Monday, February 28, 2022

1992 Topps

Greetings. It's been awhile for me on this site. I guess that means I have something special.

Well, sort of ...

Can you believe a pack of 1992 Topps baseball has never been opened on this site? It's true. A pack of '92 Topps "gold winners" was opened a few years back, but never the regular Topps set from that year.

I'm here to correct that particular wrong.

I found a few packs of these at the quickly improving flea market in my town. Per usual, I didn't buy all of them, just five. It's not like Jose Canseco was the top card in any of the see-through packs. Because then I could've made a bundle.
I'll open the first pack here and the rest of them on my blog later tonight. This is probably the best one.

#19 - Jamie Quirk

Quirk's final Topps card, although he'd last into 1993 Fleer. I was pulling his card way back in the '70s.

 #106 - Mike Boddicker

World Series hero in 1983. Another player near the end of his career by the time '92 Topps came out.

#625 - Kevin McReynolds

McReynolds was already a member of the Royals when this card came out. He was part of the deal for Bret Saberhagen.

#754 - Charlie Hayes

The man who caught the last out that clinched the World Series for the Yankees in 1996, ending an 18-year championship drought for the Bombers.
Notice the wide variety of card numbers in this pack. 1992 was the last Topps flagship set to be issued in one shot, rather than be broken up into two series as we know it today.

#485 - Chris Sabo

Spuds! Captivating card. Take a chance, Topps, and release that all-horizontal set.

#553 - Edgar Martinez

Our first Hall of Famer in the pack. This is the card whose back is showing at the front of the pack. When I opened the cards, I flipped them so they were all facing forward, so Edgar isn't the final card.

The infamous one-per-pack scratch-off game card that yielded special Topps Gold cards if you won. Trouble was, everyone won because you could see the winning numbers by shining a light on game card. Did I do that? Come on man, there were like 25 different card sets to buy and I had a full-time job. But I'm not above breaking out the flashlight now.

#24 - Randy Myers

Nasty Boy on the downside of that World Series high.

#551 - Top Prospects, Shortstops

Back when I was pulling Jamie Quirk cards in 1977, this card would've been a big deal. But Jones had appeared on so many cards by himself in 1991, Chipper and Friends will get you a quarter.

#68 - Marvin Freeman

Freeman is rather active on Twitter.

 #537 - Mark Leiter

Mark Leiter gets the rookie cup, his brother, Al, got the "Future Star," as well as the "Rated Rookie." I bet there are family arguments about which is a bigger deal still.

#654 - Allen Watson

Ugh, these pre-rookie things. At least Allen Watson looks like a ballplayer here rather than someone trapped inside an Olan Mills studio.

#141 - Jim Leyland
Damn, I love manager cards. And you know there's a cigarette somewhere just outside of the frame.

The manager card backs also super-sized the stadium shots that appear on most of the player cards.

#149 - Brian Bohanon

Bohanon's rookie card. If you care.

#209 - Lloyd McClendon

Would be misidentified by Topps 14 years later as a white manager.

 #156 - Manny Ramirez

Only the "most valuable" card in the set. Nice way to finish.

1992 Topps is a set I should complete someday. This gets me a bit closer. More thoughts on the set at Night Owl Cards.

See you in another four years!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

1992 Starline Americana


Here we have a pack of 1992 Starline Americana cards. The wrapper is thick foil (think UD wrappers of the same time period) and features the set name in red with a yellow ("gold) eagle at the top. The center of the wrapper features a red, white, and blue motif arranged to resemble a waving American flag. Each pack contains 12 cards. The cards are standard 2" x 3" in size.

The set contains 250 cards including 3 checklists. There was also a binder one could order to hold all the cards. In addition, a set of 7 promo cards that have the word "PROTOTYPE" stamped diagonally across the back was also produced. The promo cards were numbered the same as their regular set counterpart (ex: George Washington is #10 even though he is often referred to at the #1 promo card).

Each card features the same "Americana" name and eagle as the wrapper at the top. There is a blue background with stars which serves as the border along the sides as well. In the center, the main subject of the card is portrayed either vertically or horizontally. Beneath the image, a black rounded rectangle features the subject's name in white text. The lower right corner features the Starline logo. 

