There’s No Team In Sets

One of my favorite early day inserts where those player specific sets that Fleer/Leaf put out.  I looked forward to seeing which player would be chosen for that special 10-card tribute. So many worthy names and so many ended up getting passed over because only one per series could get that honor.

These days, Topps has brought that theme back, but extended things to 30 cards, made them retail exclusives and last year paralleled the hell out of them.  Of course Kris Bryant had to be one of the ones chosen for that.  I’ll have plenty of chances to rant about those.  Today is about those older days, back in the early 1990s.  Opening a pack of already awesome Ultra cards and seeing that full green marble border was such a cool feeling.  Years later as I started this blog and my Gwynn collection, I quickly obtained the full non-autographed set through trades. I showed half of them off at that time, and I’m finally ready to finish it off here.

#5 of 10

The back of the card is all about his hitting in 1984, and so of course the picture on the front is running.  But hey, that looks like Wrigley!  But hey, 1984 and Padres are not a good mix for Cubs.


The back talks about Tony’s 20/15 vision and lightning quick bat speed.  His visual acuity is certainly something that could be an interesting “advanced” stat for scouts. His bunting prowess here isn’t showing that bat speed, though.


I’ve seen a couple of the card backs refer to Gwynn as “Big T.” That’s a nickname that didn’t exactly take off.  Nice effort anyway.  This talks about how he was batting .237 as late as June of 1988, but still managed to bounce back and win the batting crown.


This card was all about his slumping year of hitting .309, spurred mostly by an injury to his hand.  Still managed a gold glove as well.


At the first National I went to, there was someone selling all 10 of the Autographed versions for about $600.  That was more than I was willing to pay at the time (and maybe still right now).  One day I’ll start considering picking them up.

Canada White Sox

Tony wasn’t the only player I collect to get a non-team, team set.  Leaf put out several Frank Thomas sets over the years, but this was the first, I think. These backs are not very descriptive.

Probably safe

They’re just lame blurbs using that verb as the loose backbone.  Frank Thomas is intense for the following reasons…

Love that blurry hair and pink striped outfit

It all sounds like a grade school book report.  Or a Community Gum card summary.

He’s concentrating

It’s one step above giving the dictionary definition for each word, if I’m being honest, but there are different pictures and a nice city picture on the back.

So, now I have all 10 of each of these, but still need the autos for Gwynn and the Jumbos for Frank.  Maybe I’ll see some of those at this year’s National and I can do a follow-up.  But only if I have enough Concentration and take the blog Seriously.

1 comment to There’s No Team In Sets

  • sanjosefuji

    I’ve thought about trying to track down all of the different Gwynn autographs. If I find them for $30 or less, I’ll grab them. If not… I figure it’s not meant to be.

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