Saturday, January 5, 2019

Christmas Cards! Golden Treasures Part II

Let's take advantage of a rainy Saturday here at Shoebox Legends World Headquarters, and look at the next three packs from the "Golden Treasures" baseball repack box that my parents bestowed upon me this Christmas.  If you missed the first three packs, you can see them here.

My goal is to show each and every card that tumbles out of this thing here on the blog, so as with the previous post I'm not going to necessarily provide commentary on every last one.  What's the first pack that we're going to tear into today?

1993 Fleer!  I was obsessed with card collecting from around 1989 until 1995 or so, but I have to admit that I have little to no recollection of this particular set.  That's a great thing, as this should be an interesting pack for me to tear through.  Let's see what I pulled...

One card into today's post and we're already off to a better start than the last round!  Count me among the many fans of longtime knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield, and I love this photograph featuring Tim clearly delivering his signature pitch.  I'm trying to cut down on the card clutter lately, so many of the cards in this box will be given away, but this one is an absolute keeper.

What strikes me most about these, at least at first impression, are the well-done card backs.  I really like what Fleer did here with the horizontal layout.  Despite the large player name, and second photograph (thumbs up!), they still managed to fit in quite a bit when it comes to stats and essentials, and bonus points for having a card number that is easily readable.

The design used on the front is just okay if you ask me.  Not terrible, but not terribly interesting either.  The most "grey" set since 1970 Topps?

The photography is a bit bland, but I guess I can't knock Fleer too much for that as they certainly weren't the only company with bland photographs in the early '90s.

Good thing that Wakefield led off the pack, because it's kind of gone downhill from there.  Not a lot of star power among the cards I pulled.

Since I criticized Fleer's photograph choices above, it's only fair to point out that this one is pretty great.

To me though, the highlight of the pack was actually the final card in the stack, a new Will Clark!  While I don't actively seek out Clark cards like I did when I was 10, I still get a smile on my face whenever I encounter a new one.  It's amusing to me that all these years later my parents bought me a new Will Clark, just as they did countless times back in the day.

Since I enjoyed the design for the card backs so much, here's another one to close out the pack.  The meat of that one was pretty boring, but it was book-ended by two absolute keepers for my collection, making it a winner in my book!

Next up, 1992 Upper Deck.  I've got a wax box of this stuff sitting on my pack shelf in my office, and have been slowly hand-collating a set from it over the years whenever boredom strikes.  Let's see how I do with this pack...

You won't find me criticizing Upper Deck's photograph choices, not surprisingly.

Alright, some good star power here with HOFer Cal Ripken Jr.  I've mentioned this many times but Cal was definitely one of my absolute favorites growing up, so can't go wrong with this one.

Just three cards in, and you can already see why Upper Deck earned so much buzz when they entered into the hobby.  Comparing the overall card quality, especially the photograph selection, against that '93 Fleer pack is an enlightening exercise.  Love this shot of Darren Lewis signing for the fans!

Another horizontal autograph signing shot on Marvin Freeman's card.  Just awesome.  I wonder what percentage of people in that mob knew exactly who Freeman was vs. just trying to get an autograph from anyone in sight.

It sounds silly to critique a photo of this quality, but I wish Upper Deck had cropped this just a little bit wider so that we could see Ron's entire left foot in frame.  Still, a fantastic card.

I wonder if Kent Hrbek ever bruised his back with his own bat post-swing?

Broken bat Expo!

I have a feeling Jose Lind may be turning two here, though I can't be certain.


I got two cards from the Star Rookie subset, and boy did I do well with the pair.  Speedster and favorite of '90s baseball fans everywhere, Kenny Lofton...

...and HOFer, and perhaps the most dominant pitcher I've had the pleasure to witness with my own two eyes, Pedro Martinez!

Closing it out with another horizontal mid-air dive.  Perfectly cropped, this is exactly what I would've liked to have seen with the Ron Gant card above.

Well, I expected good things from Upper Deck and they certainly did not disappoint.  I'd say that pack was the highlight of the repack box so far.

The final pack for today, 1991 Topps Stadium Club.  This one really brings back some memories, I can still clearly remember just what a big deal this set was upon its release.

Now, I have to confess, when I first plucked this from the box I was a bit bummed as I completed the entire 300-card Series 1 '91 Stadium Club set a while back.  My disappointment turned to joy though the minute I realized this was a Series 2 pack, as I don't have more than a handful of cards from that second series.  Excellent, nearly every one of these should be a keeper for my collection.  Let's see who I pulled...

A pensive Darren Lewis leads things off.  What are the odds that I'd find a Darren Lewis in two consecutive packs in this box?

Great shot of John Russell post-slide here.  I love the amount of airborne dirt here, maybe it's just me but I feel like whatever mix they're putting on the basepaths these days doesn't have quite as much "lift" to it.

Lot of California cards to start off here, with three of the first four players hailing from the Golden State.

It's always a good day when I can add a new card of the ageless Jamie Moyer to my collection.  Pretty incredible to think that Jamie, already a few years into his big league career at this point, still had a full twenty or more seasons to go!

Alright, some HOF action here with a nice new Robin Yount.  He wasn't the only guy in this pack who's enshrined in Cooperstown though, as the very last card...

...was yet another Cal Ripken!  You'd be hard pressed to find a better one-two combo to finish out a pack than Yount/Ripken.  Great stuff.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I showed a pack of '91 Stadium Club and didn't comment on the groundbreaking card backs.  Topps really knocked it out of the park with the concept of showing each player's rookie card (well, their first Topps card anyway) on the reverse for this set.  To this day I love looking at the backs of these cards, to the point where I turned this entire pack over and flipped through it backwards after my initial pass.

Well, that was a whole lot of fun, and I got quite a few keepers from my collection out of this trio of packs.  This has already proven to be a very entertaining gift, and I've barely scratched the surface of what's inside!  I'll be back with the next three packs in the coming the meantime thanks for reading along!


The Shlabotnik Report said...

I didn't expect much from this "Golden Treasures" box, but it's been more fun than I expected... and still plenty of packs to go!

Adam Kaningher said...

1993 Fleer will always be one of my favorites.

Nick said...

If I ever rank Fleer's designs (which I do indeed plan on doing on the blog sometime) '93 would probably turn up near the cellar. It's never grabbed me. For me '92 UD is also a middling set from their canon, but you got a stellar pack of it there!

Fuji said...

Pretty cool to see a pack of 1991 Stadium Club sitting in this box. I'd love to one day bust a few boxes of each series and build hand collated sets, but I'm always freaked out about cards sticking together. Doesn't look like yours had tat problem though.

Rob said...

It was a big deal back in the day when Eric Davis busted out those high-top cleats.

SumoMenkoMan said...

That is a fun box to open...especially since the packs came from an iconic (good or bad) era of the hobby. Awesome, I might have to go chase one of these down!

Brian said...

1991 Fleer Ultra was grey-er than 1993 Fleer, but it didn't have a full border, so maybe it doesn't count?

That's some fun stuff in those packs!

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