Tag Archives: 1992

Receiving Cards From a Moos

Tim from the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame recently contacted me about a trade, and, being open to all manner of trade right now, I figured yes, let’s do it. I received the cards from him on Saturday and was very pleased!

1992 Topps Kids

Remember how I got that Denny Martinez Topps Kids card in another trade recently? Well, Moos sent two cards from the set, and I found a Delino DeShields. I suspect I may have the complete team set now, but I’ll need to research it. How is it that these feel fun to me now while the Triple Play cards feel so juvenile? I don’t know.

1993 Baseball Aces

Here’s another parallel. Remember the 92 Aces Denny Martinez from the Mysterious Box of Mystery? Well here’s a 1993 version of that same set, with Marquis Grissom. Moos included a few of these, too. It’s always good to get cards from sets you’ve never had before. Speaking of which…

1998 Collector's Choice

I had no idea Collector’s Choice made it to 1998. Was the set that popular? Back when it was first out, I thought it would last maybe a year or two and fade away. You can imagine how surprised I was to see this card. But hey, it’s another team set I had no idea about, so it gives me another target!

1995 Pinnacle Zenith

Moos included a lot of those tasty Mid-90s cards that I either had no idea existed or are just rare in my collection. It was great to fill my collection with some cards like these:

1996 Upper Deck

1997 Upper Deck Rookie Class

Let’s just say I’m starting my fourth binder of Senators/Nationals/Expos cards thanks to this package. But let’s take a look at the real gems of this trade:

1970 Topps

If you read regularly, you know I welcome any and all 1970 Topps, so it was a real treat to get one I didn’t have. I also got another one that I already have but am quite happy to add for that day when I finally decide to go after that 1970 set. But the real gem of this trade was something I had never seen in person:

1971 Topps Coin

That is sheer awesomeness. Why is it that I don’t care for the 80s versions of these at all, but the 70s versions absolutely fascinate me? Is it the age of them? I don’t know. I suspect it might have something to do with being interested in all those failed experiments that Topps did in the 60s and 70s, but I’m not sure. Either way, this is one I’ll treasure. Thanks a lot, Moos! Your cards are going out tonight.

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Trade with BA Benny

I’ve been in the process of cleaning up and streamlining my baseball card collection thanks to a post by Gellman at Sports Card Uncensored (whose site I love, just by the way) about hoarding versus collecting, so I’ve been participating in lots of trades to turn perfectly good but perhaps unwanted cards into cards that fit my collecting habits. So I offered Mike from BA Benny’s Baseball Card Buffet a trade. I sent his cards off the other day, and yesterday a package arrived from him. Yay! I love a good trade. Let’s take a look at what he sent…

1992 Topps Kids

I had completely forgotten about the existence of this set. Now I have to see how many of these have Expos on them and get them to round out the set!

1992 Topps Gold Winner

This is my first Topps Gold Winner Expo. I’ve been wanting to complete the regular gold team set for awhile, so this gives me a head start on the winner version.

1994 Flair

If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you’ll know I’m a total sucker for Flair. From the quality of the card stock to the high-gloss photos, it’s one of my all-time favorites, so getting one I didn’t have was a real treat.

1996 Pinnacle Summit

Mid-90s Pinnacle is some great stuff, and oddly enough, 1995-1998 are the biggest gap in my collection, so it’s always good to get this stuff.

1995 Topps

Speaking of which…I had no idea Moose Milligan was ever an Expo. How did I miss that? I guess that shows how into baseball I was in 94/95.

2009 Topps 206

This is my first Topps 206 card, and I have to say, I really like it! This is another team set I may end up pursuing.

2010 Upper Deck

Upper Deck did such a good job of disguising Ian that I didn’t even recognize him at first. It took me a minute, that’s for sure. Still not feeling the 2010 Upper Deck set, but I will eventually pick up the team set. Maybe sooner rather than later.

2002 E-X Game Essentials

I love the EX set and it’s awesome to get a GU from it. This one really meant a lot to me. And finally…

2007 Topps Update Highlights

An Austin Kearns auto! I wasn’t expecting this one at all. Thanks a lot, Mike, and I hope you enjoy the cards I sent your way!

