Man, team sets sure were bigger back in the day! Last entry.
Can’t go wrong with a Tim Raines card, even if the shot is not particularly interesting. Or maybe it is? What is he looking at? Is he just coming back in from the field? I love Tim and yet his 89 Upper Deck is a huge disappointment.
This should be another boring shot, but at least it has someone in the background and puts you back in Spring Training. It sure as hell beats the Raines card. 1988 was Rivera’s last year with the Expos, and he was…adequate, I suppose. Looking at his numbers it suddenly makes a little more sense as to why the team dealt for Spike Owen. Rivera wasn’t even that good with the glove.
I’ve spoken quite a bit about Nelson recently, learning a lot more about his career in the process. Now we get a shot of him at the old Vet with Steve Jeltz in the background. This is one of the great cards where you can pinpoint exactly when the shot was taken: September 25th, 1988, when the Expos played at the Phillies. In fact, it was the top of the 2nd inning, after Dennis Martinez hit a single and got Nelson to second base, where Jeltz was playing shortstop. How cool is that?
Yet another one of these shots. Mehhhhh.
Okay so that’s a Mets uniform, right? I’m torn between it being a Mets uniform or a Cubs uniform. I strongly suspect the Mets given the stadium in the background. It would also be a damn cool photo if so, which would mean that’s Gary Carter behind the plate (and it kind of looks like him), and the old teammates are chatting before Wallach steps up. I can quite easily imagine that’s what’s going on here from Wallach’s expression. Adds some gravitas to a card that I always kind of liked. In fact, I’m coming to appreciate Wallach a lot more the more I collect the Expos.
Last card of the set! Is that Veterans in the background? Of the away stadiums that Youmans pitched in in 1988, I’m thinking that’s the most likely stadium background there. If that’s the case, this would have been his June 15th appearance, when he took the loss. He only had more start left in his Expos career, so it’s kind of an important shot in his career.
So, let’s rate this set…
Design: 9/10 – I love the design, but of course it does have its issues. I don’t know if there’s a perfect design out there, but I love the 89 design. The baseline motif is very clever, and it provides some unusual colors (green and brown) to go with the generic white. I didn’t cover the backs here, but they’re truly my favorite part about the 89 set. Yeah, not full stats, but those larger pics on the back are well worth it.
Player Choice: 10/10 – Nothing to complain about here. Covers every single player that meant anything to the team in 88.
Photography: 6/10 – Some amazing shots mixed in with some very boring shots. Unfortunately the boring shots predominate in this team set, but I think overall the 89 UD set has some great pics.
Total: 8/10 – Good selection, good design, and you can’t deny what this set did for baseball. I feel fortunate to have this team set.