Mar 2, 2011

The 100 Most Significant Cards......in 1993: #s 100-81

After the Topps 60th anniversary announcements of the 60 greatest Topps cards ever, I thought it would be instructive to look at a similar list put together by the denizens of old-school Beckett for their 100th issue in July 1993.  This was the heyday of the Weather Report and Readers Write.  And back then, most shockingly of all, the price guide only had five columns per page with a readable font.

As you can see, I have quite a fixation on the mid-90s.    Think about what collecting was like during the time period just before the strike of 1994.    Internet was in its infancy; I knew two people who had an internet connection at that time. There were shows galore to attend. In Pennsylvania alone, there were approximately 80 listed shows in the July 1993 Beckett.  There were hobby shops of all shapes and sizes.  I regularly went to 3, which were within a 15 minute drive of where I lived. 

One constancy was Beckett, it was in the mailbox about the 12th of the month, ready to be consulted for all the the pricing needs.  4 cents for a 1988 Donruss common?  I'm down with that.  1992 Bowman is the hottest set on the block?  Sign me up.  Frank Thomas is both hot and cold?  The weather was kind of strange in 1993.

Here's the last entries from the 1-100 significant cards list from Beckett #100.


For each entry, there will be a small comment and a consensus (of one) about whether it should be considered for a similar list today.

100. 1992 Frank Thomas Bowman foil:  Thomas was the king and 1992 Bowman was the court for top cards at this time.  Even 2nd and 3rd year cards were highly coveted for awhile there.  Consensus: not considered

99. 1989 Upper Deck Dale Murphy Reverse Negative:  There's now a sordid story behind this card; I think it was revealed in the book "Card Sharks." Consensus: not considered

98. 1989 Upper Deck Jerome Walton: It was included as an infamous card and the perils of prospecting.  There are better ones to represent significant drops in value.  Consensus: not considered

97. 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn:  The best card of the best Topps set of the '80s. Consensus: considered

96. 1974 Topps Willie McCovey Washington Variation:  This is an interesting card of a period when teams were threatening to move for one reason or another (remember San Francisco wanting to move to Florida for awhile?).  This was a significant error, and crystallized the chase for errors for a few years there. Consensus: considered

95. 1987 Fleer Will Clark:  The sheen is off the baby blue glare of 1987 Fleer.  Clark was a hot commodity, but not past 1996 or so.  Consensus: not considered

94. 1985 Fleer Roger Clemens:  The Rocket has landed....in a crater. Consensus: not considered 

93. 1987 Donruss Opening Day Barry Bonds error (Johnny Ray image):  It was a strange choice then, I think. I'm not sure if enough people knew about it to make it significant.  Consensus: not considered 

92. 1983 Topps Wade Boggs: A rookie card of a Hall of Famer.  Did he burn his base with his foray into the Yankee zone? Consensus:  considered 

91. 1982 John Littlefield error:  I'm not sure what to think of this one.  He's left handed in the photo!...but he's really right handed.  Not a star player, so therefore....Consensus: not considered 

90. 1991 Topps Stadium Club Frank Thomas:  Everyone coveted this set at this time.  I could only find packs of series 2 for years.  You wanted Series 1 cards?  Look in the case of cards in toploaders.  Today this card has lost its Kodak based gloss. Consensus: not considered

89. 1985 Donruss Kirby Puckett:  This is not a hard card to find anymore, though the black borders of the brand do discourage the mint condition.  Plus, everyone loved playing with Kirby Puckett.  Consensus:  considered 

88. 1978 Topps Eddie Murray:  I love this card, pure and simple.  It is an iconic card of the late '70s. Consensus: considered 

87. 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Auto:  I can't believe it was ranked this low.  The first auto card inserted in packs, it sparked a chase for autos that collectors wanted for 20 years and counting.  Consensus: considered

86.  1977 Topps Andre Dawson:  With his induction to the Hall of Fame, and a tireless collecting fan base, it retains some significance.  Consensus: considered 

85. 1987 Fleer Barry Bonds: Until 2006, this card was coveted. If only he didn't set the all-time HR record? Consensus: not considered  

84. 1983 Fleer Ron Kittle:  Um....I don't really see the connection.  Rookie of the Year in 1983 to left behind by collectors by 1986.  Consensus: not considered 

83. 1981 Fleer Graig (Craig) Nettles Error:  Fleer's debut was not marked by great editing. Consensus: not considered 

82. 1981 Topps Joe Charboneau: The blurb in the issue calls this card "a living cliche" Consensus: not considered 

81.  1962 Topps Lou Brock: The stolen base crown prince has a rookie that resonates from a set that is remembered well by many. Consensus: considered 


So do you agree? Disagree?  Think that significance is highly overrated?  Of course, questions remain about what drives significance in the card world.   It's easy to see what Beckett thought was significant in 1993: rookies, errors, and Frank Thomas.

Some stats for this group:

# of cards I own from this group: 0
# of cards I wished I owned from this group: 8
# of pre-1970 cards: 1
# of 1970s cards: 3
# of rookies: 12
# of considered cards: 8 (not sure if these match with the cards I wish I owned).

The next group coming soon....
 

1 comment:

smedcards said...

I've never understood speculation in cards. Baseball is such a tricky sport that it's truly a high risk / reward proposition.

It's funny when I see people send me cards in trades that they had in sleeves or top-loaders and now you wonder, "Why did they put Juan Gonzalez in a sleeve?"

I wonder if any Greg Jefferies cards are on the list!