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Filed under Autographs, Game-Used, Mail Call, Nationals Autographs

John Olerud 1992 Cards #3

1992 Topps Stadium Club

1992 Stadium Club was a huge letdown for me. Bright, colorful photos had been replaced by photos that had a more drab, dark palette, and while the logo was even less intrusive than the 1991 version, the black square made for an even darker card. I’ve considered going through and scanning every card I have from this set and color-correcting them to be brighter, but it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of reward. Besides, I color-corrected this version, and it’s still dark as hell.

1992 Studio

On the other hand, 1992 Studio was a vast improvement. I’ve already expressed my displeasure with the 1991 issue, and it was nice to see a card that had a posed, color photo to go with a black-and-white action shot. Studio would eventually go on to be even better, but I give 1992 a thumbs-up for taking the idea and improving upon it.

1992 Topps

1992 Topps Gold

1992 Topps Gold Winner

I’ll admit, I’m still not clear on the difference between the standard gold and the “winner” gold; all I know is I’ve had all three variations of this card from way back when. Like Studio, 1992 Topps was a huge improvement on the way to better things, but this card bored the hell out of me for obvious reasons. The gold was an interesting touch, but didn’t bowl me over.

1992 Triple Play

Triple Play was the first attempt at a “kid’s” set in a hobby that was rapidly growing out of the reach of kids. I was 16 when the set was released, and my budget was probably more the set’s target, but I considered it ugly and not really worth my consideration past the Olerud and Orioles cards. And this…yeah, ugh. Why use a photo where he’s called out? I guess it is a change from all the fielding and batting pictures, though.

1992 Upper Deck

And we finish up 1992 with another fielding shot, but at least this one is different. I appreciate the photo a lot, even if I generally don’t like 1992 Upper Deck (way too much white space on the border). Alex Cole still carried some weight in the hobby at the time, and it was good to see an action shot like this, even if it has the infamous 92 Upper Deck effect. Check out Cole’s face if you’re wondering what I mean by this.

And that gets us through 1992. On to 1993 very soon!


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John Olerud 1992 Cards #2

1992 Leaf

1992 Leaf Black

Okay, on we go. Do you know how badly I wished that Black Gold design would be the real Leaf design? I think the history of Leaf might have gone very differently if they had gone with that design as the base. Or a world where they jump from the 1990 design straight to the black border design. I know lots of people either don’t like gold leaf or are sick to death of it, but I like it when it’s used correctly, and I feel this is the correct application. Now, as for the card itself, I would’ve preferred a better shot than his back, but I guess it’s interesting, especially in the context of the numerous fielding cards we’ve seen so far.

1992 Pinnacle

I’m so torn on this set. I really like the design, the black borders, the coloring…but there’s something that always made the set feel “cheap” to me, and I can’t put my finger on it. I suspect it’s because it’s a throwback to a little different school of design, where the design is the centerpiece and the photograph plays second fiddle. I just can’t help but wonder what that picture would look like if it was allowed to fill that entire black space to the upper right-hand corner. Although it is another average picture. Ho-hum.

1992 Pinnacle Team 2000

Now THAT is what I’m talking about. Why couldn’t they have made the Pinnacle design look like that? I love it; the design elements are neatly placed on the left-hand side, with a full-bleed to the top and right of the card. The photograph becomes of far more importance, and you get the nice black borders with gold leaf. It’s a win-win decision. I like this card so much I’ve purposefully bought multiple copies with an eye toward filling a page with them. I may try to put the set together one day; watch this space.

1992 Score

You know, I had never made the connection between the 92 Score and Pinnacle designs, but they have a lot in common. You have the design elements taking up 3/4″ of the card, to the point where they become the main focus rather than the photo. The lines are similar, from the lines at the bottom to the top. Hell, the photo on this card is even similar. Obviously, the colors are different, but it does make me wonder if the same guy who designed this designed Pinnacle that year.

1992 Score Impact Player

And here we have an example of what I like about the Team 2000 card all over again. Design elements are relegated to the lower left corner (though lifted a bit off of the picture, allowing for the photo to bleed to that edge), leaving the rest of the card for the photo. And it’s actually a well-constructed photo. This card is a darkhorse favorite of the early 90s for me, and I’d never put together why until I saw it side-by-side with the Team 2000 card. Again, same designer? We may never know.


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Finds From The National Part 8: The Throwbacks

As always, I’m a sucker for old-school style revivals, and I came across some that I had never seen before during The National.

Not sure how I feel about this. There are some pretty significant changes to the 1989 design, and they’ve thrown some foil on it. It’s also a lot glossier than the original issue. So it’s not really true to the original, but the set still seems worth having. Just a note, this is the second A-Rod 1989 design card I have, each with a different team. Now they just need to make one in a Yankees uniform and I’ll complete the trifecta. Oh, and I got one other card of this set:

Now that’s a sweet card.

I also found some cards that I was blissfully ignorant of: chrome versions of old Bowman cards! I scooped up every copy I found, which wasn’t much. Anyone know more about these and how many there are?

I also picked up a few 2002 Donruss Originals for my set, short prints, but I haven’t gotten to scanning them and they’re already in the binder with the set. Oh, well. Their time will come on the site.

Okay, only one more entry to go! I thought this might end up taking the whole week, and it looks like it will. Stay tuned…

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John Olerud 1992 Cards #1

1992 Bowman

Ah, here we go. Bowman finally comes into its own. The design is still kinda just “eh”, but they went with a higher-quality card stock and a glossy finish, which did a lot to upgrade the experience. And, of course, it was also short-printed thanks to Topps only printing enough for the orders placed. Unfortunately, given some of the iconic cards in this set, it’s a damn shame Olerud’s card falls so far short. Yeah, a shot up the nostrils, that’s what we need.

Olerud improved at the plate in 1992, posting a .284 BA and .825 OPS, clearing an .800 OPS for the first time in his career. His OPS+ jumped to 125 after hovering around the 115-118 range previously, and his strikeouts dropped by 20 to 61 after 84 the year before. His eye was developing.

1992 Donruss

1992 Donruss represents a much-needed improvement. While the design certainly has its problems and gets wearisome when you look at too many of them, gone is the bizarre paint splotch designs and random lines, replaced with a more utilitarian, straightforward design. Yeah, it’s boring, but at least it’s not hideous. This shot is okay, I guess. Like 1992 Donruss, it’s competent, but boring. I could imagine some better things to do with a first-base shot.

John was showing his competence with the glove in 1992, as well. Having taken over for Fred McGriff, he was tied for fourth in the AL in 1992 with three total zone runs at first base, putting him behind Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire (surprise), and Rafael Palmeiro.

1992 Blue Jays Fire Safety

This is another latter-day find, and it’s an interesting design for a 1992 card. Not sure that I like the whole “fanatic” logo in the upper-right, but I kind of like the torn paper at the bottom, and the large number is interesting. Not sure why they identify him as an infielder when he only ever played first base, though. I was happy with it as an addition to the collection, however.

Olerud showed up to Spring Training, 1992, having bulked up. He said:

“”I think I got to make adjustments. I got to figure out how they are gonna pitch me to get me out. The pitchers are always changing. If you hit a particular pitch, then they’ll try something else. And if somebody gets you out with a certain pitch, pretty soon everybody is throwing it.”

1992 Fleer

Everything’s Gone Green. That’s all I can think of when I see this set. I mean, it’s all right design-wise, I guess. Would team-coded colors have killed them? And what’s with losing so much space to design elements? The photo itself is all right, but good lord, are there enough shots of Olerud at first base? It’s like the companies decided now that he was out from being a DH it was time to compensate completely.

Olerud missed some games in the middle of 1992 with a strained hamstring. His time out of the lineup coincided with an offensive slump throughout the Jays lineup. Of course, they would end up rallying down the stretch, but his absence hurt the team.

1992 Fleer Ultra

With 1992, Ultra started finding its legs. 1993 is probably my favorite Ultra set ever, but 92 was pretty damn good, and a much-needed improvement. My only quibble is the green marble border along the bottom – it gets awfully boring after awhile. And, of course, it’s yet another shot of John playing first base. Like I said…the card creators must have been overjoyed. OVERJOYED. Heh.

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2008 Upper Deck Timeline 1992 Flashback Pt. 7

The last entry to complete the set before we move on to some other Flashback sets…

Oh, Elijah. I went from hating his signing to thinking he had some potential to being absolutely confused when he was cut from the team. I guess his attitude just got the best of him? I’m also confused that he’s playing for the Newark Bears, apparently, as he wasn’t GREAT last year, but he was only 25. Surely someone would have picked him up? But yeah, according to the Washington Post:

But Rizzo also implied that Dukes’s presence in the clubhouse adversely affected the Nationals, saying they “will be a more cohesive group” without him.

“The clubhouse will be more united,” Rizzo said. “We’ll have a better feel around the ballclub. We’ll gain just by that alone.”

So yeah, attitude entirely. Oh, well. Good luck to the guy.

Another of the great, lost Expos from the MLB years.

Phillips as an Expo.

I liked Phillips way back, and I’ve been happy to see him find his talent and turn it into a productive career. I like this card a lot, as well – it captures exactly the spirit of 92 Upper Deck.

So we get to the first of today’s entries that isn’t in some way tied to the Nats/Expos…but IS from Washington, DC. No, I didn’t plan it this way, but it’s a nice little coincidence. Emmanuel isn’t a very good hitter (in the way that Hitler wasn’t a very nice man), but he’s managed to stick in the majors since debuting in 08, and was even rumored to be part of a trade for Jose Bautista this season, though that never got off the ground. I thought he might be a good glove man, so I hit up fangraphs, and his UZR is -17.7. So uhm…what value does he provide, actually? A warm body? I don’t get it. But he’s still out there.

And so the final card I’ll cover in this set. Uhm…Rico Washington. That’s about the flimsiest connection to this “theme” you can come up with. Rico was a 30-year old rookie when this was published, so I can appreciate that this was probably just a neat moment for him. He didn’t really hit well in his run, which lasted most of April, 2008, and he hasn’t been back since. In fact, he seems to have retired completely, but at least he got a shot. Good for him.

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Filed under 1992 Flashback, 2008 Upper Deck Timeline, Throwback Sets

2008 Upper Deck Timeline 1992 Flashback Pt. 6

And we resume the series, closing in on the end…

Yes, there are two Nationals in this subset, and I wanted to save them for last (and next-to-last). Tyler Clippard has completely revived his career the last two seasons, pitching to a 157 and 126 ERA+ respectively with enough innings for those numbers to actually mean something. He hasn’t been quite as effective of late, but I suspect that has to do with overuse – the guy has already appeared in 50 games this year. I still have faith in Clip, and I have an autographed version of this card, as well:

I will forever associate Chris Duncan with the asinine crap that went down with his exit from St. Louis. For those unfamiliar, when St. Louis (rightfully) dealt him to Boston for being unable to hit water falling out of a boat, his dad, pitching coach Dave Duncan, and manager Tony LaRussa were very butthurt and gave the front office trouble about it. But come on, the guy really was underperforming and fans didn’t like him. It was time for a change. And yes, technically Chris is a National now, though he hasn’t suited up for them in an official game yet. Here’s a shot of him from Spring Training, though:

Duncan is hitting .191 in Syracuse this year, so don’t expect to see him in Washington any time soon.

I had never heard of this guy when I pulled this card, and I still haven’t seen him in a game. To me, Janish looks and smells like a AAAA player, and the numbers bear it out, though he has managed a 109 OPS+ in 37 games this year (small sample size caveats aside). I also did not realize he pitched in two games last year, but was less than impressive.

Russ was one of the last two cards I needed to complete this set. I had high hopes for this guy once upon a time. He looked like another in the tradition of good-hitting Dodgers catchers in the mold of Mike Piazza, but lately he’s looked more like a Paul LoDuca. I also have something of a grudge against him because I picked him up last year for my fantasy team as what I thought would be a steal and he completely tanked and has kept it up this year.

Finally, we have Clay Timpner, another player who was a mystery to me. So far he has appeared in only two ML games with two at-bats, striking out both times, and hasn’t returned since 2008. No wonder I’d never heard of the guy. He’s playing at AA Richmond this year, with a .707 OPS. Meh.

So far, while I like the design of the subset, the player choices leave me more than a bit underwhelmed. There are some good players to come, sure, but nothing that’ll wow you. Thankfully, we’re almost done and can get to something better – 2002 UD Authentics.

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Filed under 1992 Flashback, 2008 Upper Deck Timeline, Throwback Sets

Contents of the Mysterious Box of Mystery, Act I

So the other day I posted a shot of the box that my friend Robbi sent to me. I’ve finally had some time to sit down and sift through the box, sorting out the Expos and Olerud cards that I want, along with some trade bait and the…other…stuff that I want to show here. This box originally belonged to a dear friend of mine who was like a brother to me. He passed away at a tragically young age in 2007, and his widow has had this box kicking around ever since then. She thought it would be more fitting for me to have it, so she sent it my way. And I know just what to do with it.

1992 Leaf Marquis Grissom

As I expected, the box was full of junk wax – beautiful, glorious junk wax. Monetarily, sure, it’s worthless, but the funny thing is my collection is oddly devoid of junk wax. The bulk of my collection is from the mid-00s, and I always had trouble with paying money for junk wax cards, so I kind of rely on trades and “donations” to fill in these gaps in my collection, which means there were a lot of cards I didn’t have, like the Grissom above and the Colbrunn, below. There were also a few John Olerud cards, but nothing that I didn’t have already.

1991 Bowman Greg Colbrunn

I was born in 1976, so I decided to start collecting the 76 set a few years back. I’m still WAY short of the set, but the box contained two 76 cards I didn’t have, including this beauty. Just feast your eyes upon the maximum 70s contained herein. The pornstache. The glasses that swallow his entire face. I just…I just shed a tear.

1976 Topps Bob Coluccio

I’ll cover a lot more of the junk wax-era stuff later, but for now I want to take a look at some of the other stuff in the box. You see, Jeremy was a football collector and a non-sports collector, and some of this stuff is just incredible. I’d never seen it before. Like this Peanuts All-Star Sally card (one of two Peanuts All-Star cards in the box):

I believe these were from Hostess.

There were also TONS of 1990 NFL Pro Set cards. Man, I had a ton of these back in the day, but the whole trend of non-numbered, supposedly rare cards in the Pro Set…sets…started with the Santa Claus phenomenon and reached its logical conclusion in a super hero specifically created by the NFL and Marvel…SUPERPRO! Boy did this card bring back memories.


He also had some wrestling cards from the mid-90s that I didn’t even realize existed, but man, was it a trip. Presented last, but certainly not least, in this edition, I give you Paul Bearer. What a face.

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2008 Upper Deck Timeline 1992 Flashback Pt. 1

It’s a mouthful, that’s for sure. Being a sucker for a certain era AND baseball card design elements, my ears perk up anytime something is done with the designs from my collecting heyday. As such, you’re going to see a lot of these kinds of things appear here, and I’m trying to put together a set of the 2008 Upper Deck Timeline 1992 Flashback cards. 1992 Upper Deck was one of my least-favorite design of the early 90s Upper Deck sets, but a lot of that had to do with the bizarre effect they put on their photographs, as seen here:

He looks like a mannequin, no?

To be sure, some cards in this set still have this effect, and most don’t. It certainly improves the design a bit. Oh, and I have a few Tyler Clippards that I think I’ve shown before, so let’s look at the non-Nationals.

Here’s an example of the effect used in this set, but compare it to the Ryan and you can see they’ve toned it way down. I love the composition here; the colors work really well together, and the blue in the background really pops. It’s also just a great picture of the one Yankee player that I can still stand (albeit not a Yank here).

Poor Scott Kazmir. I’ve liked the guy for a long time, but he’s really fallen off the cliff thanks to injuries. It sucks, and it also sucks to be an Angel because…well, Angels and all. Anyway, I like the picture, I like the card.

Okay one last guy for today. I knew nothing about German Duran before picking up this card. Looks like he hasn’t played in the majors since 08, when he knocked out a mindnumbing -0.9 WAR. That’s right, a random AAA player would have done better. So what’s he done since then? Oh, had a .167/.233/.215(!) slash across three teams in 2009, but has rebounded somewhat as a 25-year old in AA this year. I’m willing to bet he never makes it back to the Majors, but at least he got a lot more than most players.

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Filed under 1992 Flashback, 2008 Upper Deck Timeline, Throwback Sets