards have a different vibe coming from their different lockers.

Thumbing through a stack of these cards feels like like wandering around a clubhouse and looking at all the players before a game.  This group features Lee Smith, Rafael Palmeiro (who’s attempting a comeback at the age of 53), Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald.

The box contained all 8 cards which make up a Mets team set, and the O’s included allowed me to finish off that team set as well.

This last bunch of cards features Kevin McReynolds, Jeff Kent, Ryan Thompson and Bret Saberhagen.  Interesting bit of trivia:  The Mets had traded McReynolds to the Royals in the deal which brought Sabes to the Mets.  A little over two years later, McReynolds was traded back to the Mets for one final season in the Majors.

Once again, thanks to Julie for these cards from a very fun box!

Black Friday: Cards I’ve Wanted Since The 1990’s

These two cards were 1997 Score inserts that I’ve always wanted, because they’re fun and they combine baseball cards and comic books, two of my long-time passions — although I haven’t read Superman since I was a kid.
1997 Score Pitcher Perfect Cal Ripken

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “Pitcher Perfect” insert set, they all feature photos by soon-to-be-Hall-Of-Fame pitcher Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson, who majored in photojournalism at USC. You can check out his photography website here.
1997 Score Pitcher Perfect Cal Ripken Alex Rodriguez
There’s a third card in this ‘subset within an insert set’, but I’ve had that A-Rod card since 1997 and the punk doesn’t deserve to be featured without Cal there to counteract his negative aura.

Next up is a card that I have, in theory, been desiring since 1991.
1991 Studio Lance Parrish

…Not so much Lance Parrish, but what this Lance Parrish card represents:  This is the last card I needed to complete my 1991 Studio set.

I know ’91 Studio isn’t a universally-loved set, but I’ve always liked it, and a cheap waxbox from a few years ago put me close to a complete set.  I got to the point where I was one card away and I decided to get the card off of COMC just so I can finally put this set to bed.

This last one is a bit of a cheat… Yes, I’ve wanted it since the 1990’s, but in the sense that it’s Keith Hernandez and I always want any Met from a Topps base set.
1990 Topps Keith Hernandez

Mets Monday: Random oddball stuff and random thoughts

I’ve scanned a good number of Mets images and found that there are a bunch about which I don’t have much to say, so I figured I’d gather them together in a post.

I didn’t get this autograph in person, I got it from a dealer.  I figure there’s a good chance it’s authentic, because why would anyone fake a Tom Grieve autograph?

This is a Pacific Baseball Legends card;  I’m not sure which year, but does it really matter?  I like it when a “legends” set includes some lesser names;  I mean, unless you’re working on a player collection, how many Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax cards does one need?

I’m looking forward to this year’s sticker set, and I don’t know why.  Last year’s stickers are still sitting in a stack on my end table, because I can’t decide if I want to complete the set or just the teams/players I like, if I want to stick the stickers in the album or put the cards in albums, and so on.  Wishy-washy to the end.

I’ve always liked the 1991 Studio set, even though it’s not the type of set I usually like.  I’m a few cards away from completing it (and have spent more than a few dollars more than I really needed to on what amounts to a junk wax set)

I don’t have a scan of the regular Topps Jose Reyes card, but I got this Opening Day card because the photo is inexplicably different from that card, and the card is vertical instead of horizontal.  If anyone knows of a good resource on which Opening Day photos are different from the regular set’s photos, please let me know.

Despite the Mets awful Spring Training win-loss record, I’m champing at the bit waiting for the season to start.

Let’s go, Mets!