The first card in the pack is Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

Next, John Marshall:

He is followed by Stephen Douglas:

George Washington Carver appears on the next card in the pack:

Next is George McClellan:

Here, we have a horizontally-oriented card, "William Penn Founds A Colony:"

Next up, Henry Kissinger:

another horizontal card follows. This is "Discovering America:"

Audie Murphy:

Eddie Rickenbacker:

Andrew Johnson:

Finishing out the pack, we have George Mason:

The backs of the cards feature another version of the image on the front (or a different photo) and the subject's main info (name, position, etc) in a red box that takes up approximately 1/3 of the back. Below that, a section called "Historical Highlights" lists information, dates, etc related to the depicted subject in an orange box that takes up a large portion of the back. Inside the orange box is a blue "Trivia Quiz" box containing a quiz question with a guide as to which card number has the answer. Outside of the orange box at the bottom of the card, a red box contains the answer for a trivia question from another card. Along the bottom, there is the "Americana" insignia with the card's number and the "Starline" logo

A checklist can be found here:

Friday, February 25, 2022

1994 Bowman

1994 was the year baseball stopped, and history seems to be repeating itself this year. Let's check out a pack from that fateful season.

216 - Rich Becker - Bowman went to a full bleed design for one of the rare times in its history.

299 - Lee Smith - Hall of Famer alert!

251 - Charles Nagy - Nagy had a nice career, making a few All-Star teams and pitching in two World Series with Cleveland. The backs of the cards offer another full-color photo.

337 - Eddie Zambrano - Going back to 1991, Bowman had a tradition of making fancy cards for minor league award winners. Zambrano was the American Association Player of the Year in 1993. This one has an all foil background.

628 - Kevin Tapani - Tapani is another pitcher who put together a nice career, although he never made an All-Star team.

628 - Kevin Tapani - Tapani again? That's a bit awkward.

156 - Edgardo Alfonzo - Alfonzo was a memorable member of those late '90s/early '00s Mets teams.

421 - Kenny Felder - Unlike present day Bowman, this pack has been light on prospects so far. I believe this is just the third.

426 - Todd Hollandsworth - Hollandsworth was a career 6.5 WAR player who hung on for twelve big league seasons.

623 - Lance Johnson - This speedy outfielder was originally a Cardinals draft pick.

284 - Marquis Grissom - Grissom was a legit star for awhile there, and he was in the middle of his best seasons at this point.

59 - Jeff Montgomery - We may as well wrap it up with another pitcher.

1994 Skybox Home Improvement


Here we have a pack of 1994 Skybox Home Improvement cards. Each pack has 7 cards plus a sweepstakes card for a chance to win a trip to a taping of the show. The cards measure standard 2" x 3" in size. There are 90 cards in the set plus two foil chase cards. The cards are divided into subsets, but numbering is sequential from 1-90. There was also a promo card sent to dealers. A link to the checklist appears at the end of this post.

Each card features a full-color borderless image on the front. Depending on which subset the card falls into, the appearance (or lack thereof) of certain characteristics varies. I will try to cover those as we bring in each card.

First up, we have Tim Taylor. This card just has his picture and the Home Improvement logo. This is from the "Tim's Guide to Life" subset and features a "tip" on the back along with, in this case, "How to Take a Nap:"

Up next, Tim and Al are on-set. Like the previous card, the only addition to the image is the show's logo. This card falls in the "Episodes" subset. Each card in this portion have an "A" version and a "B" version. This card is "Dances with Tools - B:"

The next card shows the actual set. In addition to the logo, we have "Home with the Taylors" text added to the lower third of the card. This comes from the "Behind-the-Scenes" subset:

Now, we come to a "card" that is actually a static cling! As with other cards, this subset is numbered in line with the rest of the cards. We've got #83 "More Power" but there are a total of 10 possible clings in the set. Very cool!

The sweepstakes entry card appears here, roughly halfway through the pack. The front (shown) provides places for entrant information, while the back gives all the rules and where to send the card. I wonder if the folks at the receiving end would see the humor in me sending it in or if they would be like Topps who had ZERO interest in my humor when I sent an expired entry card... I digress:

There are three checklists available in the set, and we pulled one of them, Checklist A. This one lists all the "Episode Cards," the "Sawhorse Blueprint" cards, and the "Behind-the-Scenes" cards. The checklists themselves are numbered as part of the set:

Another subset is called "Character Cards" and feature one person from the show on the front. Their name appears in text along the lower third. In our case, we pulled Heidi, The Tool Time Girl. The back of the card features a goofy write-up about the character, so we'll concentrate on the card front:

Finally, we have another "Episodes" card. This one is "Dollars and Sense - A:"

Here is the back of the "Dances with Tools - B" card. It features a "tip" on the left, the card number in the upper right (in a tape measure background, no less), a cropped version of the image on front, a snarky/witty commentary, and the Skybox logo and copyright info:

Here is a link to the checklist: