Saturday, April 20, 2013

Baseblol Cards: 1991 Score

When I close my eyes and think of baseball cards, I picture 1991 Score baseball cards.  I'm not sure why, but this is the set that I picture when I dream of cards (which happens all the time).  I distinctly remember that there were green, blue, white and black cards.  I also remember there were some cards where dudes weren't wearing shirts, which is fine.  Doesn't bother me.  Come join me on a journey through these wonderful cards.  I haven't looked at them in years, so I have no idea where this journey will take us, but I can tell you:  IT WILL BE EXCITING!!!!!!!!!

Or not, but I'll try.  Let's open my utility room up and grab these cards.  I have a lot of them because I think they were under a dollar per pack.  That meant I could grab a whole mess of packs with my tiny hands.  My mom was cool with them because she could get me a lot for a little.  In a way, Score was the discount brand.  I didn't care.  I was nine and I just liked baseball cards.  So, here are the many stacks of these treasures that I have:

Do you see Pedro Munoz?  I know I do.  Here is what the individual cards look like:

Here is the back of a card:

Ken Griffey, Jr, always smilin'!

So, the blue and green cards are just players.  The black cards are players but also some other types of cards that I will share later.  The white cards are "rookie prospects," 1st round draft picks, and other subsets that I will also show you later.  The term "rookie prospect" doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but as you can see, I have a lot of them:

I think we all know that Munoz goes on top.  That's just how it goes.  However, I don't think Score really knew what a "rookie prospect" was.  Most of these players are just rookies, which is fine.  Prospect has a different connotation and I would appreciate it if my baseball cards didn't tacitly endorse inferior players as prospects.  It's just bad business.  I might need to burn these or something.  Anyway, here are the best "rookie prospects" that I could find:

Mark Whiten, David Segui, Chris Hoiles, Jose Offerman and Mike Bordick.  Here are your best "rookie prospects."  So...

Now, there were three Twins "rookie prospects" and here they are:

Paul Abbott, Scott Leius and the aforementioned Munoz.  Nice.  There is a legitimately great 1st round pick card though:

Throughout his career, Mike Mussina improved in all areas of his game, including hat-wearing.  I do believe his fingers were cold in this picture.  This first round also produced an old Twins' favorite:

My favorite part of this card is Score's insistence that Rondell White's entire bat is shown.  Rondell looked old when he was young and then looked really old when he was kind of old.  I wonder what he will look like when he is actually old.

Here are a few of the other white bordered subsets:

Terrific, those are organized just as I wanted.  The All-star cards depict each player as some sort of Coney Island caricature.  These two made me laugh the most.  Rickey Henderson just looks super weird and Sandy Alomar is smiling a lot considering the guy sliding into home is likely safe.  Highlights and no-hitters are pretty self explanatory.  No one will ever forget Melido Perez's no-hitter.  Rifleman cards were for players with big arms, Master Blasters were big hitters and K-man were strikeout pitchers.  Fun fact:  Both Bonny Bonilla and Rob Dibble had notable clubhouse fights.  So that's fun.  Master Blaster was also a Nintendo game.

Here are a few of the black bordered subsets:

The Reds won the 1990 World Series, so they get a special card to demonstrate proper pool/diving saftey. Lenny Dykstra looks like a future Car Wash owner in that picture.  "The Franchise" was used to show franchise players, not necessarily players who would be unable to successfully run a franchise in the future.  Ryne Sandberg was Man of the Year for his contributions on and off the field.  I'm surprised I have this card as I thought I traded all my Sandberg cards to my friend for this Frank Thomas card that he had.  Hmm.

I promised you shirtless dudes:

The Dream Team cards were pretty much all like this.  Just great players showing off their pecks/lats/biceps. Speaking of old roidy, here is Jose Canseco and his brother Ozzie:

And here are Ken Griffeys:

Which family do you like better?  Please respond in the comments below.

Here are a few fun cards, and a nice bullet list to accompany:

  • Kirby Puckett - always the best card in the set.
  • Shane Mack looks really cramped in this card.
  • Oddibe McDowell - always limboing
  • Here's Dave Henderson punching Greg Gagne in the nards.
  • Mitch Williams - always giving up a home run/making me want to turn off MLB Network.

Packs of these cards also came with these weird mini-cards that had World Series trivia:

I think the baseball card industry learned of the technology to have two images on one card and had no idea how to use it, so they would just make stuff like this.  Whew.  Most of these cards are from 1950 and earlier, and if there is one thing young collectors want it has to be history.

When I looked at 1989 Donruss (click here if you missed it, and you probably missed it, like 30 people viewed it), I found lots of wild hairstyles and glasses and accessories.  Just two years later, I found none of that.  What a difference two years make!  All the Score cards are action shots, so I did find a lot of great pitch and hit faces.  I made a collage of each, for your enjoyment:

To fully appreciate these, click on the image and make it bigger.  My personal favorite is Mark Portugal, although there is a subtle excellence in Gary Mielke's face.

Look how calm Greg Maddux's pitch face is:

No wonder he was so good.

As always, we end with a flower, from you to me, for reading through this nonsense.  This one is made of "Hard-Hittin" Mark Whiten rookie cards:

Te amo.

Brad Swanson is an amateur photographer.  The brown in the background around the cards is his couch.  He also wrote about Ben Revere's catch, if you want to read about it.  

If you are still with me, here is an extreme close-up of Mark Portugal's pitch face:


  1. Kevin this was absolutely hilarious and can't believe I'm the only one to comment on this article(ok that's a lie, I'm not surprised) But I'm an old Radford ball player and I graduated in 2000 and I think I just missed you or you were a Freshman when I was a senior, anyway nice work and Props to the Big South for making it to the Bigs. Good luck this year with the Marlins you made a nice comeback to get back in a starting rotation in the Bigs, I'm sure it wasn't an ez road back. I'll be sure to catch you play when you come up Philly as I'm in South Jersey about 20mins from Citizens Bank. Throw me some Tickets if you get this message ;), hey i have to atleat try. Send them to 38 Woodthrush Tr. East, Medford NJ 08055
    Mike Potter

    1. Oh man, I wish I was Kevin Slowey! I am just a supporter though. If for some reason Slowey notices this blog and we become friends, I'll make sure we get you some tickets though. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Oddibe McDowell always is interesting. Here is a real gem about him:

    1. Ok, the title alone is way too enticing to pass up. I can't believe I wasn't aware of that feature, thanks for sharing!